December 15th, 2021

We are pleased to announce that Sycomore Corporate Finance acted as lead financial advisor to Ardian Expansion as part of its acquisition of a majority stake and take private of Artefact (the “Company”), a global service company that sits at the intersection of marketing, consulting and data science.

Artefact was founded in 2014 by Vincent Luciani and Guillaume de Roquemaurel. After rapid international expansion, Artefact established itself as a leader in data-driven business transformation, with the aim of creating value by bridging the gap between data and business.

Today, Artefact has a global network, with operations across the world in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the Americas and Africa, and over 800 employees. The company has partnered with major brands such as L’Oréal, Danone, Sanofi Orange and also supports major international accounts across a range of sectors from FMCG, Retail, Luxury, Telecoms, Healthcare, Tourism and Industry including for example: Samsung and Unilever.

Artefact’s data offerings have demonstrated their ability to scale AI projects globally, especially as only 10 to 15% of companies are currently incorporating data science-based solutions into their operations successfully. Artefact enables the implementation of fundamental services such as data governance and infrastructure, and the development of specialized solutions (call centre automation, demand forecasting, recommendation engines, and fraud detection). Artefact also has the most complete data-driven marketing portfolio on the market.

In a market driven by exponential growth in data, Ardian’s Expansion team, alongside Cathay Capital, a global investment firm with a strong presence in Asia, will support Artefact’s management team in a new phase of acceleration with the aim of becoming a global data services leader.

The new shareholders will support the group in its geographical expansion in Europe, Asia and the United States thanks to their global network and the significant resources that will be provided to the Group. Artefact will invest in an ambitious recruitment program for new talent with the aim of tripling its workforce by 2025, with already 500 recruitments planned for 2022. Finally, the Group will be an active player in the consolidation of the market by accelerating strategic acquisitions in a still highly fragmented data services market.

Artefact’s strength lies in the excellence of its people who are drawn to a company dedicated to building the next generation of “data leaders”. Strong human values, a committed CSR policy, and a continual job training, make Artefact one of the data industry’s most sought-after employers.

The alliance with Ardian definitely marks a major turning point in the history of Artefact. The delisting and the arrival of a shareholder like Ardian, a strategic and long-term oriented investor, allows us to deploy an ambitious growth and recruitment plan, anchored on the high added value of our talents.” Vincent Luciani, Co-Founder and CEO of Artefact

Our objective is to support this excellent management team in its ambition to become a world leader in data services. Our global network, expertise and significant resources will be available to Artefact and will help accelerate the group’s growth by strengthening its appeal to new talent by pursuing an ambitious market consolidation strategy.” Marie Arnaud-Battandier, Managing Director, Expansion team, Ardian

We’re delighted to partner with Artefact and its management team alongside Ardian in a new phase of development. Artefact has built a strong client-recognized expertise in the field of data services and benefits from major growth potential in France and abroad. Cathay Capital will support Artefact’s ambitious organic and external growth strategy thanks to our technological know-how and ecosystem, especially in China.” Jérémie Falzone, Partner, Cathay Capital

In the context of the transaction, Sycomore Corporate Finance acted as lead financial advisor to Ardian Expansion. The Sycomore transaction team comprised Olivier Barret, Pierre-Arnaud De Lacharrière, Tristan Dupont, Marion Pouchain, Marion Camboulive and Adrien Starck.

This transaction is the second for Sycomore Corporate Finance in the data science solutions space in less than 12 months after our successful advising of Tikehau and Bpifrance in their strategic investment into Ekimetrics in December 2020.

The take private of Artefact by Ardian and Cathay also highlights Sycomore’s execution and structuring skills in the context of listed companies.