Advent International is an American global private equity firm focused on buyouts of companies in Western and Central Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on international buyouts, growth and strategic restructuring in five core sectors.
|Headquarters||Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Products||Private equity funds, buyouts|
Number of employees
Advent operates from 14 offices in 12 countries, with affiliates in additional countries, and employs over 190 investment professionals.
A Boston, Massachusetts spin-out from TA Associates by Peter Brooke. Brooke had founded TA Associates in 1968 after having expanded the venture capital operations of TA's parent Tucker Anthony & R.L. Day. In 1985, Advent raised its first fund – a $14 million corporate venture capital program for Nabisco. In 1987, the firm raised the $225 million International Network Fund, its first institutional private equity fund. The firm raised its first European fund in 1989, with the $231 million European Special Situations Fund and opened its London office.
Advent continued its expansion in the 1990s, opening offices in Frankfurt and Milan and merging with UK-based Trinity Capital Partners. In 1994, Advent completed fundraising for the first of its flagship series of funds, Advent Global Private Equity (GPE) II, with $415 million. In 1996, Advent expanded into Latin America raising a dedicated Advent Latin American Private Equity Fund and opening offices in Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo.
Advent crossed the billion dollar mark in 1997, with the raising of the $1.2 billion Advent Global Private Equity (GPE) III, and in the last few years of the 1990s, Advent raised additional sector funds focused on media and communications as well as healthcare and life sciences. Advent's founder, Peter Brooke, stepped down as the firm's CEO in 1996, but remained active as the company's chairman.
Through the 2000s, Advent's expansion accelerated as the firm raised additional funds for its various fund families and opening new offices in Europe and Asia. Advent's sixth global private equity fund, raised in 2008 closed with €6.6 billion of investor commitments and the firm raised an additional €1 billion for investments in central Europe.
In March 2016, Advent raised its eighth global private equity fund with $13 billion of investor commitments.
Advent began to invest in Poland in 1995. In total, they have made 13 investments in Poland across multiple sectors, including construction materials, food and beverages, financial services, rail equipment, construction chemicals and the cable industry.
In 2004 Advent-owned fund Viva Ventures bought the Bulgarian state-owned telecoms monopoly Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (now Vivacom). The company was sold to AIG in 2007.
Advent has acquired a number of companies in Central and Eastern Europe through its dedicated regional funds. These include Romanian Ceramica IASI, one of Romania’s leading ceramic bricks and clay roof tiles producers, Bolix, a leading Polish producer of construction chemicals, Dufa Deutek, Romania’s largest decorative paints producer, and LaborMed Pharma, which manufactures and distributes generic pharmaceuticals primarily for cardiovascular and central nervous system ailments.
In 2007 Advent's Asia affiliate SEAVI Advent led the restructuring of Yangzijiang Shipbuilding, one of China's largest privately owned shipbuilders, and successfully listed the company on the Singapore Exchange; making it one of the largest IPOs by a foreign company in Singapore.
In March 2009 Advent announced the acquisition of a controlling interest in Fifth Third Processing Solutions, the payment processing business of Fifth Third Bank in a $2.35 billion transaction. The transaction represented one of the largest private equity transactions completed in 2009 amidst the Financial crisis of 2007–2010. The deal was completed in June 2009.
In November 2009 Advent announced a public tender offer to acquire 100% of Wydawnictwa Szkolne i Pedagogiczne S.A. (WSiP), the largest Polish educational publisher.
In April 2010, Advent took over the company DFS in the United Kingdom. In August 2010 Advent International was credited with spawning the takeover of Mexicana Airlines by an outside investor group. Advent International has no equity investment stakes in the takeover according to published sources.
In 2011 Advent acquired Mondo Minerals Holding B.V., the second largest global talc producer and British mental health care provider, Priory Group, best known for providing mental health treatments to celebrities such as Eric Clapton and Johnny Depp.
