March 14, 2018 / 5:31 PM / 6 months ago

Apax Partners to take control of Italian consultancy BIP - source

LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) - French private equity fund Apax Partners has clinched a deal to buy a majority stake in Italian consultancy Business Integration Partners (BIP) for more than 200 million euros ($248 million), a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Founded in 2003, Milan-based BIP provides management consulting and business integration services and has been backed by European buyout fund Argos Soditic since 2014.

Argos has now decided to sell its stake, the source said.

BIP’s three co-founders will retain a minority stake in the company and will continue leading its global rollout, the source said.

BIP operates in 11 countries and employs more than 1,800 people.

The business has been growing steadily through a series of acquisitions, including the 2015 purchase of Italian consultant OpenKnowledge.

Paris-based Apax is expected to continue expanding BIP through possible bolt-on deals in a bid to boost its market share and geographical footprint, the source said.

Apax specialises in small and mid-market deals in telecommunications and media, consumer, healthcare and business services. It was not immediately available for comment.

Apax was advised by Italian boutique Fineurop Soditic while BIP’s shareholders were assisted by Equita Sim. ($1 = 0.8076 euros) (Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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