Exclusive: ECS acquired by private equity firm Naxicap Partners

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Paris-based European Cargo Services (ECS) has been acquired by private equity firm Naxicap Partners following the arrangement of a financing facility by Ardian, a global private investment firm. Financial details of the acquisition were not revealed.

Backed by Alpha Private Equity since 2013, the ECS management team opted to accept an offer from Naxicap Partners in order to fuel its next phase of growth, supported by a Unitranche facility provided by Ardian.

“With ECS’ clear ambition of selectively penetrating and reinforcing its positions in key areas of its already broad network, the Unitranche alternative stood out as a compelling solution to accelerate the Company’s growth in the next few years” says Ardian France director of private debt, Grégory Pernot.

Naxicap Partners partner Angèle Faugier adds: “ECS has demonstrated an amazing growth trajectory under the leadership of Bertrand Schmoll and Adrien Thominet who have succeeded in both developing and structuring the group around solid fundamentals such as high-quality client portfolio, an integrated global network, efficient local teams, premium services.

“We are convinced that the group has what it takes to establish itself as the major consolidation platform in the market and to be a driving force for innovation in the cargo industry. We want to provide its management team with the means to put their ambitious development plans into action, and are convinced that the expertise of Ardian, through this Unitranche financing, which grants us flexibility and speed of execution, will enable us to rapidly achieve our goals.”

Private Debt France head and managing director at Ardian, Guillaume Chinardet, comments: “We are proud to have convinced Naxicap and ECS’ management team of the merits of our offer, and are delighted to be a key partner of the group going forward. We have been very impressed by the company’s historical development and by the quality and loyalty of the management team for over twenty years.”