KeBeK Private Equity, together with Apicem Investments, invests in Askové, a leading designer and builder of thermoplastic equipment and turn-key process installations in air and water technology.

Kebek

Schijndel, March 27, 2024 – Belgian investment fund KeBeK Private Equity, together with Dutch
company Apicem Investments, has reached an agreement on the acquisition of a majority stake in
Askové. The current Managing Director of Askové, Leon Heemskerk, will remain involved as a minority
shareholder and will transfer the day-to-day management of the company to Lars Claassen,
Managing Partner of Apicem Investments.

Askové designs and builds high-quality process equipment based on thermoplastics. Over the years,
Askové has specialized in process technology, mechanical and control solutions for the treatment
and cleaning of fluids and emissions, in both biological and chemical ways. In doing so, Askové has
focused on finding practical and eƯicient solutions to problem situations concerning odor treatment
and handling of (contaminated) gases and chemical fluids in industrial processes. Furthermore,
Askové also specializes in the storage, transport and dosing of chemicals in the process industry.
The company works for a number of Water Boards, drinking water companies and renowned
industrial and food companies, among others.

Askové invests in research and development to create innovative process solutions that meet the
needs of its customers to comply with increasingly stringent regulations. This includes designing new
equipment and improving existing products to increase eƯiciency, reliability and safety.
The company is committed to long-term relationships with its customers and provides
comprehensive customer service and support. This includes training of customer personnel,
preventive maintenance, repairs and technical support to ensure that equipment continues to
perform optimally.

The company has approximately 35 dedicated employees. In recent years, Askové has experienced
substantial sales growth. Significant growth is also expected in the future, driven by the increasing
interest in biological purification and nitrogen issues, but also by expanding application areas and
broadening Askové’s product range, with continuity of high quality operations as a fixed value.

For more information:
Askové – www.askove.com

Leon Heemskerk: l.heemskerk@askove.com or +31 650 515141
Apicem – www.apicem.nl
Lars Claassen: l.claassen@apicem.nl or +31-(0)6-4342 5511

At Apicem Investments, we are passionate about entrepreneurship and believe in the power of
collaboration with a personal touch. We pursue strong partnerships with our portfolio companies
and investors, leveraging our expertise, network and personal experience to help them grow and
prosper.

KeBeK Private Equity – www.kebek.be
Gerd Smeets: Gerd.Smeets@kebek.be or +32 2 66 99 022

KeBeK is an independent Belgian investment fund that invests in solid, medium-sized companies
with an identifiable potential for further value creation. KeBeK actively supports the management
team of its participations in the implementation of the jointly defined business strategy. KeBeK
usually takes controlling interests, without however taking an operational role. The fund is managed
by 4 partners who have worked together for many years and have a proven track record in the private
equity industry. KeBeK’s resources are provided by recognized institutional investors, family oƯices
and successful entrepreneurs.

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A1 Electronics joins Metis Group

GIMV

Eindhoven, 27 March 2024 –Metis Group has entered into an agreement with Strukton to acquire A1 Electronics, a provider of electronics manufacturing services, located in Almelo, the Netherlands. With A1 Electronics joining Metis, as per today, the group further strengthens its position in the growing electronics market.

A1 Electronics and its subsidiary Buca Electronics provide electronic manufacturing services focused on the high-mix, low-volume segment, servicing ~100 customers. The current management team consisting of Rudy and Rob Oude Vrielink, and Lamber Voortman, will participate as minority shareholders and maintain their roles as managing directors of A1 to ensure continuity and support further growth of the company.

The mutual strategic-operational collaboration with Metis will enable A1 Electronics to achieve an acceleration of growth and further increase the added value for its customers. A1 complements Metis Group with its very high-mix, low-volume production capabilities, and adds potting and cable assembly capabilities. Whereas Metis’ extensive engineering, technology and higher volume production capabilities will be beneficial for A1’s customers.

Reinier Beltman, CEO of Metis Group, remarks: “Following the launch of the Metis Group earlier this year, we are excited to welcome A1 Electronics to the Group. With over 23 years of experience, A1 Electronics is a very valuable addition. Joining forces will accelerate our joint growth path. We are looking forward to work with Rob, Rudy, Lamber and the team”.

