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CAPZA launches Expansion fund to invest in French mid-cap companies

CAPZA, an independent management company and leading player in private investments in European SMEs with EUR4.82 billion of assets under management, has appointed Guillaume Basquin and Frédéric Chiche as Partners and Co-Heads of CAPZA Expansion, a fund dedicated to investments in French mid-cap companies. 

The fund has already begun investing in order to support the French economy and back the rebound of mid-cap companies, with its two initial investments in Béton Solutions Mobiles and Sogetrel.

CAPZA Expansion was created following the envelope entrusted to CAPZA in May 2020 by AXA France to help rebuild French local economic activity and foster employment. Thanks to this EUR500 million envelope allocated by AXA France, CAPZA Expansion will support mid-cap companies everywhere in France and across all sectors.

CAPZA Expansion will be dedicated to French mid-caps mainly owned by families or management teams, with the aim of backing them in the post-pandemic rebound, either organically or through acquisitions.

CAPZA Expansion has the capacity to invest a minimum of EUR15 million in transactions aimed at strengthening the capital structure of companies. CAPZA Expansion differentiates itself through a “tailor-made” approach combining investments in equity, quasi-equity and a wide range of non-dilutive financial instruments.

CAPZA Expansion’s management team is led by two new Partners – Guillaume Basquin and Frédéric Chiche – who joined CAPZA at the end of January 2021 after more than 15 years in Private Equity in France and abroad.

With five investment members – including Marion de Bonneville, Thibault Chatagnon and Roxane Pauquet – the team has begun to invest the fund and has made its first investments, notably in Béton Solutions Mobiles, an independent ready-mix concrete specialist with an innovative low-carbon concrete offer, and Sogetrel, a recognised national leader in the telecoms, IP security and digital solutions market.

“With CAPZA Expansion, we are helping French mid-cap SMEs to emerge stronger from the crisis and rebuild their investment capacity with appropriate equity instruments. This is a mission that is close to our hearts and it took a highly talented team to carry it out. This is why we are very pleased to welcome renowned professional investors such as Guillaume Basquin and Frédéric Chiche to head this new strategy. They both have recognised human, financial and operational experience, which will be a key asset both for our investment teams and for the business leaders we will be supporting,” says Christophe Karvelis-Senn, President of CAPZA.

“We are proud to renew our support for the financing of French companies through this initiative with CAPZA. It helps boost regional dynamism during this critical phase of economic recovery. Beyond the financial side, we believe that CAPZA’s experience and the expertise of the Expansion team are a real asset to support these companies in their development plans, including ESG topics,” adds Matthieu Bonte, CIO of AXA France

The team will be fully staffed in March with the arrival of a new Associate who has already been recruited. In addition, the team is supported by a Senior Advisor, Christophe Fercocq, former founder of Cobalt Capital and ex-Legal & General Ventures.

Part of the management fees will be donated to AXA Atout Coeur and CAPZA For Good, which engage AXA and CAPZA employees in the service of the company through solidarity actions.

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