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BFI Optilas management buys out the company

03 May 2006

Photonics and electronics component distributor BFI Optilas has been bought out by its management team, which says it plans to "further expand the company's European operations".

The management team at optical and electronics component distributor BFI Optilas completed a management buy out of the company on 28 April 2006 for an undisclosed sum.

BFI Optilas, based in Evry, France, has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the Avnet Corporation for over 10 years following the acquisition of BFI Ibexsa in 1995 and its subsequent merger with Optilas in 1998.

The company has operated as a completely autonomous organisation within Avnet's European Electronics Marketing Group. During that time BFI Optilas contributed to the development and profitability of Avnet within Europe.

BFI Optilas' management team engaged with an independent private equity firm, Activa Capital, in order to acquire a majority stake in the company.

Activa Capital, an independent Paris-based private equity firm, manages over Euro 185 million ($235 million) of investments for a number of European pension funds, such as BT, insurance companies, and other funds and it has an experienced international team working with companies such as BFI Optilas. Avnet will retain a minority stake in the company.

BFI Optilas says it "will continue to expand its operation as a pan European distributor of products and services for the photonics and electronics market places.

The company focuses on niche technology products such as magnetic materials, lasers, sensors, connectors, electro-optics, imaging, fibre optics, RF and microwave components, systems and assemblies.

It is one of Europe's largest distributors of specialist products and services catering to the electronics and photonics markets. It employs more than 300 staff in 12 offices with sales and marketing coverage across Western Europe.

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