Feb. 2019
LBO Mid Cap

LBO France is investing in Moustache Bikes, the leading French electric bike manufacturer

Paris, February 26th , 2019 – LBO France is pleased to announce today that it has acquired a stake in Moustache Bikes, a company that specialises in designing, assembling and distributing electric bikes. The private equity firm Initiative & Finance is selling its 55% stake held since 2015, and the company’s founding managers, Emmanuel Antonot and Grégory Sand, who hitherto owned 45% of the capital, are reinvesting significantly.

The company, based in the Vosges and set up in 2011 by these two bike-lovers, has established itself on a recent, fast-growing market. Moustache Bikes has become the leading brand on the premium market in France, while exporting around 40% of its bikes. It currently employs around 80 people and generates a €50 million turnover, with an annual growth of 30%. In 2018, the company sold 27,000 bikes via a network of 530 bike dealers, across 18 countries.

Based on the belief that quality and performance are essential for electric bikes, the managers have chosen to differentiate their product offering by concentrating their efforts on design, comfort, technical expertise and user enjoyment, resulting in the creation of a comprehensive range of immediately recognisable bikes under the Moustache brand. The bikes, which are designed and assembled in France, include a modern take on handlebars of bygone days and use the best performing equipment on the market. To offer a wide range of bikes, with models costing between €2,200 and €8,000 each, the company has since its creation relied on innovative partnerships with recognised brands and experts.

The group’s success was rewarded in 2017 when it won the “Start-up of the Year” award for Eastern France as part of the “EY & L’Express Entrepreneur of the Year” awards.

Vincent Briançon, Mid Cap Partner at LBO France, has declared: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work alongside the two founders and the team of Moustache Bikes to support the company in its new growth phase, both in France and internationally. While electric bikes currently account for 11% of the bikes sold in France, they are gaining ground as a new means of urban transportation and a new, dynamic leisure activity.”

Matthieu Douchet, Managing Partner at Initiative & Finance: “We draw particular satisfaction from having supported the founding managers of Moustache Bikes in this growth and structuring phase during which the company’s sales have quadrupled in less than four years. A pioneer in its sector, Moustache has succeeded in establishing itself in just a few years as a major player for urban, leisure and sports activities, in a growing, European-wide market, thanks to the very specific expertise applied to the development of its electric bikes and their strong identity.”

Grégory Sand, Moustache: “After three years of an excellent collaboration with Initiative & Finance, we are very pleased to welcome LBO France on board in order to take our business to the next level. The management of the strong growth which we have experienced from the outset requires the necessary resources and a solid support. The arrival of LBO France coincides perfectly with our strategy, needs and ambitions in France and internationally.”

Main parties involved in the transaction:

LBO France team: Vincent Briançon, Louis de Lummen, Jean Christophe Miège, Laurent Mabileau, Charles Béal

Initiative & Finance team: Matthieu Douchet, François Golfier

Acquirer advisers:

Financial DD: EY (Jean François Nadaud, Guilhem de Montmarin)

Strategic DD: EY Parthénon (Guy-Noël Chatelin)

Lawyers: Mayer Brown (Thomas Philippe (corporate), Patrick Teboul (debt)),

Management advisers:

Oloryn (Eric Lessieur) SVZ (Franck Sekri)

Investor advisers: M&A: Lazard (Charles Andrez)

Strategic DD: PwC Strategy& (Pascal Ansart)

Financial DD: PwC

Transaction Services (Stéphane Salustro)

Legal DD : PwC

Société d’Avocats (Yannick Olivier) Fiscal DD : (Fabien Radisic) Lawyers : Lamartine Conseil (Olivier Renault)

About LBO France

As a key player in private equity with €4bn of capital under management, LBO France is an independent company that has been supporting French and Italian companies in their growth for more than 30 years. Its investment strategy is built on 4 distinct segments managed by dedicated teams: (i) Mid Cap Buyout through the White Knight funds and Small Cap Buyout through the Hexagone/Small Caps Opportunities funds, (ii) Venture Capital through the SISA/Digital Health funds, (iii) Real Estate through the White Stone and Lapillus funds, (iv) Debt. LBO France is 100% owned by its management and employs nearly 60 professionals.

About Initiative & Finance

As a key player in the support and transmission of SMEs, Initiative & Finance has been supporting companies in all situations for nearly 35 years: MBO, MBI, OBO, transmission, recomposition of capital, development capital, spin-off, external growth…

Since its creation in 1984, Initiative & Finance, which focuses on companies valued up to €75 million, has made more than 300 investments.

The Initiative & Finance team became independent at the end of 2010 through its own MBO and currently manages €330 million of capital through the venture capital company Initiative & Finance Investment and the funds Initiative & Finance FCPR I and Initiative & Finance FPCI II raised in 2010 and 2015, of €140 million and €168 million respectively.



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