Ardian prepares Staci for early 2023 sale - sources

Breaking News 21 October

Ardian prepares Staci for early 2023 sale - sources

Ardian is getting ready to launch a sale of portfolio company Staci Group, a French logistics specialist, two sources familiar with the matter told Mergermarket.

The French private equity firm could launch the sale by year-end or in 1Q23, one of the sources said. It is already talking to potential bidders, the other source said.

The sponsor is close to mandating a US-based bank for the sale, one source said, although the other source said that Bank of America has already been appointed.

Staci would be marketed off around EUR 150m EBITDA, one of the sources said, with the other source adding that the post-IFRS EBITDA is more conservative, at around EUR 100m.

Ardian is looking for a valuation at 15 times EBITDA, one of the sources said.

Economic downturn may eventually affect Staci's valuation as parcel volumes drop, but the business has a strong position in an otherwise niche market, a third source said. Staci separates itself from competitors with its strength in handling logistics across online and physical channels, as well as expertise across sectors ranging from automotive to FMCG, this source added.

Ardian acquired a majority stake in Staci from France-based Cobepa in October 2019, and has backed the company’s four acquisitions completed since then.

Staci bought German marketing logistics solutions provider Move Elevator in 2019, followed by French provider of logistics solutions for the marketing sector FDB Logistique Marketing the same year. In 2021, it bought Netherlands-based transport management provider Base Logistics for an undisclosed amount, and Belgian peer Sepia, which had a revenue of EUR 8m.

This year, the business has strengthened its footprint in the Italian market by acquiring local peer Full Service, adding two warehouses of a cumulative 16,000 sqm to the 45,000 sqm it already had in Milan.

Headquartered in Saint-Ouen-L’Aumône, Paris region, Staci registered a EUR 112.9m revenue in 2021, not including Sepia and Base Logistics which together generated EUR 138m revenue, according to a public company document. Staci specialises in multichannel logistics for the B2B and B2C markets as well as online retailing and D2C.

Established in 1989, the company operates in France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, the US, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK, according to its website.

Bank of America and Ardian declined to comment. Staci Group did not respond to requests for comment.

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