Charme III Case Study

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Investment Highlights

  • Origination: Charme acquired ATOP through a primary and proprietary transaction, attracted by the opportunity to professionalise a typical Italian founder-owned company and the potential to achieve a strong growth leveraging on the unique IP (more than 500 patents), know-how and technology of ATOP
  • Strategic Investor: Used Charme’s unique investor base to help ATOP grow and scale effectively, coupled with the co-investment of Amedeo Felisa, ex CEO of Ferrari, who acted as Executive Chairman in order to accelerate the acquisition of new automotive clients and accelerate the international growth
  • Hands-on Approach for Transformative Growth: An extremely hands-on investment approach which included strengthening the management team, supporting international growth with the most important carmakers worldwide and scaling operations (both in terms in employees and number of sites)
  • Managed exit: An efficient and value-maximising exit to IMA, world leader in the automation for packaging food and pharma products, who wanted exposure to the fast-growing electric vehicle sector
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Investment Summary

In 2016 Charme identified Atop as an attractive acquisition candidate, being a typical Italian family-owned business (located in Tuscany), with a number of features consistent with Charme investment strategy

Atop is a leading player in the design and manufacturing of automated lines for the production of stators and rotors for electric motors, focused in in the highest value-added segment of E-traction, with a proprietary IP (more than 500 patents) for an innovative technology called Hairpin

Charme envisaged an acceleration of Automotive Market electrification and identified the strong potential of Hairpin to become the reference technology for large scale production of traction electric motors

Therefore Charme created a management team headed by CEO Amedeo Felisa, former CEO of Ferrari with over 40 years of automotive experience, and Vice-Chairman Mihir Kotecha, former CEO of Getrag, with over 30 years of automotive experience in Germany, US and China

Under Charme’s guidance, ATOP transitioned from a local Tier 2 provider to a global provider of automation for e-traction for the top automotive OEM manufacturers such as BMW, Volkswagen, Geely and Hyundai and top system integrators including Magneti Marelli and Huayu (China)

This growth led to ATOP hiring 65 new employees which included new senior positions such as CFO, Commercial Director, Production Director and a Purchasing Director

Following two years of strong growth which saw revenues more than double, IMA approached Charme seeking to acquire its controlling stake in ATOP to gain exposure to a fast-growing sector

After much negotiation, Charme agreed to sell its stake to IMA for €380m of Enterprise Value. The Atop investment was awarded Mediterranean Deal of the Year at the 2020 Real Deals Private Equity Awards

Value of Production

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