CHEOPS TECHNOLOGY SA [ISIN Code: FR0010447086] (“CHEOPS”), a Bordeaux-based provider of hybrid cloud, cybersecurity, and IT infrastructure services, today announced it has entered into exclusive negotiations with two international investment firms and plans to welcome a new management team.
CHEOPS, founded in 1998 by Nicolas Leroy-Fleuriot, is a market leader in supporting French businesses, healthcare entities and local governments in their digital transition. The company employs nearly 600 people in France and Switzerland with a turnover of approximately €130 million from over 1,200 clients.
CHEOPS’ development continued in 2020 with strong organic growth and the acquisition of DFI Service in Switzerland, a company specialising in hybrid cloud technologies and cybersecurity services supported by its state of the art Security Operations Center. Following the potential transaction, the company will continue to grow its business both nationally and across Europe, capitalising on its expertise in cloud and cybersecurity capabilities. Both new and existing clients will benefit from a complete offering to meet their needs for digital transformation, managed information systems, hybrid cloud and cyber security.
To support and accelerate CHEOPS’ growth, the Company is in exclusive negotiations with Aquiline Capital Partners (“Aquiline”) and Elyan Partners (“Elyan”), the advisor of Edmond de Rothschild Equity Strategie (“ERES”), regarding a potential investment in CHEOPS. Following this investment, Nicolas will step down from his management responsibilities and hand over management to Emmanuel Carjat and Stéphane Leroy, who are expected to be appointed co-managing partners in the first half of 2022. Emmanuel and Stéphane are experienced information technology entrepreneurs with a track record of delivering customer success and growth in the cloud services sector. Together, they will lead the development of the Company through organic growth and targeted acquisitions of companies in France, Switzerland and new markets. Nicolas will remain a director and shareholder alongside Aquiline, ERES, the new co-managing partners and the CHEOPS management team.
The investment by Aquiline and Elyan, that would lead to a change of control, is subject to CHEOPS’ Social and Economic Committee review and regulatory approvals, and is expected to be finalised in the first half of 2022. A public offer is expected to be made to delist CHEOPS from Euronext Access and shares of CHEOPS will be delisted from Euronext Access, if appropriate, after completion of this offer.
Nicolas Leroy-Fleuriot, founder of CHEOPS, said:
“During the last 17 years, CHEOPS has become a leader in cloud services and secure infrastructure in France and Switzerland. As I reflect on our achievements, I would like to thank the CHEOPS team who have shown dedication, professionalism, and outstanding service to provide our customers with tailor-made solutions. Going forward, I have full confidence in the ambitions that Emmanuel and Stéphane plan to deliver with the CHEOPS team. I will continue in my new role as a board member, alongside our new financial partners, to support with innovative offers and technological partnerships which will transform the company into a European leader in hybrid clouds with tailored managed services and cyber security for SMEs and ETIs.”
Emmanuel Carjat, future co-managing partner of CHEOPS, said: “Our market analysis has clearly identified CHEOPS as one of the key players in the digital transformation of mid-sized businesses. By developing the Group, we want European SMEs to benefit from broad technological skills adapted to their needs. To do this, we want to participate in the consolidation of the sector and create a pan-European group capable of responding to all the challenges of our customers and in particular the management of their applications and their data; all while guaranteeing them sovereignty and security.”
Stéphane Leroy, future co-managing partner of CHEOPS, said: “We believe that CHEOPS is well-positioned to become a European leader given the business’s focus on superior customer service. Facing increasing regulations, cybersecurity concerns and increased competition, our French and European mid-sized companies need more than ever a local partner capable of helping and accompanying them through these phases of major change so that company directors can concentrate on developing their business.”
Jeff Greenberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aquiline, said: “Nicolas Leroy-Fleuriot has built CHEOPS into an impressive leader in the French technology services market with significant potential for further growth. Emmanuel and Stéphane’s vision for CHEOPS as a European cloud services player is aligned with Aquiline’s expertise in technology-enabled services, and its deep experience of supporting companies’ international expansion within its portfolio. Aquiline has actively invested in France, and we are delighted to deepen our commitment to the French technology sector, which remains a world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Jérémie Mélin, Maxence de Vienne and Vincent Manès, Partners at Elyan, comment: “Elyan is eager to support Emmanuel Carjat, Stéphane Leroy and the entire CHEOPS team in this phase of transformation and growth of the company. We were very impressed by their strategic vision, their proactivity and their operational expertise. We are convinced that the Company, a recognized player in IT infrastructure and networks, is ideally positioned to continue to support its customers in their IT migration programs, especially through its cloud and cybersecurity services. This investment project alongside Aquiline and a high-quality management team is fully in line with our collaborative investment strategy.”