AXA sells French connector company

Sagard has acquired French connector company Souriau from the private equity arm of the AXA Group.

AXA Private Equity has sold its majority holding in French manufacturing company Souriau to Parisian buyout firm Sagard. Although no financial terms were disclosed, the French press has suggested that the company is worth around €220 million ($258 million). The deal participants revealed in a statement that the secondary LBO was being financed by a debt package from Société Générale.
 
Souriau makes connectors for use in the industrial, military and aerospace markets. It has customers in Europe, North America and Asia, and generated approximately €160 million  of revenues in the last financial year.
 
Although Souriau’s roots date back to 1917, it was previously part of FCI Group, a subsidiary of French nuclear technology company Areva, until 2003. In April of that year AXA acquired an 85 percent stake in a management buyout of undisclosed value.
 
A spokesman for AXA Private Equity told PEO that the fundamentals of the connector sector were very attractive: “Souriau’s sector involves small volumes of high value-added products for which mastering several technologies is required. Customers are very loyal because of the mission-critical aspect of Souriau’s connectors; it often takes several years of qualification for customers to switch suppliers.”
 
Souriau company’s management team, led by chairman François Calvarin, is also making a significant investment as part of the secondary buyout.
 
Founded in 1996, AXA Private Equity is a subsidiary of AXA Investment Managers. The firm has offices in Paris, Frankfurt, London and New York and currently manages in excess of €7 billion in assets.