Advent International owned Oberthur Technologies, plans to sell shares in what it predicts will be 2015’s biggest European technology IPO.
Advent is moving forward with a listing even after Oberthur drew interest from investment
funds, Chief Executive Officer said Tuesday in a conference call. Private-equity firms Carlyle Group and Eurazeo SA were amonginterested bidders in July, potentially valuing Oberthur about 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion), people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.
“We’ll be the biggest technology IPO in Europe this year if my calculations are correct,” said Didier Lamouche, CEO, Oberthur, who declined to comment about valuation and said the financial details of the IPO will be unveiled in 15 days. “We need to keep investing and growing, that’s why we’re seeking funds.”
Oberthur joins a series of French technology companies, from Deezer to Showroomprive, that are raising funds this year to bulk up. Advent bought Oberthur, a unit of French banknote printer Francois-Charles Oberthur Fiduciaire SA, in 2011. The private-equity firm may decide to sell some of its stake, depending on market conditions, Lamouche said.
With revenue of €960 million in 2014, Oberthur has less than half the sales of rival Gemalto, which has a market value of about €5.5 billion. Both competitors make security software that’s used in chips for phones, as well as bank and ID cards, and are fighting to woo new customers as hackers threaten everything from cars to retail chains.