Apax France acquires e-City

Apax Partners’ French office has completed the acquisition of e-City, the parking equipment and solutions business, from Schlumberger.

e-City, a world leader in pay and display machines for on-street parking, has been acquired by the French office of private equity firm Apax Partners.

The deal was financed by a combination of equity from Apax Partners’ French Funds, together with senior debt and mezzanine from BNP Paribas and Indigo Capital respectively. The existing management team is investing alongside Apax Funds. The deal remains subject to regulatory clearance by the French and Spanish authorities.

e-City invented the first pay and display machine in 1970 and now sells its products and services to municipalities and private operators in 3,000 cities in 40 countries. It has expanded its services for the on-street market and has launched a new access control system for the off-street parking segment. Its systems control over 2.6m parking spaces.

“e-City has a tremendous growth potential in a fast-evolving market,” said Apax partner Bertrand Pivin. “Our objective is to transform the business model from a parking equipment manufacturer to a service provider of complete parking solutions for municipalities, car park operators and mass transit operators in order to address markets emerging convergence.”

“This is a high potential market, especially in the US where pay and display systems are progressively adopted over competing technologies,” said e-City CEO Yves Chambeau. “Europe will also experience substantial growth related to connectivity and real-time information services.”

The Besancon-based firm employs 875 people and generates revenues of E125m. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.