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Press Releases

2023-05-31
Press Releases

IK Partners invests in Linxea-Irbis Group, joining existing investors NextStage AM and Matignon Investissement et Gestion

Paris, 31 May 2023 – Linxea Finance Group (“the Group”), Linxea.com (“Linxea”) and Irbis solutions —supported by NextStage AM and M3I (“Matignon Investissement”) since 2015, are welcoming new investment from IK Partners (“IK”) to launch a new phase of accelerated development. The transaction is subject to the approval of the AMF, the French financial markets regulator.

Over the past 20 years, Linxea has established itself as the leading independent online platform for the distribution of savings products in France. Since 2015, under the leadership of Antoine Delon and Yves Conan, Linxea has seen very strong growth with the support of NextStage AM and MI3. During this time, the platform has seen its client base grow from 20,000 to 90,000 as well as an increase in its assets under management from €800 million to €2.8 billion. Against the backdrop of a challenging macro-economic environment, the results for 2022, which included a record inflow of €600 million and over 20,000 new customers, are evidence of the solidity and relevance of the platform developed by the Linxea teams.

Irbis has also established itself as a French leader in the design of structured products distributed through a network of financial advisors, private banks and institutions. Since it deals with a growing asset class, 2022 was a busy year for the Irbis team. Generating over €1 billion in revenue, the team used its extensive digital skills to strengthen the range of services offered and develop new features for the Irbis Map tool.

The addition of IK to the shareholder base marks a new phase in the Group’s journey. Since 2015, the Group has digitalised all its processes under the leadership of Tiphaine de Labarre, Chief Product Officer and going forward, it aims to continuously improve the platform and offer new services, while also strengthening its teams. To support these efforts, the Group hired three new recruits at the beginning of the year: Vincent Riffier, Michaël Turjeman and Sébastien Raphanaud who hold the roles of Chief Technology Officer, Director of Operations and Director of the Asset Management Division respectively.

This added investment is also an opportunity for Antoine and Yves to reinforce the Group’s Management Committee which has recently seen the addition of three General Managers: Stanislas de Vasselot as Chief Financial Officer, Clément Lemaire as Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Irbis and Diane Larramendy as Chief Operations Officer who will be overseeing the Group’s digital development.

“We are proud to have succeeded in our ambition of becoming a leader in the distribution of online savings products since our acquisition in 2015. Our well-established track record in financial products has enabled us to consolidate the platform’s historical value proposition the most diverse offering at the lowest price and focus on providing the best digital customer experience for our users, thanks to a team of excellent managers. None of this would have been possible without the support of our financial shareholders, NextStage AM and M3I, who showed confidence in us during this initial development phase. The arrival of IK at the table signifies the beginning of a new stage in the history of the Group and we are excited to see what the next few years will bring”, said Antoine Delon, Co-Chair of the Linxea-Irbis Group along with Yves Conan.

“This strategic move provides an opportunity for us to recognise the progress made by the teams across the Group, particularly Antoine and Yves since 2015. Today, Linxea is in the best position to transform the savings market. The potential for innovation and a successful outcome is what convinced us to invest in the company in the first place and make it a key part of our platform. The success of Irbis’s offering is also proof of the fundamental transformation the Group has undergone in terms of its the savings product range and we are delighted to welcome IK to help us accelerate the Group’s development in a market that has, so far, only experienced the start of what will be a profound and lasting disruption,” added Jean-David Haas, Co-Founder of NextStage AM.

“We have been thoroughly impressed with the Group’s journey to date, especially in the way in which it has led the market in terms of offering innovative solutions which capitalise on market disruption. We are delighted at the level of confidence bestowed upon us by the Group’s management team as well as shareholders and we look forward to working with them to actively contribute to its continued development,” concluded Pierre Gallix, Managing Partner at IK and Advisor to the IK Small Cap III Fund.