Rudy Oude Vrielink, Managing Director of A1, adds: “We are excited to join Metis Group and are pleased to have found a partner that endorses our philosophy and enables us to provide even more added value to our customers. We look forward to the collaboration with Metis”.

Boris Wirtz, chairman of Metis Group’s Supervisory Board, concludes: “As Supervisory Board we are pleased to welcome A1 to the Metis Group. The acquisition fits perfectly in our buy-and-build strategy which is focused on creating a group of high-quality electronics companies that complement and strengthen each other, whereby we concentrate on realizing synergies through continued knowledge and best-practice sharing”.

About A1 Electronics
Established in 2001, A1 Electronics has developed into a one-stop provider of electronics manufacturing services (EMS). The Company specializes in assembling printed circuit boards and integrated finalized products. Its capabilities include SMT, THT, cable assembly, box-build, testing, potting, logistics and lifecycle management services.

A1 Electronics distinguishes itself through its seamless integration of quality and delivery performance. Its commitment to excellence begins with qualified and skilled personnel, supported by a state-of-the-art machine park that adheres to the latest industry guidelines and certifications.
The company has demonstrated its commitment to social responsibility, notably through its subsidiary Buca Electronics, which exclusively employs individuals with a distance to the labor market.

For more information about A1 Electronics, please visit https://www.a1electronics.nl

About Metis Group
Metis Group is a group of electronics companies that provide development, manufacturing and product life cycle management services to customers in a variety of markets. With a combined revenue of well over EUR 130M+ and a strong and committed workforce of 500+ employees across multiple locations in the Netherlands including Eindhoven, Veendam, Drachten and Almelo; Metis Group is ready to support its partners with high-tech electronics solutions.

For more information about Metis Group and its subsidiaries, please visit https://metis-group.nl

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Groome, an Argosy Private Equity Portfolio Company, Acquires W-S Companies

Argosy

We are pleased to announce that Groome Industrial Service Group (“Groome”), a portfolio company of Argosy Private Equity has completed the acquisition of W-S Companies.

W-S Companies and its subsidiaries, (collectively “W-S” or the “Company”), is a provider of industrial services through eight associated entities, offering industrial cleaning and maintenance services such as abrasive grit-blasting, mechanical machine maintenance, explosive de-slagging, welding, and environmental waste removal and disposal, catering primarily to gas & coal-fired power plants. Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the Company operates out of 15 facilities spanning Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Montana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin, with additional satellite facilities in Nebraska and North Dakota.

For over 50 years, Groome has provided specialty maintenance services nationwide for several industries including natural gas-fired power generation, coal-fired power generation, refinery, shipping, manufacturing, and aviation. As an industry leader focused on the future, Groome’s turnkey services reduce harmful emissions, improve plant performance, and extend the life of valuable industrial equipment. Their experienced in-house labor teams have helped to establish Groome as the maintenance provider of choice.

W-S provides complementary service offerings to Groome’s base industrial cleaning services, such as industrial and municipal waste removal and disposal, welding & pipefitting education, hydro-excavation, and industrial vacuuming. Additionally, synergies in the customer base in the Midwest and South are expected to offer combined cross-selling opportunities. The acquisition is also expected to improve seasonality of revenue.

Jeff Bause, President & CEO of Groome, stated, “We are excited for W-S to join the Groome Team, creating a bigger and better specialty maintenance company with an even stronger nationwide presence. Both companies provide a service mix that is complimentary to one another while also offering unique specialty services. This acquisition now gives Groome one of the broadest offerings in the industry.”

“We are thrilled about the combination of Groome and W-S. Given Groome’s experience with previous acquisitions, we have confidence in the team’s demonstrated ability to execute integration plans. The consolidated companies now offer a comprehensive suite of services delivered on a national scale. This acquisition not only strengthens Groome’s position in the market but also underscores our commitment to providing unparalleled value and support to its clients,” said Keven Shanahan, Managing Partner, Argosy Private Equity.

Integration is already underway. The Groome and W-S management teams, along with Argosy, are actively working on implementing Argosy’s Value Acceleration Methodology (VAM™) acquisition program to help integrate the operations, realize synergies between the companies, and seek to grow the combined company.

