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Equistone sells its stake in APEM to ICG

13 Feb. 2014

Equistone Partners Europe Limited (“Equistone”) today announces the sale of its majority stake in APEM Group (“APEM”, “the Company” or “the Group”) for an undisclosed sum. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

ICG, already a minority investor in APEM, has acquired Equistone’s stake in the business, strengthening its commitment to the Group, its management and employees, following a pre-emptive offer which was accepted by the group’s shareholders.  ICG will work with APEM to further consolidate its leading position in the human to machine interface market and strengthening its international footprint.

Founded in 1952, APEM has become a leading global manufacturer of human-machine interfaces. APEM’s subsidiaries design, manufacture and distribute a wide range of interface components for diverse applications (including transport, defence, industrial automation, instrumentation, medical, telecom and aerospace). Through its internationally recognised brands, notably APEM and MEC, the Group supplies several million switches, joysticks, keyboards and LED indicators to more than 20,000 clients worldwide each year.

Since its acquisition of a US business in 1991, APEM has progressively expanded internationally through successive bolt-on acquisitions.

A growth strategy based on focus in strategic market niches  

Following the acquisition of a majority stake in APEM in early 2007, and the Company’s subsequent delisting, Equistone has supported APEM’s development through the growth of key accounts and new account wins. Equistone also supported APEM’s acquisition of US business CH Products in 2008, which strengthened the Group’s industrial and commercial footprint in the US. APEM has continued to consolidate its many subsidiaries in order to achieve a consistent quality of service to all of its large global accounts.

In 2013, APEM generated €85 million (2006: €70 million) of sales through its eleven subsidiaries across four continents and its global network of 130 distributors and agents.

With over 1,200 employees, and production sites located in Europe, North Africa, North America and Asia, APEM now generates 85% of its sales outside of France and sells more than 40 million switches, one million keyboards and 300,000 joysticks every year.

ICG has been a minority shareholder in APEM since 2006, and was the Group’s lead mezzanine funding provider in the previous MBO.

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