Apax Partners is an independent investment firm. It supports middle-market companies in France and Europe, investing in leveraged buyouts (LBOs) with a maximum value of €500 million and lasting an average of five years. Apax Partners operates on the mid-cap segment, adding the small-cap segment after acquiring EPF Partners in July 2017. Generally a majority investor, Apax Partners raises funds from institutional investors, family offices and pension funds. Its newest fund, Apax France IX, which closed at €1 billion in 2016, is 23% invested across three companies: InfoVista, Marlink and Sandaya.
Three value creation drivers in four sectors
Apax Partners backs more than 20 middle-market companies in four sectors – TMT, Consumer, Healthcare and Services – delivering expertise at three levels. First: the digital transformation and its related strategic and operational implications, with Apax appointing a Chief Digital Officer to assist company execs in their 2.0 transformation. Second: international expansion through acquisitions, development and business expansion on global markets. Third: build-ups.
Tracking the digital maturity of french middle-market companies
Working in partnership with Ernst & Young, Apax Partners prepared the first-ever digital maturity barometer for French middle-market companies. The survey’s main takeaways are that, overall, mid-market firms have a digital lag of two years on their CAC40 counterparts, and that those in the TMT and Finance sectors are furthest advanced in their digital transformation, while Industry and Healthcare companies have made the least headway. Digital maturity is based not on revenues but on the resolve of senior management to engage change. With this in mind, to build awareness among the leaders of portfolio companies about the importance of digital, Apax Partners sends them for a week-long stint at a California university where they are immersed in the world of new technologies.
After opening a new Benelux office in early 2018 and recruiting a Benelux Senior Advisor, Apax Partners is continuing its European expansion by opening an Italian office and appointing a Senior Advisor for Italy. With these moves, Apax is looking to consolidate its presence in Europe and strengthen its local ties to Dutch and Italian mid-market firms. The Dutch and Italian markets are key to Apax Partners’ portfolio companies, with Marlink acquiring Telemar, THOM Europe taking over Stroili Oro, and Altran setting up in Italy.