For more information, please contact Keven Shanahan at kshanahan@argosycapital.com

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Apollo Funds Agree to Sell 28.4% Stake in Vallourec to ArcelorMittal

Apollo logo

NEW YORK, March 12, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Apollo (NYSE: APO) today announced that Apollo-managed Funds (“Apollo Funds” or the “Funds”) have agreed to sell 65.2 million common equity shares in Vallourec SA (Euronext: VK; “Vallourec”, the “Company”), a value-added manufacturer of premium tubular steel products, for €14.64 per share to ArcelorMittal. The shares sold represent a 28.4% equity interest1 in Vallourec and a total transaction value of approximately €955 million, and upon close will mark the Apollo Funds’ exit of the investment.

“We’re proud of the extremely strong results achieved during our Funds’ ownership as the Company transformed its operations under a top leadership team led by Philippe Guillemot and established itself as a focused world leader in the manufacturing of high performance tubular products. Along with this business transformation have come record levels of profitability, a more sustainable competitive position and an opportunity to capture future growth in the energy transition markets,” said Apollo Partner Gareth Turner. “There is still considerable potential to expand upon what we have achieved but it is now appropriate for Apollo to transition our Funds’ shareholding to an industrial partner that can take the Company forward. We remain confident that Vallourec is well-positioned for long-term growth and we wish Philippe and the entire team continued success.”

Philippe Guillemot, Vallourec Chairman and CEO, said, “Apollo’s operational and capital markets expertise was instrumental to Vallourec’s turnaround, and we thank the Apollo team for their unfailing support and world-class partnership. With Apollo’s Funds’ assistance, we have fundamentally changed the operational and financial structure of Vallourec and we believe we are on the right trajectory to deliver enhanced shareholder value over the coming years.”

After leading the financial restructuring of Vallourec, Apollo Funds became the largest equity investor in Vallourec in 2021. As a strategic capital partner, Apollo played a pivotal role in the design, launch, and implementation of the “New Vallourec” plan in May 2022, which helped to transform the Company’s operational design, footprint and capabilities, and drove EBITDA from €258mm in 2020 prior to Apollo Funds’ investment to €1,196mm in 2023, reflecting the best results in nearly 15 years.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of the year, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

About Apollo

Apollo is a high-growth, global alternative asset manager. In our asset management business, we seek to provide our clients excess return at every point along the risk-reward spectrum from investment grade to private equity with a focus on three investing strategies: yield, hybrid, and equity. For more than three decades, our investing expertise across our fully integrated platform has served the financial return needs of our clients and provided businesses with innovative capital solutions for growth. Through Athene, our retirement services business, we specialize in helping clients achieve financial security by providing a suite of retirement savings products and acting as a solutions provider to institutions. Our patient, creative, and knowledgeable approach to investing aligns our clients, businesses we invest in, our employees, and the communities we impact, to expand opportunity and achieve positive outcomes. As of December 31, 2023, Apollo had approximately $651 billion of assets under management. To learn more, please visit www.apollo.com.

Contacts

Noah Gunn
Global Head of Investor Relations
Apollo Global Management, Inc.
(212) 822-0540
IR@apollo.com

Joanna Rose
Global Head of Corporate Communications
Apollo Global Management, Inc.
(212) 822-0491
Communications@apollo.com

1 Not taking into account preferred shares already issued but not vested as of today.

 


Primary Logo

Source: Apollo Global Management, Inc.

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IK Partners to invest in Checkmate Fire

IK Partners

IK Partners (“IK”) is pleased to announce that the IK Small Cap III (“IK SC III”) Fund has signed
an agreement to acquire Checkmate Fire (“Checkmate” or “the Company”), the UK’s largest
passive fire protection specialist, from YFM Equity Partners (“YFM”). IK is making its first UK investment from the Fund’s dedicated pool of Development Capital. The existing management
team will be reinvesting alongside IK. Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

Established in 1989 and headquartered in West Yorkshire, Checkmate provides a comprehensive range of passive fire protection services to organisations across the Healthcare, Education, Government, Social Housing and Commercial sectors. The Company inspects, installs, remediates and maintains passive fire systems and also provides installation and maintenance of active fire systems.

Checkmate engineer remediating a fire door

Checkmate operates across the UK and has over 200 employees. The Company is responsible for maintaining passive fire systems in around 2,000 buildings nationally to ensure compliance with increasingly stringent regulations, carrying out over 30,000 fire door remediations or replacements per year. The focus is on maintaining fire doors rather than replacing them; an approach that aligns with the Company’s commitment to strong environmental, social and governance practices across the business.