Those involved in the operation:

Irbis Finance: Antoine Delon, Yves Conan, Stanislas de Vasselot, Clément Lemaire, Diane Larramendy
NextStage AM: Jean-David Haas, Arthur Vignéras, Marie-Pauline Noël
MI3: Christian Haas, Jérôme Dhamelincourt
IK Partners: Pierre Galix, Thibaut Richard, Florent Labiale, Paola Ismail
Cambon Partners (M&A Company): David Salabi, Nicolas Pirot, Victor Simal Aldéa, Alexandre Cuignet
Joffe et Associés (consulting firm): Thomas Saltiel, Camille Malbezin, Clémence Bressolin, Virginie Davion, Ayméric Dégremont
8 Advisory (VDD Finance): Emmanuel Riou, Alexandre Bengougam
Jeausserand-Audouard (management consultants): Ronan Lajoux, Patrick Loiseau
FIG Partners (M&A buy-side): Christophe Muyard
Winston & Strawn LLP (Buy-side legal advisors): Grine Lahreche, Audrey Szultz, Vincent Bourelly
Exelmans (Financial DD): Stéphane Dahan, Eric Chan, Océane Lambert
Ares&Co (Commercial DD) : Giovanni di Francesco, Thomas André
Singulier (Product & Tech DD): Claire-Marie Faucheux
KPMG: Florence Olivier et David Guiet (Legal DD), Albane Eglinger (Social DD), Vincent Maurel (Regulatory DD), Cédric Philibert (Tax DD)

Media contacts:

NextStage AM: Jonathan Boudin – jbo@nextstage.com – +33 (0)1 44 29 99 04
Shan: Laurence Tovi – laurence.tovi@shan.fr – +33 (0)6 20 58 29 02 / Lola Gozlan – lola.gozlan@shan.fr – +33 (0)1 42 86 82 47 / Anne-Laure Daulier – al.daulier@shan.fr – +33 (0)6 28 59 50 38
IK Partners: Vidya Verlkumar – vidya.verlkumar@ikpartners.com – +44 7787 558 193

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2023-05-30
Press Releases

IK Partners to acquire GoodLife Foods from Egeria

IK Partners (“IK”) is pleased to announce that the IK IX Fund has signed an agreement to acquire GoodLife Foods B.V. (“GoodLife Foods”, “GoodLife” or “the Company”), a leading European manufacturer of frozen snacks. IK is acquiring a majority stake from Egeria Capital Management (“Egeria”) alongside management who will be reinvesting. Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

Headquartered in Breda, the Netherlands, GoodLife Foods is a leading European manufacturer of frozen snacks and meal components such as spring rolls, appetisers, burgers as well as cheese and vegetable bites. The Company offers a broad portfolio of branded and private label products which it sells to Retail, Foodservice and Industrial customers across Europe. GoodLife has over 700 employees with six manufacturing plants located across the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark.

Formed by the carve-out of Izico from Wessanen in 2014, GoodLife has grown to become a fully integrated leading European frozen appetiser platform. Under Egeria, the Company acquired six companies in three different countries which was followed by years of strong organic growth.

Under the existing management team, GoodLife has gone from strength-to-strength and through its partnership with IK, it expects to further expand its product portfolio with on-trend frozen bites. It also plans to achieve further growth acceleration in- and outside of its core geographies through organic initiatives and buy-and-build.

Dirk Van de Walle, CEO at GoodLife Foods, stated: “We look forward to the next chapter which will see us working with the team at IK who have vast experience in the Food sector and can support us with our ambitious plans to internationalise through organic initiatives and M&A. I would also like to use the opportunity to thank Egeria. We are grateful for the support and opportunities that Egeria has provided GoodLife with over the past years.”

Remko Hilhorst, Managing Partner at IK and Advisor to the IK IX Fund, stated: “We have been impressed with GoodLife’s track record to date and its ability to continuously evolve its product portfolio to meet the needs of its customers. It has a diversified offering with further growth potential which can be unlocked in the years to come. With its solid foundation in place, we look forward to collaborating with Dirk and the team to develop the Company further.”

Sander van Keken, Partner at Egeria, stated: “It has been a true pleasure working with Dirk, Kamiel, Willem and the complete GoodLife organisation. We are proud that under our ownership Goodlife has transformed from a carved-out company primarily focused on the Benelux to a European company with a much broader product range of frozen snacks. I am confident that together with IK GoodLife will continue to expand across Europe whilst maintaining its unique and pleasant GoodLife culture.”

Completion of the transaction is subject to legal and regulatory approvals.

