Newsletter - DEFI Gestion
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defi gESTION sa
Gross IRR of 40% on LBO and expansion of the
Despite the ﬁnancial turmoil at the end
2008, DEFI Gestion achieved an excellent
performance. The objectives of the VDCapital L.P. fund were met and three exits are
already ongoing for the ﬁrst half of 2009.
The Fund has an IRR of 40% on transactions sold in the LBO segment so far.
Regarding DEFI EuroCap III L.P., the investment period is continuing with an acquisition
in the health sector in order to create a center of expertise in that ﬁeld. Finally, ICR also
continued its investment period with the acquisition of Diagnoplex, a start-up operating
in the ﬁeld of molecular diagnostics.
DEFI’s team is growing. The
arrival of Miss Sandy Clavien,
a graduate of HEC Lausanne,
and Mr. Dominique Morisod,
a longtime associate of DEFI,
has strengthened the buy-out
team. We welcome them.
Sandy Clavien, Patrice Crisinel, Mohammed Diab, Sarah Meier,
Jacques Berger, Dominique Morisod, Claude Suard, Arnaud
Cronel, Lina Nicolet, François Marcos
The team currently totals 10
professionals with conﬁrmed
track records to manage the
wealth of their investors and
to actively support entrepreneurs.
DEFI EuroCap III
Launched in 2006
Pan-European Small Caps
54 mio €
DEFI Gestion, Sinequanon and Luxempart closed
the 2nd financing round of DS Care
DS Care, our Luxembourg-based company
incorporated in early 2008 (see Newsletter of May 2008), has taken another step
to reach its aim of becoming a major European player in the ﬁeld of homes for elderly
For the time being, the development strategy focuses on nursing homes located in
the North of Italy. The implementation of
acquisitions is going as expected thanks to
an efﬁcient and experienced management
The Italian market is currently underdeveloped with only 1.3 beds per 100 persons
aged 65+, compared with a European aver-
age of 5.9 beds (“Where to be in European
nursing care”, Dexia, June 25, 2008). That
means large capacity needs in a market
where bed growth is regulated, thus creating signiﬁcant entry barriers. In February
2008, DS Care Italia ﬁnalized the acquisition of Argento Vivo, a company of two nursing homes based in Milan (300 beds). Since
June 2008, the entity has been managing
an additional 160 beds for a nursing home
located in Vittuone, close to Milan.
The new ﬁnancing round closed on the 16th
of December 2008 will allow the company
to ﬁnance multiple acquisition projects in
the pipeline in Italy, including advanced
DEFI EuroCap III
projects where an exclusivity period has
been obtained. The current projects represent about 1,000 beds located in the northern regions of Italy.
In its vision to create a pool of expertise,
DEFI EuroCap III bought a minority stake in
Emera Exploitations, the 8th largest private
player in the French market of retirement
Reinforcement of the Board of Directors of
Plumettaz Holding SA
In order to build its strategic level of expertise, Mrs. Adrienne Corboud Fumagalli,
Vice-President of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), joined the Board
of Directors of Plumettaz Holding SA.
phone +41 21 614 34 44
Launched in 2001
67 mio CHF
Mrs. Corboud Fumagalli, Vice-President for
innovation and development at the EPFL
and President of the FIT (Foundation for
Technological Innovation), has experience
of the media and telecom world (various
management functions at Swisscom) and
will support the Plumettaz Group in the next
steps of its development.
Adrienne Corboud Fumagalli
The support of DEFI Gestion helps Stradeblu
take a new start
Corsica Sardinia Ferries, one of Europe’s
leading maritime transport companies
based in France and Italy, has been approached to put new life into Stradeblu.
Some of the shares held by initial ﬁnancial
investors were bought by that company,
and to date it is the majority shareholder. In
this new stage of development, VDCapital
remains a minority shareholder, which has
invested with Corsica Sardinia Ferries and
the founder and CEO Mr. Cimaschi.
The integration of Stradeblu into this entity
brought major synergies and cost savings
to the Italian company, particularly in terms
of fuel costs, port costs (relocation of travel
operations from Genoa to Savona) and insurance premiums.
This new dynamic also features the operation of a new Strada Gothica boat, a ship
similar in size and capacity to Strada Gigante.
Captain Tortue: 4 times the amount invested,
which corresponds to an IRR of 62%
In 2008 Captain Tortue (private sales of
clothes for women and children in homes
based on the Tupperware model) continued
its spectacular ascension with sales of 45
million euros (+18%).
In 2009, the company will beneﬁt from two
new growth vectors, namely an additional
line of clothing for older women and a new
range of lingerie following the acquisition of
Java in early February 2009. That acquisition, the ﬁrst carried out by the company, will
generate considerable synergies in terms of
design and purchase and sales networks.
Java will be proposed to the network of
the sales persons
of Captain Tortue
(2,000 people), and
the network of Java
(200 people) will be
able to enjoy the
of Captain Tortue to
distribute the different brands of the company.
In terms of capital, the strong performance
of Captain Tortue enabled historical investors like VDCapital to obtain a price earnout, part of which was paid in December
phone +41 21 614 34 44
2008. As a result, VDCapital returned an
amount of CHF 3 million to its investors in
addition to the CHF 14 million already distributed in the summer of 2007. That successful transaction allowed VDCapital to realize a performance of 4 times the amount
invested in that stake, before reinvestment,
which corresponds to an IRR of 62%. Note
that besides the additional vendor loan, VDCapital has a remaining investment of 8% in
Launched end 2006
Financing of innovative startups which have a substantial
potential market and an
experienced team as well as
a strong business plan
phone +41 21 614 34 21
Initiative Capital Romandie
Our regional venture capital fund “Initiative
Capital Romandie” (ICR) closed its 4th investment last December by ﬁnancing the
Lausanne-based start-up Diagnoplex.
method to detect that type of cancer. The
niche market of molecular diagnostic is
growing fast and other companies are trying to develop similar tests.
Diagnoplex, a company operating in the
ﬁeld of molecular diagnostics, was founded
by Stavros Sterianos and Kurzio Ruegg.
Their main objective was to develop a noninvasive test to detect colorectal cancer.
The business model of the ﬁrm is to optimize a set of bio-markers speciﬁc to this
type of cancer through clinical studies and
to then market a high added-value screening kit to laboratories.
Diagnoplex, however, has a competitive advantage, not only because its test can detect very early stages of cancer, but also because it can detect pre-cancerous tumors.
That enables early treatments to take place,
and very promising tests have already taken place on more than 120 patients with
the help of Lausanne’s University hospital
(CHUV) and the ISREC (Swiss Institute for
experimental cancer research).
The company leverages a proprietary molecular platform which enables it to routinely
quantify a large number of bio-markers in
an economical way. That platform can be
used in the future to develop other similar
tests. Diagnoplex addresses a USD 1 billion
market made up of the 200 million people at
risk of developing colorectal cancer in western countries.
ICR has co-invested along with Novartis
Bioventures and Neomed for a total Series
A round of CHF 10 million.
To date, less than 20% of the people aged
above 50 go through systematic colorectal cancer screening, mainly because of
the invasive, risky and unpleasant nature
of colonoscopy, currently the only reliable