Since YFM’s investment and under the existing management team, Checkmate has scaled rapidly, expanding its service offering and supporting more customers in managing their passive fire systems through multi-year contracts. In partnership with IK, Checkmate will look to further develop its passive fire offering, particularly its inspections division, in a market with compelling long-term growth dynamics. The Company will also continue to invest in its people and technology to enhance operational efficiency, while also executing a targeted M&A strategy.

Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.

John Lewthwaite, CEO at Checkmate, said: “We are very much looking forward to working with IK after a successful partnership with YFM. IK’s track record of supporting businesses in the fire protection market, combined with our position as UK’s leading passive fire specialist, means that we are best placed to drive future growth in a market with attractive dynamics. We would like to take this opportunity to thank YFM for all their support and guidance over the last five years.”

Simon May, Partner at IK and Advisor to the IK SC III Fund, added: “This is an exciting first investment for the IK Development Capital strategy in the UK. Under the stewardship of John and his team, Checkmate has established itself as a high-quality provider in a rapidly growing and increasingly regulated market. We have been impressed with the Company’s journey to date and see plenty of opportunities for continued growth. We look forward to working with the team at Checkmate and leveraging the resources and expertise of the wider IK platform to deliver an ambitious strategy.”

Steve Harrison, Partner at YFM Equity Partners, commented: “It has been an absolute pleasure working with John and the entire team at Checkmate since we first invested in 2018. The business has seen rapid growth and development during this period, establishing itself as the leading player in the UK passive fire protection market. We wish Checkmate the best of luck for the future with the support of IK.”

For further questions, please contact:

Checkmate Fire
Ian Turpin
Phone: +44 7841 443948
info@checkmatefire.com

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

YFM Equity Partners
Viktoria Harrison
Phone: +44 7716 097 774
viktoria.harrison@yfmep.com

About Checkmate Fire

Checkmate Fire is the UK’s leading specialist passive fire protection company and a founder member of the BRE/LPCB passive fire protection certification scheme. Checkmate delivers a full turnkey service, from initial assessments and surveys, through to full pre-planned maintenance packages. For over three decades, the firm has served a growing list of industries with the same reliable, ethical, quality service that makes it the most trusted contractor in specialist passive fire protection. For more information, visit www.checkmatefire.com.

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About IK Partners

IK Partners (“IK”) is a European private equity firm focused on investments in the Benelux, DACH, France, Nordics and the UK. Since 1989, IK has raised more than €14 billion of capital and invested in over 180 European companies. IK supports companies with strong underlying potential, partnering with management teams and investors to create robust, well-positioned businesses with excellent long-term prospects. For more information, visit ikpartners.com.

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About YFM Equity Partners

YFM invests £3m to £15m into businesses with strong growth potential located across the UK through a regional network of offices in London, Leeds, Manchester, Reading and Birmingham.

YFM Equity Partners are specialist, independently owned, private equity investors. Having recently celebrated 40 years of investing experience, our portfolio may have changed over the years, but our ethos has remained the same – to support small businesses across the UK in their next phase of growth. We seek to unlock value and growth potential by providing up to £10 million of equity to fuel the development of established business throughout the UK regions. We do this by helping our portfolio companies launch new initiatives, make transformative acquisitions, and upgrade technologies and systems. We are dedicated to working alongside management teams to create long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and make a positive economic impact for the communities in which we work. We manage funds in excess of £630 million which include venture capital trusts and private equity funds.

YFM Equity Partners conducts its investment business through its subsidiary YFM Private Equity Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 122120).

For more information, please visit www.yfmep.com or follow us on LinkedIn.

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KKR Leads Financing For Clarience Technologies’ Acquisition Of Safe Fleet

KKR

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– KKR, a leading global investment firm, today announced that it served as Lead Arranger, Administrative Agent, and investor on a debt financing for Clarience Technologies’ Acquisition of Safe Fleet. KKR invested in the transaction through its credit vehicles and accounts. KKR Capital Markets acted as Left Lead Arranger and Joint Bookrunner on the transaction.