In August 2011, Advent International acquired Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits, a regional chain of quick-service restaurants based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
On August 7, 2014, lululemon athletica inc. and Wilson facilitated Advent's re-engagement in lululemon by selling 13.85% ownership in the company to Advent for approximately $845 million. The transaction received the full support of the lululemon Board of Directors and changes the board dynamic. Advent Managing Partner David M. Mussafer and Managing Director Steven J. Collins will be appointed to lululemon's Board of Directors, expanding the Board from 10 to 12 members. Mr. Mussafer will now share Chairman responsibilities with Michael Casey. Lululemon will also engage an independent expert to evaluate and make recommendations regarding the lululemon Board's committees, policies and procedures over the course of 90 days following the completion of Advent's stock purchase.
In November 2014, Advent International announced that it had completed raising a new $2.1 billion private equity fund its Advent Latin American Private Equity Fund VI, thought to be the largest such fund ever raised for Latin America. Advent International also acquired a significant minority ownership of Noosa Yoghurt, a Bellevue-based company, for an undisclosed amount.
On May 31st, 2017, Advent International and Bpifrance announced the completion of the acquisition of Safran Identity & Security (Morpho, now renamed IDEMIA), after receiving clearance from antitrust and regulatory authorities.
The aim was to "create a global leader in identification and security, based in France, with over €2.8 billion in revenue. By combining Safran I&S’s leadership in end-to-end biometric and identity solutions with OT’s leadership in digital embedded security, the two companies will be uniquely positioned to accelerate the convergence between governmental and commercial markets."
Didier Lamouche was appointed President of the Executive Board and Marwan Lahoud Chairman of the Supervisory Board of OT-MORPHO.
This acquisition raised concerns:
- Various civil rights organizations have criticized the government's contracts with IDEMIA, expressing concerns about sharing sensitive biometric data with a private and unregulated third-party company.
- Researchers have also found that facial verification and identification algorithms, including IDEMIA's algorithm specifically, exhibit systematic racial and gender bias.
- Another concern is the presence of Marwan Lahoud as a President or member of the board of different entities of the group, since 2017.
- Marwan Lahoud left abruptly AIRBUS (former EADS) in February 2017, without notice, and is deeply involved in the scandal of corruption which hit AIRBUS. "Airbus ran 'massive' bribery scheme to win orders" (title of the article in the Financial Times of January 31, 2020 in which he is mentioned, with a photo of him with this title: "Marwan Lahoud, who led the strategy organization and marketing of Airbus, SMO, a division dedicated to securing sales in emerging markets and at the heart of a catalog of offenses."). In January 2020, the French press announced that the French, British and American courts had validated the agreements made earlier this week by Airbus and the French National Financial Prosecutor's Office (PNF), the British Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Department of Justice ( DOJ) in the United States, under which the European group AIRBUS recognises the fraud and briberies, and undertakes to pay fines totalling 3.6 billion euros: 2.08 billion in France as part of a public interest legal agreement (CJIP ), 984 million in the United Kingdom and 526 million in the United States.
Today dissolved, the group's unit called Strategy and Marketing Organization (SMO), led by Marwan Lahoud, was at the heart of the matter.
Almost all the articles published on these agreements underline that the ex-leaders may be worried within the framework of a preliminary investigation still in progress.
On December 20th, 2019, the UK government approved Advent’s £4 billion takeover of defense supplier: Cobham Plc. On July 24th, 2019, Advent announced the 165p in cash for each Cobham shares, takeover of the firm. On September 16th, 2019, at a shareholders' meeting in London, the proposed takeover deal was approved with 93% voting in favor of the deal, surpassing the requisite 75% votes. The takeover was controversial, with opponents of the deal, such as the former First Sea Lord and Royal Navy chief Admiral Lord West expressing fears. The founding family of Cobham were also vocal opponents of the takeover. These oppositions for the takeover triggered an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), on the national security implications of the transaction, which led to the delay in the regulatory approval of the deal.
The company is following up its $3.3 billion acquisition of Evonik Industries AG's plastics division.
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