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Charme III announces the sale of ATOP to IMA

Today, Charme Capital Partners (the pan-European mid-market private equity firm) signed an agreement with IMA for the sale of 63% of ATOP, a leading company in the sector of automatic machines and lines for the production of electric motors for the automotive sector, and in particular for E-Mobility.

The transaction records an Enterprise Value of approximately 380 million Euro, which involves a disbursement for IMA of approximately 230 million Euro, to be paid at the closing scheduled for July 2019. Through this agreement IMA, already a shareholder of the company since 2017 with a 21% stake and Charme acting as controlling shareholder, acquires the majority of ATOP from Charme and reaches a total stake of 84%. At the same time, the founders and the Chairman Amedeo Felisa will reinvest for a 6% stake.

Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Barberino Val D'Elsa (Florence), ATOP has been acquired by Charme III in April 2017 and is today a global leader in the design and production of innovative machines and automatic lines for the high-growth market of electric traction for sustainable mobility (E-Mobility), where, thanks to the actions implemented by Charme, it expects to generate more than 50% of 2019 revenues. The company is also active in the traditional automotive, household appliances and power tools sectors. ATOP operates with a consolidated proprietary know-how, combined with the continuous search for innovative technological solutions also developed in co-design with its customers, well diversified in more than 380 companies and represented by well-known and innovative industrial groups worldwide.

Under the active ownership of Charme, the company recorded a growth in revenues from 38,8 million Euro in 2017 to a forecast of 88 million Euro in 2019 (up 46% from 60 million in 2018), an EBITDA of 25 million Euro (up 59% from 15.8 million in 2018 and up 65% from 9.5 million in 2017), c. 250 employees (with more than 50 hires in the last 2 financial years). 

Matteo di Montezemolo, Founder and CEO of the Charme Funds, declared:

“Since the establishment in 2003, the Charme Funds have been characterized by a deep entrepreneurial and industrial know-how, a strong business culture and the ability to select and invest in leading companies in their reference markets but with significant unexpressed potential, creating for the respective companies the best conditions for a structured and lasting international development. Consistent with this approach, and after the success of the investments of the last 15 years in Poltrona Frau Group, Octo Telematics, Bellco and most recently in Igenomix, the Charme III investment in ATOP in 2017 took place with the goal of transforming an Italian champion in traditional automotive supply into one of the world leaders in the most innovative and high-growth sector such as E-Mobility, leveraging on Atop's ability to innovate matured over more than 30 years, which has led Atop to hold over 500 patents today, combined with an ambitious investment plan in research and development and a strong expansion of the industrial and production base in continuity with the excellent work already performed by the company Founders. Following a first phase of profound and extraordinary transformation of ATOP, which has led the company to double revenues in only 2 years and has created the basis for a lasting and sustainable development in the E-Mobility sector, we are pleased that ATOP can continue in its growth path under the IMA Group. We are also particularly proud of having maintained such a significant Italian technological and innovation heritage under the control of one of the most beautiful and dynamic Italian entrepreneurial realities led by a top-level management team under the leadership of Alberto Vacchi.” 

Commenting on the transaction, Alberto Vacchi, Chairman and CEO of IMA, stated:

“The growth and evolution of IMA in the markets of the future continues. Our position as a leader in relevant markets such as pharmaceuticals and food, combined with a solid presence in the world of tobacco at the service of innovations for lower impact smoking, is now enriched thanks to the credible entry of IMA into a fourth strategic segment represented by E-Mobility, which is today one of the fastest growing markets worldwide, with the production of over 50 million electric or hybrid cars expected in 2030.

Alberto Vacchi concluded:

"I would therefore like to thank the Charme Fund for the work performed in ATOP, in such a short time and at all company levels, which was instrumental in allowing ATOP to achieve credibility and a strong leadership in the E-Mobility market. I am also particularly pleased with the success of the operating model developed with the Charme Fund (well-known for its entrepreneurial and not financially driven DNA) in this interesting industrial transaction by combining our solid entrepreneurial approach with the Charme Fund's ability to identify and develop companies with significant growth potential. Also thanks to the fundamental contribution of Mr. Felisa, with a career of over 40 years in the automotive industry, involved by Charme in 2017 to lead ATOP with the goal of exploiting the extraordinary work of the founders, who will remain our partners together with Felisa.” 

Amedeo Felisa, Chairman of ATOP, declared: 

“This operation is of great satisfaction for ATOP. Together with the entire management team of ATOP, we are particularly grateful to the Charme Fund, which has always actively supported us in the development of the company and which has made available the fundamental resources and guaranteed the strategic support to achieve the extraordinary growth and leadership that today the company has achieved in the international E-Mobility market, also creating the basis for solid growth over the long term through this transaction with IMA. In fact, we believe that by integrating into the IMA Group we will be able to accelerate a long-established collaboration, which will allow us to achieve the goals of rapid growth that we are realizing, thanks to an effective support of our technological effort and our increasingly widespread presence in international markets. Personally, I will remain in the forefront of strategic management, ensuring continuity, also as a shareholder of the company together with the founders, to lead ATOP to achieve the ambitious goals that we have set.” 

