Argos Soditic backs IT security buyout

The European private equity firm has backed the management buyout of LEXSI, a French provider of IT security services, for an undisclosed amount.

Argos Soditic, a private equity firm with offices in Paris, Geveva and Milan, has taken a majority stake in the management buyout of French technology security consulting firm Laboratoire d’Expertise en Sécurité Informatique, or LEXSI.

The value of the transaction was not disclosed, but the firm is expecting revenues in 2008 of more than €13 million ($18 million).

Louis Godron, the partner in Argos Soditic Paris office who led the deal, told PEO that LEXSI’s business model would benefit from the worsening economic outlook.

“Two factors mean LEXSI is well-positioned for current market conditions.  One is that fraud becomes more prolific during hard times, so companies need to protect themselves. The other is that in these circumstances businesses, especially financial institutions, need to manage their risks even more tightly,” he said.

Godron could not disclose who LEXSI’s clients are, but said they include many of France’s best known financial institutions.

Following the buyout, Joël Rivière, a former employee of the National Gendarmerie who founded LEXSI in 1999, will remain at the company’s helm, as it seeks to accelerate its international expansion.

Rivière was France’s representative at meetings of both Interpol and the G8 before founding LEXSI.

Argos Soditic has now invested around half of its €275 million fifth fund, which closed in 2006, via 10 transactions. It typically targets firms with revenues of between €20 million and €400 million.