Clarience Technologies is a global provider of visibility and safety technologies for transportation, including vehicle lighting, audible warning systems, telematics solutions and tire monitoring and inflation systems. With the Safe Fleet acquisition, Clarience Technologies adds a comprehensive set of complementary fleet safety solutions including video and evidence management, collision prevention, violation detection and trailer temperature control, as well as cargo storage systems, fire-fighting technologies, and other solutions. The acquisition opens cross-selling opportunities to common customer segments, accelerates technology innovation and ultimately enables Clarience Technologies to deliver better value to its customers.

KKR’s credit vehicles and accounts have been investors in both Safe Fleet and Clarience since 2018 and 2019, respectively.

“This transaction demonstrates how the scale and unique capabilities of our platform benefit the issuers with whom we work. Our long-standing investments in both companies allowed us to move quickly and with conviction to seamlessly deliver a scaled solution for Clarience Technologies and its sponsor, Genstar Capital,” said George Mueller, a Partner at KKR. “We look forward to supporting Clarience, Safe Fleet and Genstar teams as they capitalize on opportunities ahead.”

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management as well as capital markets and insurance solutions. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and supporting growth in its portfolio companies and communities. KKR sponsors investment funds that invest in private equity, credit and real assets and has strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR’s insurance subsidiaries offer retirement, life, and reinsurance products under the management of Global Atlantic Financial Group. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds and insurance subsidiaries. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.KKR.com For additional information about Global Atlantic Financial Group, please visit Global Atlantic Financial Group’s website at www.globalatlantic.com.

About Clarience Technologies:

Clarience Technologies is the global leader of visibility and safety technologies for transportation. Born from a collection of premium brands each with a long track record of innovation, its solutions include vehicle lighting, camera and vision systems, telematics and safety solutions that protect our world and our livelihoods by keeping people, assets and businesses safe, secure and productive. Its team of companies includes Truck-Lite, DAVCO, Road Ready, RIGID, Lumitec, ECCO, Code 3, Fleetilla, LED Autolamps, Pressure Systems International and Safe Fleet. For more information, visit www.clariencetechnologies.com.

KKR
Julia Kosygina
+1 212-750-8300
Media@kkr.com

Source: KKR

 

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Altor completes the public cash offer to the shareholders of Permascand and acquires over 90% of the shares

On December 19, 2023, Altor PC AB (Altor), a company controlled by Altor Fund VI (No. 1) AB and Altor Fund VI (No. 2) AB[1], announced a public cash offer to the shareholders of Permascand. On February 5, 2024, Altor announced the completion of the public cash offer, whereby it acquires approximately 95% of the shares in Permascand. Settlement of shares tendered on or before February 2, 2024, is expected to commence around February 12, 2024. Altor will promote a delisting of Permascand’s shares from Nasdaq First North Growth Market.

Ever since Permascand was founded in 1971 they have built their business on technological excellence. Permascand is an independent technology-drive manufacturer of electrochemical solutions based on the Company’s proprietary catalytic coatings for clean tech applications. Permascand has supplied electrodes, electrochemical cells and aftermarket services to a variety of sectors for more than 50 years. Their headquarters are found in Ljungaverk, Sweden, with operations including research and development, technology development and production and with sales organisations in Sweden, Germany and North America.

 “We are excited to embark on this journey together with Permascand’s management and employees. We are impressed by the quality of the company’s products as key components into different industrial processes. With hydrogen production as a key end market, the growth opportunity is very tangible, but will require significant expansion in capacity. We will support Permascand on this important transformation.” said Clara Zverina, Principal at Altor.

”We are very glad to welcome Altor, their expertise and green transition ambitions aligns perfectly with our journey ahead. This partnership will make us stronger and bring us closer to our vision of becoming the leading independent global supplier of key components for electrochemical applications to support the green transition.” said Per Lindberg, Chairman of the Board at Permascand.

 

For more information, please see: www.permascandoffer.com and www.sebgroup.com/prospectuses

[1] Managed by Altor Fund Manager AB.

About Altor

Since inception, the family of Altor funds has raised more than EUR 11 billion in total commitments. The funds have invested in just south of 100 companies. The investments have been made in medium-sized predominantly Nordic and DACH companies with the aim to create value through growth initiatives and operational improvements. Among current and past investments are Trioworld, OX2, Carnegie, Kaefer, FLSmidth, Rossignol and Toteme.