Luciano Santandrea, founder of ATOP, declared: 

“After 50 years of activity in the sector, of which over 25 as founder of ATOP, I believe that this operation is for our company and for myself the best realization of an entrepreneurial path to which I have dedicated a lifetime of work. In 2017, I realized that ATOP needed a discontinuity in the shareholding base that would have allowed it to quickly establish itself as leader in the E-Mobility sector and I identified the Charme Fund as the ideal majority partner, given its track record in growing the companies in which it invests with competence and credibility. After two years, I can confirm the full correctness of this choice and, also on behalf of the other co-founders, I am personally grateful to the Charme Fund for the competence and professionalism applied to the management of ATOP that surprised to us for the extraordinary results achieved in a very short term in such a competitive market. I am sure that the acquisition of control by IMA represents the best continuity operation for the long-term interest of ATOP and its extraordinary resources.”

Milan/London, 21st May 2019


This press release contains forward-looking declarations, especially in the section “IMA Group forecasts for the whole of 2019”. These declarations are based on current expectations and projections of the Group regarding future events which, by their very nature, are subject to an intrinsic element of uncertainty. They are declarations that relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not happen or come about in the future and, as such, should not be relied on excessively. The effective results could differ from those contained in these declarations due to a wide range of factors, including the volatility and deterioration of markets, variations in raw material prices, changes in macroeconomic conditions, growth rates and other business conditions, amendments to legislation and the institutional context (both in Italy and abroad) and various other factors, most of which are totally out of the Group's control.

About Charme Capital Partners

The Charme Funds have been established in 2003 by Luca and Matteo di Montezemolo and are backed by a unique combination of institutional and entrepreneurial investors. Total commitments raised since inception have been in excess of €1.2 billion. The Charme Funds develop long-term industrial investments in companies with a strong potential for growth and international development.

Charme III, with total commitments of € 650 million, has been launched between 2015 and 2016 with a pan-European investment focus, particularly on Italy, the United Kingdom and Spain. Charme III is investing in companies with high potential for international growth whose value ranges between € 100 million and € 500 million. In these companies, Charme III acts as a strategic partner for those entrepreneurial families and managerial teams who intend to benefit from new development opportunities, both through organic growth and structured M&A investments, in addition to capital structure strengthening aimed at consolidating their leadership.

The main investments realized by the funds Charme I and II include: in luxury goods, Poltrona Frau Group (the world leader in high-end design furniture created via the acquisitions of Poltrona Frau, Cassina and Cappellini); in technology, Octo Telematics (world leader in insurance telematics) and in med-tech, Bellco (leading provider of blood purification devices).

Charme III has already completed two investments in Spain in Igenomix (world leader in reproductive genetic diagnostics) and in Gloval (among the Spanish market leaders in the field of real estate services); two investments in the United Kingdom that include Witherslack (among the UK market leaders in the education sector, where the UK it is historically one of the world leaders for know-how and specialized expertise); and three investment in Italy in ATOP (among the world leaders in the field of industrial automation for the production of electric motors in the e-mobility sector), Fiocchi (one of the leading companies worldwide in the production and sale of small-caliber ammunitions with premium positioning and mainly for sports and leisure use) and OCS (Italian leader in the software for the specialty finance).

For further information
Greenbrook Communications
Alex Jones, Alex Campbell and John Hamlin
+44 (0)207 952 2000

About IMA

Established in 1961, IMA is world leader in the designThe Group has about 5,800 employees, about 2,400 of whom overseas, and can count on 41 production plants in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, India, Malaysia, China and Argentina.

IMA has an extensive sales network comprising 29 branches which provide sales and service in Italy, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Spain, Poland, Israel, Russia, the United States, India, China, Malaysia, Thailand and Brazil, representative offices in Central and East European countries and over 50 agencies covering a total of about 80 countries. IMA S.p.A. has been listed on the Milan Stock Exchange since 1995 and in 2001 joined the STAR segment. The following manufacturing companies are part of the IMA Group: Benhil GmbH, Ciemme S.r.l., Co.ma.di.s. S.p.A., Corazza S.p.A., Delta Systems & Automation Inc., Eurosicma S.p.A., Eurotekna S.r.l., Gima S.p.A., Gima TT S.p.A., G.S. Coating Technologies S.r.l., Hassia Packaging Pvt. Ltd., Ilapak International SA, Ilapak Italia S.p.A., Ilapak (Beijing) Packaging Machinery Co. Ltd., IMA Automation Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., IMA Automation USA Inc., IMA Life North America Inc., IMA Life (Beijing) Pharmaceutical Systems Co. Ltd., IMA Life (Shanghai) Pharmaceutical Machinery Co. Ltd., IMA MAI S.A., IMA Medtech Switzerland S.A., IMA North America Inc., IMA-PG India Pvt. Ltd., IMA Swiftpack Ltd., Mapster S.r.l., Petroncini Impianti S.p.A., PharmaSiena Service S.r.l., Revisioni Industriali S.r.l., Spreafico Automation S.r.l., Tecmar S.A., Teknoweb Converting S.r.l., Telerobot S.p.A., Tissue Machinery Company S.p.A., Valley Tissue Packaging Inc.

For further information:
Andrea Baldani - Investor Relations - tel. +39 051 783111 - e-mail: baldania@ima.it

Maria Antonia Mantovani – Press Office - tel. +39 051 783283 - e-mail: antonia.mantovani@ima.it

www.ima.it (Investor Relations section)

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