Paris, June 24, 2021 - After being pioneers with the joint launch of the 1st unit of account invested in Private Equity eligible for the life insurance contract from July 2016, AXA France and NextStage AM continue to develop their relationship. To participate in the acceleration of the Government's recovery plan, and based on the PACTE and PER law, the new Pépites et Territoires program, labeled Relance, aims to strengthen the equity capital of growing French SMEs and mid-cap companies. and innovative products established in our territories. Launched in the presence and with the support of the Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Economy, Finance and Recovery, responsible for Industry, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, the unlisted program "Pépites et Territoires" aims invest € 500M in total, including € 150M by the end of 2022.
“I welcome this initiative, which will bring equity to our companies and give them the means to accelerate their investments, to grow and to hire. The “Pépites et Territoires” program targets the hidden champions of the territories, these SMEs and mid-cap companies all over France who innovate and export. It is with these companies that we will continue the reindustrialisation process initiated four years ago and accelerated by the France Relance plan. This project is fully in line with the objectives that we have set ourselves, in the service of employment in our country ”, says Agnes Pannier-Runacher, Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Economy, Finance and Recovery, in charge of industry.
Context and objectives
State Guaranteed Loans (PGEs) have played their role of shock absorber and have enabled companies to face short-term maturities, the question of their impact on the future financing of SMEs and mid-caps arises. This problem cannot be resolved by postponing deadlines alone and requires strengthening equity capital to allow French companies with high growth potential to continue their development. The Pépites et Territoires project stems from this strong conviction shared between AXA France and NextStage AM.
Pépites et Territoires is a long-term investment program investing in unlisted shares which aims to support entrepreneurs. The program, which has obtained the Relance label, aims to invest € 500M, with initially € 150M by 2022 through the general assets of AXA France and, subsequently, will be offered to its clients under the form of Unit of Account, eligible for life insurance and PER, through the AXA France network. It makes it possible to give meaning to the long-term savings of the French by financing entrepreneurial projects established in all regions. To meet these objectives, the Pépites et Territoires investment program includes strong diversification rules, including geographic ones: the program will not invest more than 20% of the total amount of subscriptions in the same area, nor more than 35% in the same region with the exception of Ile-de-France which could have a weight of 50%. These characteristics are essential to ensure a balance of investments both in terms of business areas and their locations. They allow investment to be channeled into all regions and thus ensure close proximity to individual investors.
To deploy these own funds, Pépites et Territoires will have three investment axes:
- Almost 55% of the investment will be made in the form of co-investment with Nextstage (NEXTS), an investment platform listed on Euronext compartment B, whose investment strategy is based on tickets of € 10M to € 40M € always with a view to investing in unlisted, innovative and high-growth nuggets located in the heart of the territories, in France;
- Around 30% will be invested directly in equity by the Pépites et Territoires vehicle in SMEs and mid-cap companies,
- Finally, a pocket of around 15% of the investment will be allocated to the Championnes III vehicle, which has the investment strategy of acquiring essentially minority stakes (between € 4 and € 10m), in Nuggets realizing between € 5 and 50m. € turnover and already profitable. It is also planned to continue this type of investment in the successor vehicles of Championnes III when the latter has completed its investment period.
The program therefore favors SMEs and mid-cap companies with high growth potential, whose business model has already been tested and will target as a priority those positioning themselves around the three major technological disruptions of the current industrial revolution, namely environmental innovation, smart health and digital.
“I am proud of this initiative, which reflects our desire to support the revival of the French economy. Pépites et Territoires is further proof of AXA France's commitment after having already mobilized € 2,7 billion in investment in France since the start of the Covid-19 crisis. This program, labeled Relance, will support French SMEs and mid-cap companies which bring employment, services, innovation and growth to the heart of our regions. These companies are an essential link in the recovery. Access to private equity, through the new possibilities offered by the PACTE law in life insurance and PER, is an opportunity for each saver to also support key sectors of the current industrial revolution such as health, 'environment and digital', declares Patrick cohen, CEO of AXA France.