For more information visit www.altor.com

About Permascand

Permascand is a technology-driven manufacturer of world-leading electrochemical solutions – based on proprietary catalytic coatings – for clean tech applications. With a customer-centric focus, the company has supplied electrodes and aftermarket services for a variety of industries for more than 50 years.

For more information visit www.permascand.com

Press contact

Karin Åström

Head of Communications

karin.astrom@altor.com

+46 707 64 86 59

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Auctus completes exit of Profiltubi S.P.A.

Auctus

After 4 years of investment, AUCTUS completes the exit of Profiltubi S.p.A.

 

AUCTUS announces the sale of the entire shares of the Italian Profiltubi Group including O.M.V Ventura to a new strategic partner – the Eusider Group. Profiltubi is a key player in the Italian market for the production and distribution of carbon steel welded tubes, with a consolidated turnover in excess of 100 million euros.

The Profiltubi Group, based in Reggiolo, Italy, has been operating in the steel sector for 50 years and specializes in the production of electro-welded carbon steel tubes, which can be produced in various shapes and sizes. Since its majority investment in 2020, AUCTUS supported the further business development of Profiltubi in partnership with its CEO Giorgio Figerio and some members of the Alfieri family, fostered the transition to a modern management and implemented a targeted M&A strategy that resulted in the add-on acquisition of 100 percent of O.M.V. Ventura in 2021.

Eusider Group is headquartered in Costamasnaga, Italy, and is owned by the second generation of the Anghileri family. Eusider is one of Italy’s leading service centers within the metal processing industry, operating with 900 employees at 10 other subsidiaries and 15 production facilities, producing around 1.3 million tons of steel. The group reported a turnover of EUR 1.2 billion and an EBITDA of 10.6% in 2022.

Giorgio Frigerio, who will continue to be responsible for the Profiltubi Group as CEO, stated, “I am really grateful – also on behalf of all Profiltubi and OMV employees – for this transaction with the Eusider Group, which will enable us to further develop significantly within the welded tube sector. As an experienced manager in the Italian steel industry, I was pleasantly surprised to find in AUCTUS not only a reliable and professional financial investor but also, and probably mostly, a partner with a clear and strong entrepreneurial mindset.

The vendors were supported by the firm ADVANT Nctm (Michele Motta, Giovanni de’ Capitani di Vimercate, Lucilla Casati, and Vittoria Belcuore) as legal advisor.

On behalf of AUCTUS the transaction was managed and executed by Dr. Nicolas HimmelmannMarco Bortot and Luca Astarita.


Your personal contacts

      

 

 


About AUCTUS
AUCTUS is the most active investment company for small- and medium-sized companies in Europe with more than 415 investments in the past 23 years. The focus of our investments is on majority holdings in companies with annual sales of between EUR 10 million and EUR 150 million. AUCTUS stands for sustainable organic and also inorganic growth by acquisitions. We achieve this in a trustful partnership together with the management of our companies. We are specialized in building successful medium-sized company groups – We create market leaders. The more than 35 experienced AUCTUS investment experts currently manage around 50 platform investments from various sectors of the economy. The sum of the platform investments with a total of more than 200 individual companies achieves annual sales of € 3 billion. Sales and results have been growing at >10% per year for years. Our successful work is regularly rewarded with prestigious awards and top international rankings.

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Fronnt further expands and strengthens its offering through the acquisition of Bovema International

GIMV

Antwerp/Olen 5 February 2024 – Fronnt, an innovative alliance of installation companies founded in July 2022 in cooperation with investment companies Gimv and Tilleghem, has acquired another leading specialist.
Following the entry of Bovema International as the newest Fronnt member, the group consists of 14 companies and 485 employees. This steadily builds on an integrated multi-technical installation group, uniquely positioned to support organisations in the energy transition.

Today, this energy transition is in a crucial phase where the installation engineering and automation sector is becoming increasingly complex. Fronnt has extensive knowledge and know-how, which enables it to offer integrated solutions and fully unburden its customers. Bovema International’s entry into the group strengthens its offering in the field of innovative refrigeration.

