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AXA Private Equity sells Alvest to LBO France

AXA Private Equity has signed an agreement with Equistone Partners Europe and the management team of Alvest to sell the company’s entire capital to LBO France.

AXA Private Equity first invested in Alvest six years ago and has since actively supported its management in the company’s international development strategy.

The completion of the transaction remains subject to approval from regulatory authorities.

Alvest, through its TLD subsidiary, is a French industrial group and global provider of ground support equipment for airports. The group also produces and markets high-tech adhesive films, which are used for aeronautical applications.

Having been a majority shareholder since 2006, AXA Private Equity has supported the growth strategy of Alvest and helped the management guide the company through the economic crisis. Throughout this period, Alvest has continued its international development, with a particular focus on emerging markets. The company has also broadened its offering with the acquisition of Sage Parts, a distributor of spare parts for ground support equipment at airports.

Investment in research and development, another key part of the growth strategy set up alongside AXA Private Equity, remained at a high level, giving Alvest and TLD the opportunity to develop high value added projects, such as the Taxibot, a vehicle used to manoeuvre aircrafts on runways.

Alvest now has 1,350 employees, a global proprietary sale network and operates eight factories in the US, Canada, France and China, which together serve customers in over 130 countries. The group plans to reach a turnover of more than EUR300m in 2012, more than double the 2006 level.

Jean-Marie Fulconis, chief executive of Alvest, says: “AXA Private Equity’s support has been a key element in our successful development. We are now ideally positioned to continue our growth. The innovative products we have launched offer good growth prospects and the high value added projects we have in the pipeline make us confident in our group’s future.”

Yann Chareton, director mid market enterprise capital at AXA Private Equity, says: “With our support, Alvest has continued to grow over the last six years. The stability and market knowledge of the management has allowed the company to reinforce its international market leading position. With the support of the new shareholder, the group is now able to seize upon the best opportunities generated by the attractive growth perspectives of emerging markets air traffic.”

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