Oberthur On The Road To Europe’s Biggest 2015 IPO

French security tech and smartcard maker Oberthur Technologies has announced it is heading for an IPO on the Euronext Paris exchange.

The Advent International-owned firm further noted that it expected to see sales exceed €1 billion ($1.13 billion) by the end of 2015. That is a pickup from the €960 million in revenue last year, which puts Oberthur in number two behind Gemalto on the list of largest smartcard manufacturers.

“The explosion in connected objects, with the growing need to secure these devices, provides considerable development opportunities,” the company said in a statement.

Advent has owned 90 percent of Oberthur since 2011 — a stake it snapped up for a robust €1.15 billion (Oberthur Founder Jean-Pierre Savare and his family retained a 10 percent stake). About a month ago, Advent made Oberthur’s path toward IPO clear when it brushed off an acquisition offer from two other private equity firms, Carlyle and Eurazeo. That bidding round valued Oberthur at around €2 billion, Chief Executive Officer Didier Lamouche said Tuesday (Oct. 20) in a conference call.

“We’ll be the biggest technology IPO in Europe this year if my calculations are correct,” said Lamouche, who declined to comment about valuation and said the financial details of the IPO will be unveiled in 15 days. “We need to keep investing and growing. That’s why we’re seeking funds.”

Oberthur is one of a group of French technology companies — in addition to Deezer and Showroomprive, for example — that are raising funds this year to grow.

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