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CAPZA acquires French fire safety specialist Eurofeu group

CAPZA, a private investment platform specialising in small and mid-caps, has acquired a majority stake in French fire safety specialist Eurofeu group. The investment was made alongside the founder, Michel Lahouati, the Managing Director, Philippe de Panthou, the new Chairman, Eric Hentgès, and the entire management team. The main objectives are to accelerate the consolidation of the fire safety market, to pursue the diversification of the group’s offer and to initiate its development across Europe.

Founded in 1972 in Senonches (Eure-et-Loir) by Nicole and Michel Lahouati, Eurofeu produces, markets, installs and maintains fire safety equipment, including fire extinguishers, emergency units and smoke extraction and fire detection systems.

As the leading French fire extinguisher manufacturer, Eurofeu employs around 1,000 people spread over two production sites and a national network of 44 agencies. With a turnover of more than 100 million euros in 2019, the group benefits from a diversified activity serving approximately 85,000 customers and maintaining more than 2.2 million fire safety devices. Eurofeu is also deploying its innovative spirit to support the ecological transition, notably as the first player on the market to design and provide eco-friendly fire extinguishers and for its transition from a gasoline to electric vehicle fleet.
CAPZA’s majority investment goes hand in hand with a change in Eurofeu’s governance as the company welcomes a new Chairman, Eric Hentgès, who will lead the group’s next stages of development alongside Philippe de Panthou, the current CEO, and other core executives, who are reinvesting heavily in this operation. Additionally, around one hundred employees will become shareholders of the group through the operation. CAPZA thus follows in the footsteps of Michel and Nicolas Lahouati, who, very early on, had opened Eurofeu’s capital to key executives.
“I would like to thank Michel Lahouati, Philippe de Panthou and CAPZA for their trust. I am very happy to be able to carry out this ambitious new project, in association with all the teams, in order to pursue the great progress achieved so far by Eurofeu,” says Eric Hentgès, President of Eurofeu.
“I am convinced that this partnership, forged over many months, between the current management team led by Philippe de Panthou, Eric Hentgès and CAPZA will enable the group to enter a new stage in its development, both through organic growth and targeted acquisitions” added Michel Lahouati, founder and current majority shareholder of Eurofeu.
“We are delighted to be part of this next phase of development led by a talented new President and an experienced management team which has already contributed significantly to the success of the group. With its client-centred business approach, Eurofeu relies on excellent quality of service and its ability to innovate. Our belief in Eurofeu’s remarkable organisation has been reinforced during the COVID crisis, admirably managed by the management team” underlined Fabien Bernez, Partner Flex Equity CAPZA.
“As a company operating in a resilient, highly regulated market and offering consolidation opportunities, Eurofeu is emblematic of the investment approach we are deploying with our Flex Equity strategy. This transaction, which allows Eurofeu’s teams to significantly involve themselves in the capital, also illustrates the link that unites us with entrepreneurs and our desire to involve all our teams in value creation” said Christophe Karvelis-Senn, Chairman of CAPZA.

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