// The CCFA (Committee of French Automotive Manufacturers) announces the signing of an agreement with FCDE (Fonds de Consolidation et de Développement des Entreprises) for the transfer of a majority stake in UTAC.
FCDE therefore achieves its 8th FCDE II Fund investment, raised mid-2015, by investing 20 million euros in equity.
// The aim of this transaction is to definitively record the independence of UTAC, a recognized European and international player in automotive certification, homologation and testing. It will also bring financial and human resources to help UTAC to adapt to an automotive industry undergoing profound changes.
As the representative of UTAC’s shareholders, CCFA announces today the signing of an agreement for the sale of 70% of UTAC’s share capital, the historic shareholders remaining minority shareholders. For this transaction, which should be carried out in early 2018, FCDE has gathered around 50 million euros (including € 20 million from FCDE II, € 12 million mezzanine financing subscribed by Tikehau IM and € 18 million of short and medium term credit facilities arranged by BNP Paribas.
Created in 1945, UTAC is the French Technical Service in charge of testing for homologation and a certification body. The group has two proving grounds close to Paris located in Linas-Montlhéry (91) and Mortefontaine (60). Thanks to its laboratories and tracks, UTAC delivers a complete range of automotive technical tests in the fields of safety, environment and reliability. UTAC is also the technical expert for the French authorities in European and international bodies for the development of automotive regulations. The company has also launched an event activity/branch for the organization of automotive events, driving and road risk management trainings. With nearly 500 employees, the group achieved a turnover of € 55 million in 2016 and is expected to generate more than 15% growth in 2017.
With a presence in France, Russia, China, UK and the US, UTAC offers its services to different players of the automotive industry, from the development to the type approval. The group intensifies its strategy of supporting its customers in their international development. With expertise and know-how recognized by its customers and the public authorities, UTAC operates in a fast growing market which offers multiple development opportunities. For instance, the company is currently building a new test center dedicated to connected and autonomous vehicles on the Linas-Montlhéry site. This new project is financially supported by Bpifrance as part of the Investments for the Future Program (Investissements d'Avenir). FCDE’s investment will be completed by the investment of the main managers of the group. It provides UTAC with the new resources necessary to accelerate its transformation and adapt to the market evolution with an ambitious investment and recruitment plan. FCDE will also support the company in its international development strategy.
Laurent Benoit, UTAC CERAM CEO, declares: “We are delighted by the arrival of an institutional and involved investor such as FCDE as majority shareholder of the group. The involvement of FCDE will contribute to the rise of UTAC thanks to their solid experience in this type of transformation. This operation opens a new chapter in UTAC history with very strong development ambitions.”
Amélie Brossier, FCDE Managing Partner, adds: “We are pleased to assist UTAC in its independence. Since the merger with CERAM in 2012, the group has already transformed significantly. We will help them continue this movement and take a new path in the context of a changing industry. UTAC benefits from strong assets thanks to its expertise, the quality of its teams and infrastructures, its leading clients and its proximity with the public authorities. All this enables a significant development in the upcoming years.”
Christian Peugeot, CCFA Chairman, states: “This operation, which started in 2016, shows a will shared by UTAC’s shareholders to definitively record the independence of the entity in charge of tests in view of vehicle approval, upstream of the European framework directive which is currently being finalized. We are pleased to welcome FCDE as main shareholder.”
About UTAC CERAM
The UTAC CERAM group benefits of an expertise in all areas of mobility: Regulation & Homologation, Testing & Expertise in environment, safety and reliability, Consulting & Training, Technical Inspection, Standardization, Certification and Events. 500 employees work in two test centers in Linas-Montlhéry (Essonne) and Mortefontaine (Oise) and in international subsidiaries in the US, UK, Russia and China.
Through its contribution in terms of human and financial resources, FCDE (Fonds de Consolidation et de Développement des Entreprises ) supports the development and transformation of French SMEs and mid-caps with high potential. It brings together the main financial institutions operating in France (Bpifrance, banks, insurance companies). FCDE is managed by Consolidation & Development Gestion (CDG), an independent management company regulated by the French financial markets Authority(AMF, French SEC).