Lacroix acquires US EMS provider Firstronic
The French electronics manufacturer is looking to reinforce its foothold in the US and German market, and doing so through acquisitions. The company has now signed an agreement for the acquisition of a majority stake in Firstronic.
Founded back in 1980, Firstronic is an EMS provider serving Tier-1 customers primarily in the automotive, industry and healthcare sectors in North America. The company relies on two production sites in Michigan, US and Mexico, with its team of around 1,300 employees. Lacroix first acquired a stake in the US company back in 2017, which it then increased to 12.5%. Subject to the usual suspensive conditions, this operation will be conducted with co-investment from Bpifrance, who will take up a minority stake in Firstronic, through its International Build-Up Fund, the French company details in a press release. This deal is said to significantly strengthen Lacroix’s global position in sectors with increasing demands for electronic solutions. The French group has previously expressed its ambition to consolidate its positions in the US market – and the acquisition of Firstronic makes it possible to establish a stronger industrial base on the North American continent. It also creates a solid base to accelerate the growth of Lacroix’s various activities in the USMCA region. “We have had a stake in Firstronic for almost four years now, during which time we have been able to observe the commitment and know-how of Firstronic’s teams and the strong potential synergies between our respective entities. Together with keeping in place a highly experienced management team, which has been able to grow the business at a rapid pace, these elements convinced us that a combination would be mutually beneficial and incorporating Firstronic largely facilitated. Proud of the opportunities afforded by a first acquisition such as this on US soil that is as structural as it is historic, we look forward to welcoming Firstronic’s teams within the Group and with them, creating a global leader in industrial IoT solutions and electronic devices for critical applications,” says Vincent Bedouin, Lacroix CEO in the press release. Beyond the commercial and industrial synergies, and economies of scale, which were behind the initial acquisition of a stake in 2017, incorporating Firstronic should immediately prove accretive within the upcoming financial year, especially in terms of EBITDA margin. John Sammut, CEO of Firstronic confirms “We couldn’t be happier with this agreement. We are very familiar with Lacroix teams, and Lacroix and Firstronic are joining forces to create a global leader in EMS, which makes perfect sense from both an industrial and financial point of view. I am excited for us to start working together to grasp the excellent growth opportunities that lie ahead.” Firstronic’s current management team will remain fully committed in the new organization and John Sammut, present since 2011, will remain CEO of Firstronic and will retain 4% of share capital in it, while Jochen Lipp, COO since 2013, will take an equity stake in Firstronic of 3%. Lacroix, which already has a 12.5% shareholding, will rise its equity stake in Firstronic to 62% at the end of the deal. Lastly, as part of the agreement, co-investing alongside Lacroix, Bpifrance will take a 26% stake in Firstronic through its International Build-Up Fund (IBF).