At the end of the auction process organized by Lazard, according to our information, the investment fund takes control of 66% of the business intelligence consulting of all the big names CAC 40, alongside the State and Bpifrance . Its controlling shareholder, Serge Weinberg, values the group led by Philippe Caduc more than 120 million euros.
New situation among economic intelligence experts. According to our information, the leader in economic intelligence ADIT is joining forces with the Parquest fund. Following a fiercely contested auction organized by the investment bank Lazard, Serge Weinberg’s fund has indeed given its approval to the sale of its 66% to the independent investment company created in the bosom of ING . He obtained, from corroborating sources, a value of 130 million euros, which is clearly more than expected (120 million). This award values the group with a turnover of 73 million euros managed by Philippe Caduc more than 12 times its gross operating surplus (EBITDA).
Heading for Europe
The growth plan is ambitious: to double EBITDA in the space of five years, in particular through acquisitions in Europe in economic intelligence and business diplomacy.
No foreign fund could have claimed a takeover, given the sensitivity of the activities of ADIT, advising all the big names of the CAC 40 in economic intelligence and security in their international operations. In the home stretch, Parquest won over a circle of French funds: Abenex, Lfpi and the duo formed by asset manager Amundi and Raise.
According to sources, the investment firm Sagard, sponsored by the family of Canadian billionaire Desmarais, preferred to exit the sale process. The composition of its shareholders made it more difficult to take control of ADIT.
Public authorities remain co-shareholder
Public authorities will remain strongly present. Bpifrance still controls some 30% of the group, and the State holds one preferred share after having been its main owner from the beginning of the 1990s until the privatization of 2011.
Since then, ADIT has continued to diversify. Philippe Caduc, at the origin of the Assises of economic intelligence, with the former director of the DST Remy Pautrat, and of the Baghdad business center, positioned the group on activities ranging from strategic consulting to economic intelligence (strategic and competitive studies, influence) to risk management (investigation of fraud, prevention of corruption) through business diplomacy, with the recruitment of the diplomat and former director of external security, Jean-Claude Cousseran, and up to physical safety.
Its change of control comes a few months after the takeover in September of the security specialist in high-risk areas Geos, led by General Didier Bolelli, former head of the Military Intelligence Directorate and former director of operations of the DGSE. In May, the agency launched a joint venture with Bruno Delamotte, the founder of the company Risk & Co in sovereign forensics, as an alternative to Anglo-Saxon services, while investigations for fraud and corruption carried out by foreign authorities multiply. ADIT is now expanding its hunting ground to the rest of Europe.