13 June 2024

Sycomore is pleased to announce that Ardian, a world-leading private investment house, has today entered exclusive negotiations to acquire a majority stake through Ardian Expansion V in Alstef Group, a leading provider of automated and robotic solutions for the airport, logistics and parcel sorting markets, alongside the Group’s management team and 260 employee shareholders. As part of this transaction, the founders (Pierre Marol and Jean-Luc Thomé) and Future French Champions, the joint venture between Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Bpifrance, will also reinvest in the company.

Founded in 1961 and headquartered near Orléans in France, Alstef Group is an established player in the design, integration and supply of equipment and proprietary software for intelligent handling solutions. For over a decade, the Group has experienced double-digit growth and rapid international expansion, supported by the acquisition of Glidepath, an airport-baggage and parcel-handling company in 2020, and parcel sorting company SNS in 2023. The Group has a global presence, with 16 subsidiaries around the world and systems installed in 93 countries. It is one of the world leaders in airport baggage sorting and has a blue-chip customer base in the intralogistics and parcel sorting markets.

Its collaborative approach is well-suited to complex operational environments and modernization projects. Its commitment goes beyond the provision of solutions: all teams are actively involved in design, planning, procurement and innovation to ensure the optimum delivery of its projects with minimal disruption to existing operations or environmental impact.

Alstef Group’s robust business model is based in particular on its asset-light strategy, its ability to maintain critical systems for its customers over the long term, and its presence in three complementary segments: baggage handling, intralogistics and parcel sorting.

Support from Ardian’s Expansion team will enable the company to accelerate its international development and growth ambitions.

Ardian Expansion Managing Director Maxime Séquier said:

“Alstef Group’s outstanding positioning is underpinned by an excellent management team that has consistently delivered a culture of innovation and a customer-focused approach. This ethos is an asset for continuing to develop the business. We look forward to working with the Alstef Group team to expand the group’s presence and continue its growth in its target markets.”

Ardian Expansion Head and Managing Director Arnaud Dufer said:

“We are delighted to become Alstef Group’s new partner for the next phase of its development. We have every confidence in the management team and will use our expertise and access to the Ardian platform to support the group’s growth.”

Alstef Group President and Co-founder Pierre Marol said:

“We are delighted to welcome Ardian as a majority shareholder to support us in the next stages of our development. This transaction recognizes the expertise we have developed over more than 60 years and the success of the strategy we have implemented at Alstef Group to date. Ardian’s support will help to accelerate a new chapter in our history as we pursue our international growth ambitions.”

 Alstef Group CEO Nicolas Breton said:

“It is with great determination that we embark on this new stage in our development, and we are confident that this partnership with Ardian will enable us to achieve our objectives quickly and efficiently. The common values we share, including our commitment, trust, know-how and a sustainable and socially conscious approach to our activities, will be the driving force behind our success. This is the beginning of a fruitful and lasting collaboration that will create value for our employees, our customers and our shareholders.”

Future French Champions President Antoine Emmanuelli said:

“We are delighted to continue our partnership with Alstef Group, whose growth we have supported over the past six years, particularly through its international expansion in New Zealand and the United States. With its new shareholder configuration and talented management, we are convinced that the Group will continue the great adventure initiated by its founders, Pierre Marol and Jean-Luc Thomé.”

In the context of this Transaction, Sycomore Corporate Finance acted as Financial Advisor to Ardian. The transaction team comprised Tristan Dupont, Martin Bonissol, and Charles Daisay.