Private equity tech investment

Advent International enters into exclusive negotiation for the sale of its stake in Circet alongside Circet’s management

Circet growth strategy accelerated in the last few years:

  • Revenue and employees tripled between 2017 and 2021
  • Strong international expansion through entry into seven new countries
  • Dynamic external growth with 10 acquisitions since 2018

Paris and London, May 21, 2021 – Advent International (“Advent”), a leading global private equity firm, today announced that it has entered into exclusive negotiation with ICG for the sale of its stake in Circet, Europe’s leading telecoms infrastructure services company. On this occasion Circet’s founding team and managers will further increase their stakes in their company.

Circet provides its customers with turnkey solutions and tailored services across both fixed and mobile telecoms networks. Circet’s customers include major telecom operators and equipment manufacturers, local authorities, as well as public and private organisations operating their own infrastructure networks. Circet’s long-term growth potential is supported by the ever increasing consumption of data across Europe, the large-scale deployment of high-speed connections in fiber optic and mobile networks (4G and 5G), and additionally the recurring investments in fixed and mobile infrastructures.

Since Advent joined forces with Circet’s founding team and managers in early 2018, the company has grown significantly with revenues increasing threefold from €775 million in 2017 to €2.2 billion in 2021, and employee numbers growing from 3,000 to over 10,600 during the same period.

With the support of Advent, Circet has pursued an ambitious growth strategy both in France and internationally. Circet has entered seven new countries during the last three years: Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, Ireland and Morocco. This expansion has been supported by an organic and acquisitive growth strategy, with Circet successfully acquiring 10 companies with leading positions in their respective markets since 2018.

Michael Ogrinz, Partner and Head of France at Advent, comments: “We are proud to have helped Circet develop into not only a French champion but also the undisputed leader in telecom infrastructure services in Europe. This journey is emblematic of Advent’s DNA: supporting visionary management teams, which have strong ambitions to grow and transform their sectors.”

Hadrien de Bardies, Director at Advent International, adds: “These past years spent with the Circet team are an excellent example of a successful partnership between managers and active investors, each bringing their strengths and skills to a joint growth project.”

Philippe Lamazou, Founder and President of Circet, said: “With the support of Advent, we have reached a major milestone in our development by becoming the European leader in our sector. Circet is a collective success of all its employees, who work hard every day to satisfy all our customers’ needs. I look forward to starting a new phase of our development with ICG.”

About Circet

Circet is the leading network service provider in Europe. The company operates in the growing segment of investments geared towards fixed and mobile super-fast broadband. Present in Europe and North Africa, Circet’s customer base include the leading telecom service providers and telecom manufacturers, local authorities and companies specializing in rural deployment to bridge the digital divide, and key government-owned and private companies that own infrastructure. In 2020, the company was present in 12 countries, generated total revenue of €2.03 billion, and employed over 10,000 people.

About Advent International

Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The firm has invested in over 375 private equity transactions in 42 countries, and as of December 31, 2020, had €62 billion in assets under management. With 15 offices in 12 countries, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 240 investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The firm focuses on investments in five core sectors, including business and financial services; health care; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology. Advent has a long history of growth investments dating back to its founding in 1984, and in 2019 launched Advent Tech, a dedicated technology-focused fund focused on growth investments and buyouts of leading technology companies globally. After 35 years dedicated to international investing, Advent remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for its portfolio companies. In France, Advent is currently invested in Shift Technologies, Zentiva, Idemia, Rubix and Circet.

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