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Safran agreed to sell its Californian subsidiary Morpho Detection LLC to Smiths Group plc (LSE: SMIN), for an enterprise value of $710 million. In May, British mid-market private equity firm LDC, part of the Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY)(NYSE: LYG)(ADR), backed the management buyout of global ID cards business Magicard, from defense and security group Ultra Electronics Holdings plc (LSE: ULE), for over £22 million. Electronic identification (eID) and electronic Trust Services (eTS) are key enablers for secure cross-border electronic transactions and central building blocks of the EU Digital Single Market, Which aims “to open up digital opportunities for people and business and enhance Europe’s position as a world leader in the digital economy,” says the European Commission. The EU has identified the completion of the Digital Single Market (DSM) as one of its 10 political priorities. Safran I&S develops innovative technologies for the public and private sectors globally, including identity management, secure transactions and public security solutions. The company’s technologies are used for a wide range of markets and applications, including production and personalization of secure ID documents and systems, and biometry-based identification systems. Safran I&S employs 7,800 people in more than 50 countries and generated revenue of €1.6 billion in 2015. Safran is a leading international high-technology group with three core businesses: Aerospace, Defense and Security. Operating worldwide, the group has 70,000 employees and generated sales of €17.4 billion in 2015. As the majority shareholder of Oberthur Technologies (OT), Advent plans to bring together the complementary strengths of Safran I&S and OT to create a global leader in identification and security, based in France, with over €2.8 billion in revenue. By combining Safran I&S’s leadership in end-to-end biometric and identity solutions with OT’s leadership in the digital embedded security market, the two companies will be uniquely positioned to accelerate the convergence between governmental and commercial markets. Philippe Petitcolin, Safran’s CEO, stated “we examined all the options with the objective of providing new development prospects for Safran’s Identity and Security activities in a world in which digitalization and connectivity are accelerating. Their best-in-class technologies and world-leading positions are complementary to Oberthur Technologies and their combination will create a world champion in the technology, industrial and commercial domains.” OT is a world leader in digital security solutions for the mobility space. Present in the Payment, Telecommunications and Identity markets, OT offers end-to-end solutions in the Smart Transactions, Mobile Financial Services, Machine-to-Machine, Digital Identity and Transport & Access Control fields. OT employs over 6 500 employees worldwide, including close to 700 R&D people. With more than 50 sales offices across 5 continents and 1 manufacturing hub by region, OT’s international network serves clients in 169 countries. The proposed transaction is subject to customary approvals, including the completion of consultations with the workers’ councils, the signing of a definitive agreement and antitrust and regulatory clearance, and is expected to close during 2017. Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity firms. It was founded in 1984 and has a presence in France since 1997. The firm has invested in more than 300 private equity transactions in 40 countries and as of June 30, 2016, had €36 billion in assets under management. With offices on four continents, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 180 investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on investments in five core sectors, including business and financial services; healthcare; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology, media and telecom (TMT). The firm has completed more than 70 investments in the the TMT sector across 24 countries. Bpifrance, a subsidiary of the French state and the Caisse des Dépôts, finances businesses from the seed phase to IPO, through loans, guarantees and equity investments. Bpifrance also provides operational services and strong support for innovation, export, and external growth in partnership with Business France and Coface.]]>