Aleph Capital & Bpifrance announcement

June 29, 2017

Aleph Capital Partners LLP and Bpifrance to invest in Ekinops (ISIN code: FR0011466069, Ticker: EKI), a fast-growing optical transport equipment provider, by acquiring a significant minority stake in the context of the acquisition of OneAccess, a leading supplier of network access solutions for Enterprises.

Founded in 2003, Ekinops focuses on the design and commercialisation of telecom software and hardware equipment dedicated to the transport of data over high-speed optical networks (10G, 100G and 100G+). Through the development of a differentiated software technology (T-Chip, “Transport-on-a-Chip”), Ekinops has experienced significant growth over the past years and achieved sales of €18m in 2016.

The acquisition of OneAccess will enable Ekinops to accelerate its growth trajectory and reach critical mass. OneAccess specialises in routing equipment intended to enable Communication Service Providers to deliver their offer (Internet, Voice over IP, Security, Cloud, etc.) to their Enterprise customers. Through this transformative acquisition, Ekinops will quadruple its annual revenues. The combined entity will generate significant commercial and technology synergies and will create an integrated telecom equipment company, focused on optical transport, ethernet access and routing solutions, with total sales of €76m.

Through their respective investments, Aleph Capital and Bpifrance intend to support the company’s ambitious development strategy, led by CEO Didier Brédy. This strategy will be implemented through the combination of two innovative technology companies, pursuing organic as well as inorganic growth initiatives, within an attractive market characterised by major evolutions such as the emergence of 5G and the exponential increase in IP traffic.

The acquisition of OneAccess by Ekinops will be partially financed through a reserved capital increase subscribed by Bpifrance and Aleph Capital, resulting in each investor becoming a reference shareholder of Ekinops with a significant minority stake post-transaction. Completion of the Aleph Capital and Bpifrance investments is subject to the completion of a Public Rights Issue by Ekinops, the completion of the acquisition of OneAccess by Ekinops and a number of other customary conditions, including the absence of material adverse effect.

Didier Brédy, CEO of Ekinops, said: “By joining forces, Ekinops and OneAccess will give birth to a major player in the market for optical transport and virtualisation of telecom networks, benefiting from true international scope and reaching critical mass. High complementarity between the technological, industrial and commercial capabilities will constitute a solid foundation for the combined Group, enabling us to enhance the penetration of our products and technologies within large telecom operators. We are delighted to welcome Aleph Capital and Bpifrance, two prestigious investors, as our new reference shareholders.”

Hugues Lepic, CEO of Aleph Capital, said: “Ekinops is an ambitious company led by a talented management team. The acquisition of OneAccess will enable Ekinops to accelerate significantly its growth trajectory. Aleph Capital intends to support Ekinops in the long term and to contribute to its growth and consolidation strategy.”

Maïlys Ferrère, Head of Large Venture at Bpifrance, said: “The merger between Ekinops and OneAccess is relevant from a technological, R&D and commercial standpoint. It will allow the emergence of a new French technology company, capable of bringing more integrated and better quality solutions to telecom carriers. We are excited to support the CEO, Didier Brédy, in the execution of his vision. We are joining the board of directors to support the company in its dynamic growth trajectory.”

About Ekinops

Ekinops is a leading supplier of next generation optical transport equipment for telecommunications service providers. The Ekinops 360 solution addresses Metro, Regional, and Long-Haul applications with a single, highly-integrated platform. Ekinops is a market-leading innovator in 100G transport with a coherent line of products that truly optimizes optical networks and comes in 1RU, 2RU or 7RU chassis. The Ekinops 360 solution relies on the highly-programmable Ekinops T-Chip® (Transport-on-a-Chip) architecture that enables fast, flexible and cost-effective delivery of new services for high-speed, high-capacity transport. Using the Ekinops 360 carrier-grade system, operators can simply increase capacity of their networks – CWDM, DWDM, Ethernet, ESCON, Fibre Channel, SONET/SDH, and uncompressed video (HD-SDI, SD-SDI, ASI). Ekinops is headquartered in Lannion, France.

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About OneAccess

OneAccess was founded in 2001 and specialises in software and hardware solutions intended for telecom carriers and IP service providers, allowing them to deliver their service bundles (Internet, Voice over IP, Security, Cloud, etc.) to their clients, large corporations and SMEs. With its integrated router solutions (hardware and software), OneAccess offers its clients a full range of physical and virtual platforms that are totally flexible, open, and scalable, with a wide range of different access technologies (DSL, fibre, WIFI, 4G, etc.). OneAccess’ client base comprises approximately 130 telecom carriers, 29 of which are in the global Top 100. With more than 350 employees, OneAccess does business in 13 countries worldwide, and has four R&D centres hosting about half its workforce (in Velizy and Sophia Antipolis, France; Louvain, Belgium; and Bangalore, India).

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About Bpifrance

Equity investments are operated by Bpifrance Investissement. Bpifrance, a subsidiary of the French state and the Caisse des Dépôts and the entrepreneurs’ trusted partner, finances businesses from the seed phase to IPO, through loans, guarantees and equity investments. Bpifrance also provides operational services and strong support for innovation, export, and external growth in partnership with Business France. Bpifrance offers to businesses a large range of financing opportunities at each key step of their development, including offers adapted to regional specificities. With its 50 regional offices (90% of decisions are made locally) Bpifrance represents a strategic tool for economic competitiveness dedicated to entrepreneurs. Bpifrance acts as a back-up for initiatives driven by the French State and the Regions to tackle 3 goals:

– Contributing to SME’s growth

– Preparing tomorrow’s competitiveness

– Contributing to the development of a positive entrepreneur ecosystem.

With Bpifrance, businesses benefit from a powerful, efficient and close representative, to answer all their needs in terms of financing, innovation and investment.

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About Aleph Capital

Aleph Capital is a long-term oriented investment firm with a mandate to provide capital solutions to ambitious companies seeking to unlock their growth potential. The firm was founded by Hugues Lepic, who led the European private equity investing business of Goldman Sachs (“Goldman Sachs Capital Partners”) between 2006 and 2012. Aleph is focused on investments where its ability to commit flexible capital and to support management teams can lead to accelerated value creation.

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Press contact: 

Greenbrook Communications, Alex Jones

+44 20 7952 2000