Argos Soditic adds to buy-in tally(4)

The European mid-market firm has backed a team of managers to acquire a fine chemicals company in France.

Argos Soditic, a European mid-market private equity provider with offices in Geneva, Paris and Milan, has funded a management buy-in the fine chemicals and dyes operations at Orgasynth, a French industrial group.

Argos funded the carve-out of the assets, which will now trade under the name Axynthis, from its €267 million Fund V, which closed in 2006. The fund’s equity contribution to the deal has not been disclosed.

Axynthis generated approximately €78 million of revenues in 2006, Argos said.

According to a statement, the deal marks the third buy-in completed by Argos this year. In June, the firm announced the purchase of Alkan, an aircraft equipment manufacturer formerly owned by MBDA, a defence group. Before, Argos invested in a buy-in at Chronolyss, a French healthcare business. In both deals, external managers participated.

Cedric Bruix, a partner, said Argos was going to continue building a reputation for mid-market buy-ins in its core segment of transactions valued at up to €200 million. 

Argos Soditic was founded in 1989 and is owned by its partners. The firm’s most prominent executive, former EVCA chairman Eduardo Bugnone, left in 2006.

He has since teamed up with European private equity professionals Richard Rimer, formerly of Index Ventures, and David Chamberlain of Unigestion and Capstone Partners. Together, the men have established Top Quartile Partners, a fund of funds manager that according to its website is currently fundraising.