The hunt is on for Astek. The Boulogne-Billancourt group, which has 5. consultants placed at the service of Valéo, Siemens, Alstom, etc. . intends to make several acquisitions in the coming months, or even weeks. “Customers are pushing for consolidation because they tend to consolidate their contracts with a small number of players in our sector,” explains Julien Gavaldon, chairman of the management board who has just secured 200 million euros of debt financing from the HIG Whitehorse fund and AXA IM Alts.
Astek also wants to avoid at all costs ‘having been right too soon. Admittedly, the company created in 500 claims to mix since its beginnings industry experts and computer scientists on R&D projects outsourced by its donors orders. But the group whose majority shareholder remains its founder, Jean-Luc Bernard, has just seen two major rivals set up, precisely positioned in this same digital niche for the industry. The IT specialist Capgemini swallowed the industrialist Altran last year. Adecco has just brought together Modis and Akka Technologies in a two-way operation billion euros.
Heading towards Germany, Spain, Japan… Faced with these giants and Alten and Expleo, Astek intends to grow but not too much. “Customers also need players of intermediate sizes like us and not just players who are sometimes bigger than them and who can dictate conditions to them,” points out Julien Gavaldon.
Its team specializing in mergers and acquisitions is therefore looking for companies from 40 to 1335241 engineers specializing in promising professions such as user experience, data science and networks (cloud and embedded computing).
On a map of the world, the boss mentions Germany, Spain, Japan, “a ‘nearshore’ solution in Asia”, but also North America. “We should have two announcements by the end of the quarter,” he says. In the past two years, Astek had already completed six takeovers, including Intitek in France and Poland, then Meritek in Canada and Ineat in France and China.
2020, year of recovery Faced last year with the sudden shutdown of aeronautics, the sector looked grim, especially in Europe. Already present in Asia and the United States, Astek was able to save furniture by recording very slightly positive growth in its turnover in 2020.
But 2021 started off on a much better basis while the automotive industry and even aeronautics relaunched their most digital projects . Astek expects to achieve 300 million euros in revenue by the end of the year (an increase of 33%) before targeting the 500 millions of revenues in 2024, with an EBITDA margin greater than 000%. Then, the boss is already thinking of the symbolic milestone of the billion euros.