PRESS RELEASE — December 1st, 2022
Wendel’s 21st Annual Investor Day
Today, Wendel is hosting its 21st annual Investor Day, which is primarily dedicated to showcasing the Group’s unlisted companies. Wendel’s Executive Board will also present an update on the execution of its ongoing 2021-24 roadmap.
The Investor Day is an opportunity for the financial community to interact with senior management of the Group’s portfolio companies and to receive a detailed view on their plans for long-term value creation.
Against a still uncertain macroeconomic background, Wendel and its portfolio companies strong balance sheets will allow to continue to make acquisitions under the roadmap while remaining vigilant on prices.
The “Wendel Lab” to be renamed “Wendel Growth”
With Wendel Growth, Wendel invests via funds or directly in innovative, high-growth companies. With close to €170 million already committed through the initiative in recent years, Wendel Growth seeks direct investment and co-investment opportunities in startups. To make these direct investments, like the 2019 investment in AlphaSense, Wendel Growth relies on a new team made up of two professionals experienced in this asset class, including Antoine Izsak, who joined Wendel in early February as Head of Growth Equity. Mr. Izsak was previously Investment Director at Bpifrance. Going forward, Wendel also intends to continue to invest in funds and funds of funds.
André François-Poncet, Group CEO, said:
“This 21st Investor Day is also my last day at Wendel. These past five years at the helm of the Firm have been eventful and were characterized by major dislocations: the COVID pandemic and war in Europe triggering high inflation and monetary policy reversals bringing pronounced rises in interest rates.
These times warranted discipline in the face of pressure to deploy capital aggressively, funded by debt. A period of abundant liquidity has fortunately been favorable for sellers of private assets, allowing Wendel to pivot our portfolio in the quest of more growth assets, as well as towards investments in the U.S. We have been able to divest several companies at high valuations. We also sold our headquarters building at a very good price and we refinanced our nearest bond and credit lines at terms that we are unlikely to see again for a long time.
Wendel has a very strong balance sheet. It is at the beginning of its journey towards a faster growth portfolio and this holds promise for patient investors.
I am grateful to the Wendel Supervisory Board for its trust and to my colleagues for their full engagement over the past five years. I would also like to thank David Darmon, my partner on the management board. Laurent Mignon will take over from tomorrow. He has my wholehearted support.”
For further information, please watch Wendel’s Investor Day live by connecting to our website (www.wendelgroup.com) beginning at 2:30 PM. A replay will be available for one year.