10 July 2014 Airbus Group
Toulouse - Airbus Group (stock exchange symbol: AIR) today has sold a 66.5% stake in its Test & Services business to ACE Management and IRDI (Institut Régional de Développement Industriel de Midi-Pyrénées) after receiving the necessary regulatory approvals. Following a thorough auction process, Airbus Group entered into a preliminary agreement regarding the divestment in June 2014.
ACE Management, which manages the European Aerospace and Defence fund, Aerofund III and Financière de Brienne, and IRDI plan to further develop Test & Services and diversify into new markets. The agreement is part of Airbus Group’s ongoing portfolio rationalisation in line with its strategic focus on the core aeronautics business. Airbus Group is convinced that the consortium led by ACE Management and by IRDI will provide Test & Services with the appropriate financial resources under the continued leadership of its current CEO, Christian Dabasse.
Marwan Lahoud, Airbus Group Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, said: “The divestment process has been conducted very carefully, with an aim to provide the best possible outcome for all parties involved. We are truly convinced that the independence of the company is a great opportunity for its experienced and motivated management team to grow the business further. I am proud that entrepreneurs have emerged from our Group.”
Thierry Letailleur, Managing Partner at ACE Management, said Test & Services had good prospects under the new ownership structure: “Through its worldwide client base, the company clearly stands as a leading player on the test equipment market. We are excited to support Test & Services in its development strategy, and we are convinced that the company is in a very good position to become a world-class SME, relying primarily on its current entities in France, Germany and United Kingdom.”
Test & Services, which will be renamed Spherea Test & Services specializes in the development, manufacturing and maintenance of test equipment. It is headquartered in Toulouse and employs around 500 people in France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
In 2013, it had revenues of € 103 million with a return on sales of 5 percent. The business employs world-class engineers and serves commercial and military customers worldwide.
About Airbus Group
Airbus Group is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2013, the Group – comprising Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space and Airbus Helicopters – generated revenues of € 57.6 billion (restated) and employed a workforce of around 139,000 (restated).
About ACE Management
ACE Management is a private equity firm which for 20 years has focused on technology companies predominantly in the Aerospace, Maritime, Defense and Security sectors. ACE Management manages 7 different funds representing about €450M of capital, including Aerofund (I, II and III), Financière de Brienne, Sécurité and Atalaya.
The limited partners of these funds are European industrial groups (Airbus, Safran, Airbus Group, Airbus Helicopters, Thales, DNCS, CEA, Louis‐Dreyfus Armateurs, Areva), institutional investors (Bpifrance, Fonds de Solidarité des Travailleurs du Québec (FTQ), GICAN - Groupement des Industries de Construction et Activités Navales, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole, CIC, AXA, Crédit Coopératif) and 4 regions of France (Midi‐Pyrénées, Aquitaine, Pays de la Loire and Centre).
For further information: www.acemanagement.fr
Founded in 1981, IRDI has been providing support to companies in the Midi-Pyrénées and Aquitaine regions for the past thirty years. Its permanent shareholders include large French institutional investors (the Midi-Pyrénées and Aquitaine regional authorities, BPI France, Caisse d'Épargne, Banque Populaire, LCL / Crédit Agricole, Total, Edf, BNPP, Société Générale, etc.). It is considered as one of France’s largest regional private equity investors. As a public limited company (société anonyme), investing its own equity, IRDI is able to provide long-term support for its affiliates and for projects having an impact on the regional industry. Examples of companies for which IRDI has provided funding: CLS, SOTIP, Composite Aquitaine, Groupe ARM, IGE XAO, etc.