For further questions, please contact:

IK Partners
Vidya Verlkumar
Phone: +44 (0) 7787 558 193
vidya.verlkumar@ikpartners.com

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2023-03-16
Press Releases

IK Partners to invest in Veldeman

IK Partners (“IK”) is pleased to announce that the IK Small Cap III Fund has signed an agreement to invest in Veldeman Group (“the Company”), a Belgian designer and producer of temporary infrastructures which it rents out and sells to a broad range of industries globally. IK is investing from its dedicated pool of Development Capital and is acquiring its stake from the existing management team and a group of individual investors. Management will be reinvesting alongside IK. Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

Headquartered in Bree, Belgium, Veldeman was founded in 1950 and the current management team has a total of 120 years of combined industry experience. The Company provides customised solutions of modular, demountable infrastructures and related customer services. Its offering includes rental and sale solutions for a multitude of markets, including the Industrial, Retail and high-end Events sectors. The Company is well-known for its innovative capabilities and offering of turn-key solutions, with the option for customers to access a broad range of additional services, including, for example, add-ons for services such as electricity, climate-control, ventilation, VIP spaces and decorations. This high level of customisation and broad suite of products and services allows Veldeman to differentiate itself from its main competitors.    

Veldeman has approximately 80 full-time employees complemented by an extensive network of subcontractors who serve customers in 60 locations out of its sites in Belgium, the USA and Chile. However, production takes place at the Company’s headquarters to ensure the highest level of quality control, increased reactivity and the ability to develop innovative solutions; all of which are overseen by the engineering team. The Company is led by CEO Andy Moors who has been with the company since 2005.

Under the existing management team, Veldeman has gone from strength-to-strength and with the support of IK, it hopes to further improve digitalisation and operational efficiencies; expand into adjacent niches; increase the number of value-added services to become a comprehensive rental provider; and execute a targeted M&A strategy to accelerate growth in the rental offering through internationalisation.

Andy Moors, CEO of Veldeman, said: “We are thrilled at the thought of a partnership between Veldeman and IK Partners as we feel that its significant experience in the Industrials sector and well-established track record in international expansion through buy and build will help us realise our ambitions. We are confident that, together, we can further develop the Company and its offering to provide best-in-class service for our large and loyal customer base. We look forward to working with the team at IK to continue nurturing a dynamic and exciting environment for our employees and are excited to see where this partnership will take us.”

Frances Houweling, Partner at IK Partners and Advisor to the IK Small Cap III Fund, said: “Veldeman is a leading provider of high-end temporary structures with ample opportunity for international growth. The fragmented nature of the market offers significant buy-and-build potential which will allow the Company to both further develop its offering and expand into adjacent markets and territories. We have been impressed by the Company’s journey to date and look forward to working with Andy and the team at Veldeman to help unlock significant additional value.”

For further questions, please contact:

IK Partners
Vidya Verlkumar
Phone: +44 (0) 7787 558 193
vidya.verlkumar@ikpartners.com

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2023-03-13
Press Releases

IK Partners to acquire Ipsum from Aliter Capital

IK Partners (“IK”) is pleased to announce that the IK Small Cap III Fund has signed an agreement to acquire Ipsum Group Limited (“Ipsum” or “the Company”) from Aliter Capital (“Aliter”). IK will be investing alongside the existing management team. Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

Headquartered in Chorley, United Kingdom and founded in 2017, Ipsum is a leading provider of specialist infrastructure services to highly critical assets within the UK power and water markets. The Company has approximately 570 employees spread across its 14 hubs, providing 24/7 coverage nationally and serving over 1,400 clients across the UK, including regulated public sector bodies, government-backed organisations and private customers.

Ipsum provides a range of asset maintenance, upgrade and repair services to owners of power and water infrastructure. These include low and high voltage component inspection; switchgear and transformer upgrades; overhead line maintenance and jointing; smart grid maintenance; wet well cleaning; drainage and desilting; sewer relining, patching and repairs; and CCTV surveillance and heat mapping.

Through the efforts of its existing owners and the current management team, the Company has enjoyed significant growth since its formation. With the support of IK, the business will continue to focus on both organic and acquisitive growth in markets which have compelling long-term growth dynamics and invest in its people, asset base and technology offering to scale its proposition further.

