French software house Hardis Group is set to change ownership as its CEO Christian Balmain prepares to retire.
Two banks, Crédit Mutuel and Bpifrance, will become majority shareholders, while future CEO Nicholas Odet will retain a stake, along with managing director Yvan Coutaz and "about 30 managers".
Hardis Group is currently owned by a combination of the founders and executive team.
Odet said that with Balmain wishing to retire within months, Hardis had looked for outside investment that would also help the group "maintain our independence".
"We want to develop our business, particularly in Europe, by targeting growth of more than 10 per cent per year," he said.
"We approached CM-CIC Investissement because of its ability to provide equity with a long-term vision, in addition to its agility and sector-specific expertise.
"Bpifrance will provide additional support as an institutional investor, giving us access to its ecosystem and expertise in innovation and international development."
Based in Seyssinet-pariset in the south-eastern Rhône-Alpes region, Hardis Group also diversified its portfolio in 2017, investing in its own-brand logistics software.
The same year, it also opened three new subsidiaries, in France, Spain and Switzerland.
Yvan Coutaz told CPI that it was part of the firm's goal of upping its top line to €150m by 2020.
Its top line is currently approximately €116m, with a headcount of 1,115.
Hardis operates from five locations in its native country, in Paris, Lyon, Nantes, Lille, and Grenoble.
The operation remains subject to approval by the competition authorities and is expected to take effect at the end of March 2019.
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