Activa buys telemarketing business

The French private equity house has agreed to back the MBO of Vivactis, a healthcare marketing specilalist, in what is the firm’s second deal since holding a E90m first close on its debut fund in January.

Activa Capital, the Paris-based private equity firm, has taken a 65 per cent stake in Vivactis, a French healthcare marketing and advertising subsidiary of SR Téléperformance.


Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. Management have joined Activa in the acquisition, taking a 35 per cent stake.


Vivactis generated turnover of E30m in 2002 and employs 150 people. Debt financing for the transaction was provided by Credit Agricole.


Paris bourse-listed SR Téléperformance, Europe’s largest telemarketing operator, said the decision to sell Vivactis was based on the division no longer being a strategic part of the group’s business.


Activa Capital said that it would reinforce what it describes as Vivactis' leading position in the market ‘through strategic acquisitions in complementary and aligned services both in France and abroad’.


The firm added that the deal represented a good fit with its strategy backing smaller French mid-market companies – in particular spin-outs from larger groups. Jean-Louis de Bernardy and Philippe Latorre, two of the founding Partners of Activa Capital, said: “The Vivactis deal gives Activa Capital the opportunity to invest in a profitable and market-leading company alongside a highly motivated management.”


Activa has already announced details of one deal since holding a E90m first close on its debut fund, which is aiming to raise E150m. The debut transaction saw the firm back management in the acquisition of Mont Blanc, a dessert business owned by Nestlé which last year reported sales of E50m.


In April, the firm recruited Christophe Parier, formerly of Royal Bank Private Equity, as an investment manager. Activa is led by its four founding partners: Michael and Charles Diehl, Jean Louis de Bernardy and Philippe Latour.