Sigefi Ventures Gestion, the management company of French investor Siparex, has acquired the Lyon-based venture capital firm Sud-Partners. The Siparex group now holds a 52 per cent majority stake in the firm, which manages the Sudinnova investment company and the Sudinnova II fund.
Paul Tholly, managing partner and head of venture capital at Siparex, said the acquisition was based on familiarity with the company’s track record and a long-term relationship with the Sud-Partners team. Sudinnova’s funds also have a very similar investment policy to Siparex’s venture capital activities, which focus on early stage investments in health care and IT. “Sudinnova will benefit from our international network, the acquisition will accelerate its possibilities,” said Tholly.
Sud-Partners, a €12 million evergreen investment fund, was set up 19 years ago by Caisse des Depôts, the Lyonnaise de Banque group and VCs Sofinnova and Siparex. In 2000 the management company was reorganised and a €33 million fund, Sudinnova II, was raised to co-invest with the existing fund. The Lyonnaise de Banque group became the majority shareholder in the group in September 2001.
According to Tholly, Siparex was approached by the Sud-Partners’ management and LPs. Following the acquisition the company’s shareholders will be Siparex, Banque de Vizille- a subsidiary of the Lyonnaise de Banque group and the Caisse des Depôts. Siparex intends to increase its holding to 100 per cent.
Siparex will now be responsible for the management of the evergreen Sudinnova vehicle along with its own venture capital funds, which total €212 million. The five members of the Sudinnova investment team will move into Siparex’s Lyon office, which was established in 1977, and will continue to manage the €33 million fund Sudinnova II. There are no plans at present to raise fresh capital for Sudinnova, as the 2000 fund is only one-third invested.