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Cobepa to invest in SmartSD in partnership with its founders, management, and Smile Invest

Smile Invest

SmartSD (www.SmartSD.com), a leading value-add distributor of security solutions, announces, together with its current financial partner Smile Invest and management, a new strategic partnership with Cobepa, a leading European private equity company. This partnership underscores SmartSD’s commitment to its vendor partners, clients and team, with Cobepa actively supporting its long-term development strategy centred on continued organic growth, unlocking M&A opportunities, digital leadership and the ambition to become the Pan-European market leader.

SmartSD views Cobepa as more than just an investor; it’s a strategic partner that mirrors its culture, values and mission, bringing vast experience and expertise to the table to continue SmartSD’s growth story. This partnership aims not just to secure the company’s future but also to foster the growth of its dedicated employee base.

SmartSD’s longstanding stakeholders — the co-founders, management team, as well as Smile Invest — remain fully (and financially) committed for this next growth phase alongside Cobepa, who takes a majority stake. Together, they aim to support SmartSD in further building out its European footprint both organically and through M&A, strengthening the digital platform, enhance offerings and services and continue being the partner of choice for SmartSD’s customers.

SmartSD and its shareholders were advised by Rothschild & Co (financial advisor).

Stefan Schreurs – Co-founder and sales manager, SmartSD
“The interest shown by a highly reputable private equity firm like Cobepa in SmartSD is a testament to what we have achieved with SmartSD until today, our drive for excellence, our adherence to strong company values and the pivotal role of our passionate people. The continued support of our vendor partners has been key to our growth over the past years, whilst the trust our customers have shown in us has been integral to our success; our dedication remains in providing them with a superior experience and continue offering them our comprehensive range of products and services. We thank Smile Invest for their support over the past few years and very much look forward to the next stage of our successful journey together.”

Jean-Marie Laurent Josi – CEO, Cobepa
“We are thrilled to support SmartSD which puts digital technology, vendor value creation and superior customer experience at its core. We look forward to writing the next exciting chapter in SmartSD’s growth journey together with its founder-led management team and Smile Invest.”

Bart Cauberghe – Managing Partner, Smile Invest
“It has been a privilege to support as a majority shareholder SmartSD’s outstanding team on their growth trajectory over the past 5 years with the entry into the French market and developing the most advanced digital platform in the security value added distribution industry. We welcome a like-minded shareholder which will undoubtedly strengthen our collective ambition. SmartSD’s success has always revolved around a deep-rooted commitment to values, innovation, and most importantly, its customers. Together with SmartSD’s management team and Cobepa, we aim to achieve new milestones and further SmartSD’s success.”
SmartSD (www.smartsd.com)
SmartSD is a value-add e-commerce distributor of security systems, offering products and services through its advanced digital platform in the areas of video surveillance, burglary protection, fire protection as well as access monitoring. SmartSD has partnerships with a wide range of best-in-class, third-party brands for which the company subsequently distributes products and related services to customers, predominantly serving professional installers and integrators, across the Benelux and France. Additionally, SmartSD also offers training and technical services to its customers, where installers learn about the products and services supplied. SmartSD was established in 2008 and is headquartered in Breda (NL) with additional offices in Merchtem (BE), Paris (FR) and Toulouse. The company employs c.110 FTEs.

Smile Invest (www.smile-invest.com)
Smile Invest (Smart Money for Innovation Leaders) is a European evergreen investment firm with ca. €500m of assets under management, financed by 40 entrepreneurial families and with a long-term focus on innovative growth companies. Smile Invest focuses on companies active in three investment themes: digitalization, healthcare and sustainability. Since its inception in 2017 Smile Invest has built a portfolio of 15 companies. From its offices in Leuven and The Hague, the team supports ambitious entrepreneurs and management teams in realizing their growth plans.

Cobepa (www.cobepa.com)
Based in Brussels and established in 1957, Cobepa is a well-recognised private equity investor, with over €4.4bn net asset value. Cobepa has a track record of strong cooperation with the management teams of its portfolio companies and in partnership with co-investors it aims to enhance the growth perspectives of its investments as well as the sustainability of their business models. In the last 20 years, Cobepa has completed almost 100 transactions; it currently holds 19 other portfolio companies across a variety of sectors including business services, financial services, healthcare and industrials. Cobepa works with a team of ~50 professional investors across offices in Brussels, Munich and New York.

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