The French group ESI Group – qualified as “small Dault Systèmes in the simulation of crash test” according to the expression of the director of the investment fund Truffle Capital within the framework of the Truffle 100 ranking published two weeks ago and analyzing the top 100 IT publishers in France -, will p under the American flag.
This Thursday, the tricolor firm announced that it had received a firm offer from the Keysight Technologies group aimed at “the acquisition of a control block […] representing a total of 50.6% of the share capital and 55.8% of the theoretical voting rights of ESI Group, at a price of 155 euros per share”. An offer that values the French group nearly 913 million euros. Listed on compartment B of Euronext Paris, the group logically saw its share price take off by nearly 50% on Thursday, an increase which brought its market capitalization to just under 900 million.
A global group
Secondly, Keysight Technologies will launch a takeover bid for all of the shares and then withdraw ESI Group from listing. Celebrating its fiftieth birthday this year and founded by Alain de Rouvray, who handed over at the beginning of 2021 (his daughter Cristel de Rouvray is the general manager and the group’s president is Alex Davern), the group is a specialist in software solutions for virtual prototyping, tools enabling its customers in particular to dispense with physical tests in the product manufacturing process.
In 1985, the tricolor firm had set up the first digital simulation of a car crash test on behalf of a German consortium led by Volkswagen. A software that he called “PAM-Crash” and allowed him to make a name for himself. With its head office in Rungis, the French group now employs nearly 1,000 people in around twenty countries around the world.
While the majority of its orders come from the automotive and land transport sectors, ESI Group is also present in the energy, aeronautics and even defense markets.
In its customer portfolio, the group thus includes firms such as EDF, Airbus, Boeing, Alstom Transport and Daimler. Last year, ESI Groupe generated a turnover of 134 million euros, a stable level compared to the previous financial year. In 2022, the group posted a net profit of 15.4 million, after having suffered a loss of 18.5 million a year earlier.
OpenCFD, Civitec, ITI GmbH, Mineset Inc, Scilab Enterprises, etc: the group made a slew of acquisitions during the decade 2010-2020 in order to broaden its spectrum. But since 2022, the group has refocused on its core business and has carried out several et disposals, pointing out, in its last annual report, “consolidation and consultation of the competition”, as well as “larger players have performance of growth and profitability far superior to those of ESI Group”. The rest of the story will be written by the hand of Keysight Technologies.