The founder, Charles Diehl, hands over the reins of the French SME investment fund to Alexandre Masson and Christophe Parier.
Change of era at Activa Capital, the most international investment fund in French SMEs. Charles Diehl, the co-founder of the management company, gives up control. He takes on the role of “chairman” within the fund, which is more than 80% backed by foreign investors, and entrusts management to Christophe Parier and Alexandre Masson.
His brother, Michael Diehl, as well as Philippe Latorre, who launched the Activa adventure alongside him 17 years ago, also take on the role of “senior advisor” on this occasion and sell their shares to the new managers.
The two financiers of 45 and 39 years will be responsible with Pierre Chabaud, partner of the manager, to prepare from the middle of next year, the next fundraising of Activa Capital. A test for the new team supposed to validate the appetite of investors for the change of course initiated in 2014.
More first-hand transactions
Four years ago, Activa Capital had to limit the raising of its third fund to 206 million euros, due to the unfavorable political context for foreign investors. The team then changed strategy, abandoning so-called “second-hand” transactions carried out with other funds.
“It seemed relevant to us to refocus our investments on supporting entrepreneurs from the start of their growth and their desire to expand internationally”, explain Christophe Parier and Alexandre Masson. A new direction which did not go without saying, the “primary” operations being more complex.
Since then, Activa has made no less than seven investments. Example: Mecadaq, a manufacturer of precision mechanical parts for aeronautics players, such as Boeing. The company tripled its turnover, to 60 million euros, and made three acquisitions, including one in the United States.
By the end of the new vintage, which should significantly exceed the previous one, Activa Capital should also have cleared another file, Sport 2000. Since this summer, the fund has denounced the breach of an agreement signed on the repurchase of its stake by the cooperative in which he co-invested ten years ago.