LBO France, through its Small Caps Opportunities II fund, has acquired a majority stake in the French company Prenax. This move relates to the acquisition of the subscription management operations of LM Information (LM), based in Finland, and the takeover of one of its US subsidiaries (LM Inc). This deal with the management team of Prenax, which is re-investing substantially with the support of Andera Partners, will make it the leading independent European company in the sector.
Prenax, a business process outsourcing company founded in 1993, serves its clients – mainly large companies, but also government and university stakeholders – by taking charge of the information subscription’s entire lifecycle, from order intake and processing all the way to billing, via its proprietary extranet. With operations in France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and all four Nordic countries, Prenax has finalised 10 acquisitions since 2007 and generates nearly EUR140 million in business volume.
LBO France’s investment is part of the acquisition of Finland-based LM’s subscription management assets. With EUR110 million in revenue, LM is the fourth-largest European player in the market, operating in some ten countries for universities and governments, and, to a lesser extent, private companies.
This consolidation operation makes Prenax the European leader in the procurement of information sources for corporate, government, and academic clients. The two companies are very well-matched geographically, especially in Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and will be able to harness many synergies. Further external growth operations with local players are planned, including one in Australia that should close by the end of the year.
With the support of LBO France, Prenax’s management team, led by Jérôme Conquet, is making a significant reinvestment in the new group, with Andera Partners at its side for the past three years.
As Nicolas Manardo, Managing Director at LBO France, says: “The experience of Jérôme Conquet and the Prenax management team, coupled with the opportunity to establish a European leader in the sector, were decisive factors in LBO France’s choice to carry out this complex but promising cross-border transaction. We will continue to support management in its growth projects and provide them with LBO France’s experience in integrating large-scale targets.”
Jérôme Conquet, President and CEO of Prenax, adds: “We want to be able to rely on a leading partner to continue our development strategy while preserving the group’s culture and independence. With LBO France’s expertise, we can boost our geographical development through external growth while drawing on their operational performance team during this major integration of LM.”
“The merger of Prenax and LM is a unique opportunity to build a leading group in Europe,” notes Jussi Kettunen, Managing Director of LM Information. “This will open up real opportunities for our customers and all of our employees.”
And Laurent Fichter, Partner at Andera Partners, says: “We’re thrilled to be extending the three-year partnership with Prenax’s management team. It will be a real pleasure to accompany Prenax and LBO France through this pivotal acquisition for the group.”