Caisse Nationale des Caisses d’Epargne (CNCE) has acquired 50.14% of the capital of the online broker Meilleurtaux for €41 per share (€70 million in total). This values the company at around €140 million. This transaction is to be followed by a simplified public purchase offer, also at €41 per share.
Ventech, which had already sold one third of its shareholding at end-2006, realised a multiple of 17x for a gain of €30 million.
Having co-founded Meilleurtaux in 2000, Ventech contributed to the online broker’s initial public offering in May 2005. Meilleurtaux was the first company to be floated on the Alternext and later the first to be transferred to the Eurolist before its sale to CNCE.
The acquisition was carried out via a holding company, the capital of which was opened up to the mutual insurance companies Macif and Maif, the property developer Nexity, and Christophe Cremer. The latter will nonetheless retain one third of his shares, to be exchanged for a 14% shareholding in the common holding company with CNCE. The founder of Meilleurtaux will stay on as Chairman and Managing Director and has undertaken to retain his shares during a period of three years.