Groupe Gorgé acquires iXblue

Sector(s)
Industrials / Business Services
Deal type
Debt Advisory / Buy a business
Date
October 2022
Countries involved
France

Client

Groupe Gorgé is a high-tech industrial group present in drones, engineering and protection systems generating revenue of €178 million in 2021

Deal

Capitalmind has advised Groupe Gorgé on the acquisition of iXblue by ECA Group, financed by ICG (with a €230 million investment as minority shareholder) and new bank facilities of €215 million.

Parties

Lead team

  • Michel Degryck

    Michel Degryck

    Managing Partner France
  • Christopher Martin

    Christopher Martin

    Vice President France

About the deal

iXblue is a high-tech company recognized worldwide for its advanced solutions in navigation, maritime autonomy and photonics for the civilian, space and defense markets. iXblue’s technologies enable its customers to meet their challenges in harsh environments, from the bottom of the ocean to the edge of space.

ECA Group, a subsidiary of Groupe Gorgé since 1992, is one of the world leaders in the field of autonomous robotics and integrated systems, particularly in the naval sector. The company provides its customers with the most efficient and technologically advanced solutions in the field of naval, land and air drones. ECA Group also offers innovative technological solutions for the aeronautics and space sectors.

The combination of ECA Group and iXblue creates a French leader in technologies for the defence and maritime industries. With 1,500 employees and revenues generated in over 80 countries, it will rank amongst the world’s leading players in maritime autonomous robotic systems (particularly for underwater mine-hunting), very high-performance inertial navigation solutions, and products and equipment for the aerospace, photonics and quantum sectors.
This merger values the new ECA Group-iXblue entity at approximately €800 million.

To finance this strategic transaction, ICG (Intermediate Capital Group) is providing €230 million of equity (as minority shareholder) and quasi-equity, while the management team and the founder of iXblue, Hervé Arditty, are injecting over €25 million. Banks are providing on top senior debt and new financing lines for 215M€.

ICG (Intermediate Capital Group) is one of the world’s leading debt and private equity houses, with $71.3 billion under management in 2022.

What we did

Capitalmind has advised Groupe Gorgé all along the acquisition process, from the preparatory work to the final negotiations with the seller. We also assisted in raising the equity, quasi-equity and debt financing required to complete this transaction, as well as setting up a management package.

This is our 15th transaction on behalf of the Gorgé family, who Capitalmind has been supporting since 2006.