Tom Salmon, Partner at IK Partners and Advisor to the IK Small Cap III Fund, said: “Ipsum is an excellent business that operates in a market that presents significant opportunity for further growth. Richard Thomas and his team have built a business with strong customer centricity and a reputation for quality and reliability, which is supporting UK infrastructure players on their journey towards energy transition, sustainability and a low carbon agenda. We have been very impressed with the business’ development to date and look forward to supporting the team to grow the business both organically and via further acquisition.”

Richard Thomas, CEO of Ipsum, said: “We strongly feel that a partnership with IK will help us develop further and achieve growth by scaling and refining operations, while continuing to pursue a successful M&A strategy. For the past six years, we have been ably supported by Aliter Capital and we thank them for all their efforts. We look forward to working with the team at IK and are excited to see where this partnership will take us.”

Greig Brown, Partner at Aliter Capital, said: “We are extremely proud of the progress and growth that has been achieved with the team at Ipsum since our initial investment in 2017. The business has effectively executed several important acquisitions during this period, solidifying its position as a market leader in infrastructure services in the UK. This is the third successful exit from our first fund, further evidencing our ability to build great businesses and we believe an excellent outcome for all parties involved. We’d like to thank Richard and his team for all their hard work and wish them the very best of luck for the future.”

Completion of the transaction is subject to legal and regulatory approvals.

For further questions, please contact:

IK Partners
Vidya Verlkumar
Phone: +44 (0) 7787 558 193
vidya.verlkumar@ikpartners.com

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2023-02-27
Press Releases

IK Partners to invest in Responda Group

IK Partners (“IK”) is pleased to announce that the IK Small Cap III Fund has signed an agreement to invest in Responda Group (“the Group”), a leading provider of business process outsourcing (“BPO”) services to small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) in Sweden. IK is investing from its dedicated pool of Development Capital and is acquiring its stake from the founding management team who will be reinvesting alongside IK. Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Responda AB was founded in 2008 by Joakim Ögren and Magnus Johannessen and later became Responda Group as a result of the acquisition of Kalix Tele24 in 2021. Both companies have an established track record in the industry and its core offering is centred around managing organisations’ customer service through an omnichannel approach consisting of phone, email, online chat and social media.

The Group has 250 employees who are spread across four offices and serve a diversified customer base of approximately 2,500 companies within the private and public sectors. Under the existing management team, the Group has gone from strength to strength and with the support of IK, it hopes to: further broaden its offering for existing customers; continue gaining market share in the SME segment through an enhanced go-to-market strategy; and drive consolidation in the market via strategic add-ons.

Joakim Ögren, Co-Founder and CEO of Responda Group, said: “We strongly feel that a partnership between Responda Group and IK Partners will help us further develop and achieve growth through the pursuit of a successful M&A strategy. Since inception, we have made considerable progress in our field and are proud to have become an industry-leading service provider trusted by highly successful companies in Sweden. We look forward to working with the team at IK and are excited to see where this partnership will take us.”

Carl Jakobsson, Director at IK Partners and Advisor to the IK Small Cap III Fund, said: “Responda Group is Sweden’s market leader in the inbound contact centre services market for SMEs and has great potential for future growth. We are well-positioned to help Responda Group deliver a targeted buy-and-build strategy and to use our extensive network in the Nordic region to support any future geographic expansion. We have been impressed by the Group’s journey to date and look forward to working with the team at Responda Group to help them realise their ambitions.”

Completion of the transaction is subject to legal and regulatory approvals.

For further questions, please contact:

IK Partners
Vidya Verlkumar
Phone: +44 (0) 7787 558 193
vidya.verlkumar@ikpartners.com

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2023-01-9
Press Releases

IK launches Benelux and UK Development Capital strategy and promotes five to Partner

IK Partners (“IK” or “the Firm”), a leading European private equity (“PE”) firm, is pleased to announce that it has launched its Development Capital strategy in the Benelux and UK. The Development Capital pool sits within the IK Small Cap III Fund and invests between €10 million and €25 million in minority or majority situations to support growing businesses across the Firm’s core sectors of Business Services, Healthcare, Consumer and Industrials.