"Our ambition is to enable the Nuggets established in our territories to become the champions of their markets in Europe and in the world, to create jobs and value for savers", added Grégoire Sentilhes, President of NextStage AM. "We have co-built the Pépites et Territoires program to reconcile the post-crisis issues of Covid-19, the interests of entrepreneurs and savers: AXA France and its savers can thus access investment opportunities, in great Profitable, innovative and growing SMEs and mid-cap companies, participate concretely in the dynamics of the recovery plan and gain access to more performance in a context marked by low interest rates. We are convinced that in the context of upheaval caused by the current industrial revolution and post Covid-19, the recovery will come first from the Territories, fertile ground for the Nuggets in terms of innovation and job creation. Everywhere in the territories in France, entrepreneurs thus have the opportunity to accelerate their development and their capacity for innovation, by strengthening their equity with the input of NextStage AM, pioneer and leader in Capital-Development in France with at total € 6,5 billion from AUM, its teams, experts in supporting Nuggets, SMEs and mid-caps, thanks to the trust of one of the biggest players in the insurance world - AXA France and its incredible network of agents - entrepreneurs thus have all the cards in hand to innovate and grow. AXA France, and NextStage AM thanks to the PACTE law and the PER thus give a long-term civic orientation to the savings of the French and join together as actors committed to the democratization of Private Equity and the battle for equity. which will be decisive for our sovereignty ”, he concluded.
Pépites et Territoires is the pursuit of a long-term partnership between AXA France and NextStage, through a dynamic of support in equity and long-term of talented entrepreneurs with clear objectives:
- Place the action of the recovery plan at the heart of the territories which are the breeding ground for the growth of our economy and the success of the crisis exit;
- Highlight the key role of the Pépites (PME / ETI) which innovate and grow in the success of the recovery plan;
- Strengthen the Pépites' own funds to rebound better, innovate more and emerge stronger after the crisis;
- Accelerate job creation for SMEs and midcaps, at the heart of this issue, everywhere in the territories;
- Optimizing the industrial and innovative development of SMEs and mid-cap companies through long-term action on their own funds to strengthen the development of a French “Mittelstand”;
- Orient the savings of the French towards the real economy by relying on the framework offered by the law (PACTE and PER) by democratizing access to private equity through life insurance and the Retirement Savings Plan, and thus offer more attractive return prospects while making a citizen investment.
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About AXA France
AXA France, an entity of the AXA Group headed by Patrick Cohen, is the leading French insurer. Multi-specialist, AXA France protects 7,1 million customers, individuals, businesses and professionals.
AXA France has been at the forefront of supporting the relaunch of all French companies, from very small businesses to SMEs to mid-sized companies. AXA France has contributed to all the joint initiatives launched by the State and / or by the world of insurance. AXA France thus added in July 2020 to the “Sustainable Relaunch” program of 200 million euros and mobilized 54 million euros for the solidarity fund set up by the public authorities to support VSEs and the self-employed. On the first fundraising of 11 billion euros, AXA is the first contributor with 2 billion euros which will be able to finance the rebound of professionals, independents and very small businesses everywhere in France through the program of Participatory Loans "Relance" launched in April 2021.
About NextStage AM
Independent management company based in Paris, approved by the AMF, NEXTSTAGE AM, which has cultivated an “entrepreneur-investor” philosophy since its founding in 2002, is one of the pioneers and leaders of innovative and patient development capital in France. . NEXTSTAGE has developed a multi-strategy PE platform which represents, in terms of outstandings at the end of December 2020, directly and indirectly, more than € 6,1 billion AUM. NEXTSTAGE AM invests in a limited number of Medium-Sized Companies (64 companies in the portfolio as of 31/03/2021), French and European, innovative, and growth, to which it brings entrepreneurial investor expertise and strong operational support (integration of innovation, talents, international, external growth). NEXTSTAGE AM provides long-term support to these Medium-Sized Companies (MTEs), unlisted and listed on Alternext and Euronext B and C, which are positioned around the ongoing industrial revolution, its three technological disruptions, digital, environmental innovation, and smart health, and are based around the 4 major cross-cutting fund trends, the on-demand economy (digital platforms and Saas), the industrial internet (from robots to AI), Positive economy (green growth, blue growth, environmental performance), and the Economy of the value of our emotions and the quality of the customer experience. It gives them the means to accelerate their development and their capacity for innovation to become “Champions” in their markets, both in France and internationally, through organic and / or external growth. NEXTSTAGE AM received in December 2015 the Gold Award for the best player in development capital in Europe by Private Equity Awards, in 2017 NextStage Croissance won the special prize of the Jury Actifs de l'Innovation and in 2019 and 2021 the Prize of the editorial staff, Private Equity category of the 2019 wealth management pyramids.
NextStage AM: Jonathan Boudin - email@example.com - 01 44 29 99 04
AXA France : Catherine Alves: 06 81 27 00 09 firstname.lastname@example.org / Valérie Leselbaum: 06 13 47 44 11 email@example.com