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Private equity firm buys key NFC supplier

“Advent International hopes to help grow Oberthur Technologies through potential external acquisitions which may further enhance the technological development and complement existing know-how,” says the investment firm.

Oberthur

Global private equity firm Advent International, one of the world’s leading buyout firms, has acquired a 90% stake in Oberthur’s Card Systems and Identity divisions.

Oberthur is the world’s second largest smart card supplier and a key provider of NFC technology and solutions, included NFC SIMs and trusted service management (TSM) solutions. The group posted sales of €814.5m for its 2010 financial year and the transaction is valued at €1.15bn.

“Thanks to our international presence and our deep experience in the banking and telecommunications industries, in which we have been investing for over 20 years, we are well positioned to actively support the management in its growth plan for the business, including through acquisition,” says Pascal Stefani, head of Advent International in France.

“Advent International hopes to help grow Oberthur Technologies through potential external acquisitions which may further enhance the technological development and complement existing know-how,” the new owners add.

Xavier Drilhon, previously the deputy managing director of Oberthur group and managing director of the Card Systems division, has been appointed CEO of Oberthur Technologies.

“Smart card technology continues to spread across the world in traditional ways; at the same time, new opportunities are arising with the massive introduction of smart connected devices that have to be remotely managed in a secure way,” says Drilhon. “Today, our industry is specialising in the digital security with more and more secure managed services and solutions. This transformation is accelerating with the arrival of internet players. In this context, I am delighted to have the support of Advent International, which will enable us to accelerate our growth.”

Jean-Pierre Savare, founder of the Oberthur group, and his family retain a 10% stake in the company.

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