The Development Capital strategy in the Benelux will be led by Frances Houweling, who has been promoted to Partner and is based in IK’s Amsterdam office. She joined IK in 2013 and previously sat within the Benelux Small Cap team where she was involved in a range of transactions, including the recent 2Connect and Plastiflex transactions. Frances is also Chair of the Dutch Committee for Level20.

The strategy in the UK will be led by Simon May, who joined IK in 2020 and has also been promoted to Partner. Simon previously sat within the UK Small Cap team where he was involved in both the Forthglade and DA Languages transactions.

In addition, IK is delighted to announce three further promotions to Partner across the Firm’s Paris, Stockholm and Hamburg offices:

  • Morgane Bouhenic – Small Cap Investment Team, Paris
  • Henrik Geijer – Small Cap Investment Team, Stockholm
  • Joachim Dettmar – Operations Team, Hamburg

Christopher Masek, Chief Executive Officer at IK, commented: “Reflective of the continued growth and success of our Firm, it is with immense pride that we have promoted five exceptional colleagues to the partnership in recognition of their achievements and longstanding commitment to IK. These individuals display significant potential to carry on delivering outstanding results for investors and drive numerous value creation initiatives within our portfolio companies.

We are especially thrilled to have Frances and Simon as our first Development Capital Partners in the Benelux and UK respectively. These are among the largest PE markets in Europe, so this is a logical next step for us as we continue deploying funds across our successful investment platform with a presence in key markets across the continent. We believe their experience, both at IK and prior, coupled with their broad professional networks, will position the Development Capital strategy for considerable success in the future.”

Frances Houweling, Partner at IK, commented: “The launch of Development Capital in the Benelux is a natural progression for IK as we aim to increase our presence in these important markets for the Firm. I look forward to being a part of the growth of this strategy throughout 2023 and beyond.”

Simon May, Partner at IK, commented: “I am delighted to be launching our Development Capital strategy in the UK, leveraging the success of the strategy across Europe and the Firm’s growing presence in the UK market. We aim to build on IK’s position as the leading investment partner for Europe’s small and medium-sized businesses.”

For further questions, please contact:

IK Partners
Vidya Verlkumar
Phone: +44 (0) 7787 558 193
vidya.verlkumar@ikpartners.com

ENDS

Frances Houweling

  • Frances Houweling joined IK in 2013 and is the Partner responsible for the Development Capital Investment team, based in Amsterdam.
  • She specialises in the Healthcare sector and has been involved in several transactions across the Benelux region.
  • Prior to joining IK, Frances worked at J.P. Morgan, having gained an MSc in Finance and a BSc in Economics from the University of Groningen.

Simon May

  • Simon May joined IK in 2020 and is the Partner responsible for the Development Capital Investment team, based in London.
  • Sitting within the Industrials sector team, he is jointly responsible for portfolio investments across the UK.
  • Prior to joining IK, Simon was a Partner at Graphite Capital in London and began his career with PwC, having graduated from the University of Bath with a first-class honours degree in Mathematics.

Morgane Bouhenic

  • Morgane Bouhenic joined IK in 2017 and is in the Small Cap Investment team, based in Paris.
  • Sitting within the Healthcare sector team, she is jointly responsible for portfolio investments across France.
  • Prior to joining IK, Morgane worked at Bridgepoint and L.E.K consulting in Paris and Boston. She holds an MSc in International Management and Strategy from HEC Paris and a CEMS degree from the VSE University of Prague.

Henrik Geijer

  • Henrik Geijer joined IK in 2019 and is in the Small Cap Investment team, based in London.
  • Sitting within the Healthcare sector team, he has substantial transaction and board membership experience.
  • Prior to joining IK, Henrik worked at Adelis Equity Partners in Stockholm and with the Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He holds a BSc in Economics and Business Administration from the Stockholm School of Economics.

Joachim Dettmar

  • Joachim Dettmar joined IK in 2019 and is in the Operations team, based in Hamburg.
  • He has extensive experience in management consultancy and PE and is responsible for the operational optimisation and support of portfolio companies.
  • Prior to joining IK, Joachim was a Partner with H&Z and LEK Consulting, having gained a PhD in Applied Mechanics / Engineering from the University of Stuttgart.

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