Armor-IIMAK and Astorg, one of the leading global private equity firms, have entered the final stage of negotiations for a major capital partnership, which will see the latter becoming a significant minority investor with 40 percent of the company’s shares.
Armor-IIMAK is one of the world leaders in designing and manufacturing thermal transfer ribbons, including its primary activity of printing and marking variable data on labels and flexible packaging.
At the beginning of 2022, the two companies announced an exclusive negotiation agreement, with Astorg acquiring approximately 40 percent of Armor-IIMAK’s capital.
Hubert de Boisredon, chairman and CEO of Armor Group, will overlook the strategy and leadership and cultivate the future partnership with Astorg, while Christian Lefort, CEO of Armor-IIMAK, who joined the group in August 2021, will be responsible for the operational development.
‘On behalf of Armor Group, I am looking forward to partnering with Astorg,’ said de Boisredon. ‘This merger represents a new beginning for the shareholders and strengthens Armor-IIMAK’s position in the field of traceability.’
‘We are delighted that Hubert de Boisredon and the Armor-IIMAK management team have chosen Astorg as their partner, and we look forward to contributing to Armor-IIMAK’s growth. Its global leadership position, unique technology and know-how, and impressive ESG scores, such as the EcoVadis Gold Medal, make it an ideal partner for our Astorg Mid-Cap investment strategy,’ added Lionel de Posson, managing partner, Mid-Cap, Astorg.
Astorg’s capital contribution will help launch a four-year investment plan (2022-2026) of around 150 million EUR. Furthermore, IIMAK's industrial equipment will be upgraded through Armor’s robotic and automated techniques. Lastly, collective actions will be undertaken to integrate Iimak into the group smoothly.
‘Having a significant minority shareholder join the group is an essential step towards its development and growth. It will facilitate IIMAK’s integration and development and create liquidity for the initial financial shareholders,’ added de Boisredon. ‘A significant portion of the funds will be used for growth investments and new acquisitions, particularly in Asia. Most importantly, our investment plan will allow us to provide better offers and services for our customers.’
According to the company, traceability has become extremely important and expanded into a growing market due to increased awareness and demand for product safety and compliance. For example, global revenues for food traceability alone are expected to increase from 4.54 billion USD in 2020 to 9.75 billion USD in 2028. Consequently, thermal transfer printing technology has become the reference method for traceability, especially in the food, pharmaceutical, and industrial markets.
‘As a global leader in its industry, Armor-IIMAK is making every effort to follow this growth curve thanks to its 1,600 employees worldwide, 8,200km of thermal transfer ribbons coated every day and 33 subsidiaries, including 17 cutting centers, spread over four continents. In this growing market, our projections for growth and value creation are significant. The capital partnership we are about to enter with Astorg will allow us to further develop our global leadership strategy, particularly in Asia. We are all very excited,’ concluded de Boisredon.