Yves Durkheim, president of the AFITEX Group, will soon leave his position after 31 years at the head of the group he created in 1992 with Didier Benamu. Sébastien Mathiot, CEO since January 2023, will succeed him.
Sparring Capital, an independent management company, is taking a majority stake in the capital of the AFITEXINOV group, together with the management team and the investment company Swen Capital Partners. Durkheim and Benamu – co-founders of the group – will remain shareholders and will continue to support AFITEXINOV on strategic issues. Today, AFITEXINOV is one of the world specialists in the geosynthetics market. The group has a strong capacity for innovation (23 international patents, internal R&D team) and benefits from a strong international presence with production sites located in France, North America (Canada) and North Africa (Algeria).
Backed by its new shareholders, AFITEXINOV aims at accelerating its development in the upcoming years by further expanding its geographical coverage (imminent opening of an entity in India) and by carrying out targeted external growth operations. Its development will also be driven by the dynamism of the underlying industries and the increasing penetration of geosynthetics in line with growing environmental concerns. Thanks to their technical properties of filtration, waterproofing, and separation or drainage, these products enable the preservation of water and soils, and their reinforcing proprieties extend infrastructures and roads for a lifetime.
In a fast-growing global market (around 10% per year), and thanks to its innovative product positioning, the group has experienced steady growth in the past few years employing more than 150 people around the world.
“The arrival of Sparring Capital as shareholder of our group will allow us to further boost our development in France and abroad, both on the industrial and commercial levels,” Mathiot said. “Together with the management team, we are looking forward to the exciting challenges that await us in the coming years. The reinvestment of Durkheim and Benamu is also a sign of confidence that demonstrates their unfailing support at our side.”
“This shareholders’ evolution enables the group to further grow while remaining in a strategic continuity,” Durkheim added. “The commitment of the managers to the company’s project undeniably strengthens the employee’s motivation. I am very confident in the seriousness and the dynamism of the team to carry out and succeed in the projects’ development to come.”
“AFITEXINOV, which is positioned in a fast-growing market, quickly appeared to us as an attractive opportunity considering its innovative positioning on high-value added products,” said Arnaud Leclercq, CEO of Sparring Capital. “Indeed, the environmental dimension of the proposed solutions, which contribute to the protection of soils and natural resources, constitutes a very attractive growth driver. We are therefore enthusiastic about the idea of accompanying the group in its future development, both in France and internationally.”
“We are delighted to support Sparring Capital in the acquisition of AFITEXINOV,” added Diego Aponte Vargas, managing director and head of international strategy at SWEN CP. “We were seduced by the quality of the management team, the market fundamentals, and the various development opportunities for the company. AFITEXINOC is a flagship of the French industry with a significant local presence and strong innovation capacity in the geosynthetics market.”