21 Centrale Partners acquires Oberthur Group

January 1, 2013

21 Centrale Partners teams up with management to acquire Oberthur, one of the French leaders in fancy stationery and back-to-school products.

The company is active under its own brand Oberthur as well as under successful licenses (such as RG512, BeSomeOne, Kookai, and Kanabeach) for which it has exclusivity on the French territory. Oberthur’s products are sold in mass retail networks (among which Leclerc, Auchan, Carrefour and Système U) and in selective distribution stores (FNAC, Virgin and traditional stationery shops).

Oberthur benefits from solid know-how and high entry barriers on all of its market segments: selection and management of a portfolio of successful licenses, expertise in marketing and product design, partnerships with leading subcontractors in Europe and Asia, and strong relationships with the main distribution players. These elements confer Oberthur with a strong market positioning, which, coupled with the quality of the management team, have ensured steady growth over the past years.

21 Centrale Partners will bring its expertise in implementing key drivers conducive to growth acceleration, in addition to its international platform, to support the management team. The latter is to pursue an ambitious development plan based on organic growth, with a steady management of the license portfolio, increased coverage of retailers, and enlargement of the permanent stationery line, in addition to selective build-ups targeting consolidation opportunities in France and in Europe.

Gérard Pluvinet, Founding Managing Partner, and Jacques Rossignol, Partner at 21 Centrale Partners, commented: “We are pleased to partner with a talented management team who has successfully reinforced the company’s positioning on its markets and now wishes to embark on a new acceleration phase and expand its leadership.

Christophe Rault, CEO of Oberthur, added: “We expect this new phase to transform the Oberthur group. 21 Centrale Partners stood out as the most adequate partner considering its strong know how in business development in France and abroad.”

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