Photonis sold to AXA Private Equity for second time

French-based AXA Private Equity has bought back photo sensor technology business Photonis three years after the firm disposed of its interest in the company to Astorg Partners.


French-based AXA Private Equity has bought back photo sensor technology business Photonis three years after the firm disposed of its interest in the company to Astorg Partners.

French-based AXA Private Equity has bought back photo sensor technology business Photonis three years after the firm disposed of its interest in the company to Astorg Partners.

Headquartered in France, Photonis designs and manufactures ‘state-of-the-art’ image intensifier tubes for space, research, defence and commercial prodcuts such as night vision applications.

In 2001 AXA, which has its UK base in London, made its initial investment in the business before selling its stake in 2008. During this time it was responsible for expanding the technology company through the acquisition of five further businesses including Netherlands-based Delft Electronics Products and US-based Burle Industries.

In the three year period, which Astorg Partners was involved with the business, Photonis enlarged its manufacturing capacity to sell twice as many image intensifier tubes, according to a statement. At the same time, the company achieved a reported turnover of €160 million (£141 million). Additionally, Photonis has doubled its research and development investments.

Mathieu Antonini, managing director at AXA Private Equity, says the firm will give Photonis ‘committed and pragmatic’ support’.

He adds: ‘Our intention is to assist the management of the company in developing new applications and implementing a selective build-up strategy to strengthen its position in international markets.’

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Goossen Boers, chief executive officer of Photonis, says that the partnership with Astorg allowed the business to ‘substantially’ increase its growth. Boers adds the company is looking to expand through both organic and acquisitive methods.

ING, Societe Generale Corporate and Investment Banking, and IKB acted as mandated lead arrangers and underwriters. Indigo Capital and Partners Group arranged the mezzanine facilities.

AXA Private Equity currently has $28 billion in managed assets with offices in Paris, Frankfurt, New York and Milan.

Todd Cardy

Todd Cardy

Todd was Editor of GrowthBusiness.co.uk between 2010 and 2011 as well as being responsible for publishing our digital and printed magazines focusing on private equity and venture capital. Connect with...

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