Alantra advises Axis Electronics on its sale to Cicor Group

SECTORIndustrials; Aerospace & Defense


Nov 2021
Sell-side advisory

Alantra, the global investment banking specialist, has advised the shareholders of Axis Electronics Ltd (Axis), a leading European EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Services) business based in Bedford, UK, on the sale of the business to SIX-listed Cicor Group. Cicor Group is a leading international technology company in the fields of printed circuit boards and hybrid circuits, printed electronics, microelectronics as well as EMS. This acquisition strengthens Cicor’s position in its strategic target markets and expands its European footprint with a site in the UK. As part of the transaction, Axis’ existing management team will become shareholders of Cicor and continue in their present roles, guaranteeing the sustainable strategic integration of the company into the Cicor Group. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions which are expected to be fulfilled before the end of 2021.

Founded originally as part of a leading international electronics company, Axis was established in 1995 as an independent, UK-based provider of electronic manufacturing services with a unique combination of service and technological capabilities. Axis has significantly evolved over the years and is today trusted by many market-leading European companies, particularly in the Aerospace & Defence sector, as their preferred manufacturing partner.

With the acquisition of this specialised company, the Cicor Group strengthens one of its strategic target markets and becomes a top 5 EMS provider in the Aerospace & Defence sector in Europe. Cicor plans to integrate Axis into the global engineering and manufacturing network of its Electronic Solutions division and thereby further strengthen Axis’ market share in the UK and across Europe. The acquisition will increase Cicor Group sales by approximately 15% on an annualised basis and result in a sustainable increase in EBITDA margin for Cicor starting in 2022.

Axis was advised by an Alantra team comprising Keith Pickering, Richard Benyahia and Tom Nash. This deal is the second in a month by the UK Industrials team, following the sale of Blackburn-based Silicone Engineering to NYSE-listed Rogers Corporation.  It is also Alantra’s second Aerospace & Defence transaction in the last two weeks, having also advised WeAre Group on the acquisitions of TARAMM and GAMMA-Tial.

Keith Pickering, Partner and UK Head of Industrials, said, “Axis Electronics has established itself as a leader in the manufacture of products for mission, safety and performance critical applications and as a key partner to its global blue chip customers. This transaction highlights our cross-border M&A expertise, significant experience in the Industrial Technology sector and our ability to access major strategic buyers. Cicor Group will make an excellent partner for the business and provide an ideal hybrid corporate and PE equity ownership model to incentivize and reward the management team in the future.”

Phil Inness, Chairman of Axis Electronics, commented, “Alantra played a crucial role, providing pragmatic advice and valuable guidance to the shareholders, then using their understanding of our business and global reach to find us the right partner. We have built something special at Axis and in Cicor we have found a partner who shares the vision we have for the future.”

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