Leading European specialist distributor of electronic and photonic products
Philippe Gruson, CEO
MBO, spin-off (Avnet)
Activa Capital's role
Evry (Ile de France), 290 people
With 12 offices spread throughout Europe, BFI Optilas has positioned itself as the leading European value-added distributor of specialty electronic and photonic components, acting as an extension of the suppliers’ sales force. BFI Optilas operates in niche markets and is diversified in four business groups (specialty components, communication, laser & optical components, and imaging & detection).
The company will embark on an ambitious growth strategy both organically and by acquisition in the fragmented European specialised distribution market.
In 2009, Activa Capital saw the opportunity to merge BFI Optilas with the electronics distribution business of its main European competitor, Acal plc, thereby creating a pan-European group with complementary geographical locations and creating the European number one in its field by a long way, with a combined turnover in excess of €200m. The deal was structured using a mixture of share sales and exchange of Acal plc shares, the latter being AIM listed. Following the merger, the management of BFI Optilas took over the running of the electronics distribution division of the new group.