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MECAPLAST Group receives investment from Equistone

25 Jan 2016

MECAPLAST Group, a leading European automotive equipment manufacturer, joins forces with the investment company Equistone Partners Europe which, through its Fund V, becomes the majority shareholder alongside Thierry Manni, a current major shareholder of the Group and Chairman of the Board, Bpifrance (via the FAA) and MECAPLAST Group’s Management team.

MECAPLAST Group designs, develops and manufactures plastic parts and complete systems for vehicle Engine and Body. It has reported revenues of over 700 million euros and employs more than 6,000 employees in 18 countries. The Group’s customers include leading car manufacturers: PSA, Renault-Nissan, Fiat-Chrysler, Toyota, General Motors, BMW, Volkswagen Group, SAIC, Daimler, Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo, Ford, Honda, Suzuki, etc. 

MECAPLAST was founded in 1955 in Monaco by Charles Manni, and has been chaired by his son Thierry Manni since 2008. In 2009, the FAA (Fonds Avenir Automobile - ex FMEA, an investment fund managed by Bpifrance and focused on the automotive industry) invested in the Group, which at the time had been hit by a downturn in the automotive sector. Shareholders hired a new management team in 2012, which successfully turned around the business. 

In 2015, the MECAPLAST Group shareholders decided to look for an industrial or financial partner in order to consolidate and accelerate the Group’s international development. Equistone Partners Europe, one of Europe's leading mid-market private equity investors, was eventually chosen. Equistone takes a majority stake in MECAPLAST, alongside the incumbent shareholders, Chairman Thierry Manni and the FAA, as well as the MECAPLAST Group management team. 

Over the next few years, this alliance will enable MECAPLAST Group to accelerate its growth strategy in several areas: 

  • Development of the Group’s commercial and industrial footprint abroad: MECAPLAST now operates in 18 countries and intends to pursue its Customers’ support strategy, particularly in emerging markets. 
  • Strengthening capacity for innovation: capitalizing on 3 Skills Centers in France and Monaco, and 5 Technical Centers worldwide, the Group intends to complete its range of products and improve its technical partnerships with manufacturers to allow them manufacturing energy-efficient vehicles. 
  • Improving operational performance and financial strength: the support of robust financial shareholders over the long term will allow MECAPLAST to play a leading role in the consolidation of a fragmented market. 

Thierry Manni, Chairman of MECAPLAST, stated: “This project is first and foremost a growth project for MECAPLAST Group. Our goal is to strengthen the Group to make it more robust and more sustainable. In short, we want to provide MECAPLAST with the means to continue its ambitious strategy, while maintaining our core values and our presence in the Principality, which are very close to my heart.” 

Guillaume Jacqueau, Managing Partner of Equistone: “Equistone, which has been present in the French market for 25 years, has supported numerous companies at various stages of their development. We are very pleased to be supporting MECAPLAST in this new phase of growth, alongside the founding family, Bpifrance and the managers.” 

Alexandre Ossola, Managing Director of Bpifrance’s “Fonds Avenir Automobile”: “After being at the Group's side during the automotive sector’s crisis and helping it to recover its role as a strong, sustainable industry player, Bpifrance wanted to continue supporting MECAPLAST as it rolls out its ambitious international and innovation strategy. We are therefore delighted to continue the adventure alongside Equistone and Thierry Manni.” 

Finally, Pierre Boulet, CEO of MECAPLAST concluded that: “MECAPLAST is now seeing the results of the recovery initiated in 2012. This development will enable us to continue our organic growth strategy, but also to envisage appropriate external growth, in order to confirm the Group’s position as one of the leaders in its field.” 

The transaction is subject to approval by the competition authorities.

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