About private equity

How private equity invests in privately-owned businesses, supports jobs and creates prosperity.


Login to access your exclusive member-only content and account information.


Not a member? Join us

  • Operate to the highest level of professional standards
  • Access authoritative industry research and data
  • Navigate the complex EU regulatory environment
  • Network and engage with industry leaders
Private equity in action - Case Study


Back to results
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.

Phillipe Sentous

Financial Manager


The company has grown consistently since the year 2000. Quotation Marks Graphic




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

More information



What can I do to manage cookies stored on my computer or phone?

You can accept or refuse cookies. Accepting cookies is usually the best way to make sure you get the best from a website.

Most PCs automatically accept them but you can change your browser settings to restrict, block or delete cookies if you want. Each browser is different, so check the 'Help' menu of your particular browser (or your mobile phone's handset manual) to learn how to change your cookie preferences. Many browsers have universal privacy settings for you to choose from.

Help on how to set and customise your cookie settings for your browser

How to manage cookies in Internet Explorer

Cookie settings in most versions of Internet Explorer can be found by clicking the tools option and then the privacy tab.

How to manage cookies in Firefox

Cookie settings in Firefox are managed in the Options window's Privacy panel. See Options window - Privacy Panel for information on these settings.

How to manage cookies in Chrome

Click on the spanner icon on the toolbar, select settings, click the under the bonnet tab, click on content settings in the privacy section.

How to manage cookies in Opera 

You can manage cookies in Opera if you Click on settings, then Preferences, then Advanced and finally Cookies

How to manage cookies in Safari

Choose Safari, then preferences and then click security. You should then be able to specify if and when Safari should accept cookies.

To manage cookies on your mobile phone please consult your manual or handbook.

Get more help about how cookies work with specific browsers.

What happens if I don't accept cookies?

If you decline cookies, some aspects of Invest Europe site may not work on your computer or mobile phone and you may not be able to access areas you want on the website. For this reason we recommend that you accept cookies.

What happens if I delete my cookies?

If you delete all your cookies you will have to update your preferences with us again and some aspects of our site may not work.

What happens if I change computers or mobile?

If you use a different device, computer profile or browser you will have to tell us your preferences again.

If you'd like to learn more about cookies in general and how to manage them, visit aboutcookies.org.

We can't be responsible for the content of external websites.

Opt-out of cookies


Join today

This is for members only. To view in full login or join Invest Europe today.