Country France
Region Midi-Pyrénées
Investor Sofinetti, IRDI, Epicea

Set up in 1986, CLS, a satellite surveillance company, was supported by risk capital from its earliest days. The company benefitted from private equity investment and guidance at every stage of its development from start-up to well established mid-cap company.

In just 25 years, staff numbers grew from 25 to almost 400 and turnover rose from € 20 to € 61 million (in 2011). The business has truly internationalised; it now boasts 15 subsidiaries and offices throughout the world and 60 percent of turnover is generated by exports.

The company has grown consistently since the year 2000.

Phillipe Sentous Financial Manager, CLS

What did the business need?

  • Expert shepherding of the company at every stage of its development
  • To make an innovative idea into a profitable company
  • To diversify its lines of business

How did private equity backing create lasting value?

  • Business diversified
  • Staff numbers increased
  • New products
  • Improved marketing of services

What outcomes did private equity investment achieve?

  • Key player in environmental surveillance, sustainable development of sea resources and sea security
  • Turnover more than tripled
  • From 25 to nearly 400 employees in 25 years
  • Regularly recording double digit growth IRDI and Sofinetti still hold stakes, Epicea sold in 2008





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