Advent International, the global private equity firm and the François-Charles Oberthur Fiduciaire Group, today announced the completion of the acquisition of the Card Systems and Identity divisions of Oberthur, following workers’ council consultation and the approval of the transaction by relevant market authorities.
Advent International, along with the company’s management, now controls 90% of Oberthur Technologies’ capital. Jean-Pierre Savare, founder of the Oberthur group and his family retain a 10% stake in the capital. The transaction is valued at 1.15 billion Euros.
Oberthur Technologies is specialised in digital security based on smart card technology. It is the world’s second largest provider of security and identification solutions and services, operating in the mobile and payment industries as well as government and corporate markets.
The group posted sales of 814.5 million Euros for the fiscal year 2010.
“We are delighted to be part of the continuing development of this leading French industrial company, the world number two in smart card technologies, created by Jean-Pierre Savare nearly 25 years ago,” said Pascal Stefani, Head of Advent International in France. “Thanks to our international presence and our deep experience in the banking and telecommunications industries, in which we have been investing for over 20 years, we are well positioned to actively support the management in its growth plan for the business, including through acquisitions.”
Xavier Drilhon, previously Deputy Managing Director of Oberthur group and Managing Director of the Card Systems division, has been appointed CEO of Oberthur Technologies. Drilhon is a graduate of Telecom Sud Paris and of Harvard Business School (PMD 72). He began his career at Arthur Andersen and KPMG Peat Marwick. Prior to becoming Deputy Managing Director of François-Charles Oberthur Group which he joined in 1994, he participated for nearly three years in the development of the fiduciary printing activity in the United States. He joined the card activity early in 1998 where he held various responsibilities in the industrial and commercial fields.
In 1999, he played a key role in the purchase of the De La Rue Group’s card division, in the merger with Oberthur Card Systems as Director of Corporate Operations and in its IPO in 2000.
“Smart card technology continues to spread across the world in traditional ways; at the same time, new opportunities are arising with the massive introduction of smart connected devices that have to be remotely managed in a secure way. Today, our industry is specialising in the digital security with more and more secure managed services and solutions. This transformation is accelerating with the arrival of internet players. In this context, I am delighted to have the support of Advent International, which will enable us to accelerate our growth,” added Xavier Drilhon.
Advent International hopes to help grow Oberthur Technologies through potential external acquisitions which may further enhance the technological development and complement existing know-how.