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Cobepa to invest in SmartSD in partnership with its founders, management, and Smile Invest

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Cobepa to invest in SmartSD in partnership with its founders, management, and Smile Invest
29 January 2024

SmartSD (www.SmartSD.com), a leading value-add distributor of security solutions, announces, together with its current financial partner Smile Invest and management, a new strategic partnership with Cobepa, a leading European private equity company. This partnership underscores SmartSD’s commitment to its vendor partners, clients and team, with Cobepa actively supporting its long-term development strategy centred on continued organic growth, unlocking M&A opportunities, digital leadership and the ambition to become the Pan-European market leader.

SmartSD views Cobepa as more than just an investor; it’s a strategic partner that mirrors its culture, values and mission, bringing vast experience and expertise to the table to continue SmartSD’s growth story. This partnership aims not just to secure the company’s future but also to foster the growth of its dedicated employee base.

SmartSD’s longstanding stakeholders — the co-founders, management team, as well as Smile Invest — remain fully (and financially) committed for this next growth phase alongside Cobepa, who takes a majority stake. Together, they aim to support SmartSD in further building out its European footprint both organically and through M&A, strengthening the digital platform, enhance offerings and services and continue being the partner of choice for SmartSD’s customers.

SmartSD and its shareholders were advised by Rothschild & Co (financial advisor).

Stefan Schreurs – Co-founder and sales manager, SmartSD
“The interest shown by a highly reputable private equity firm like Cobepa in SmartSD is a testament to what we have achieved with SmartSD until today, our drive for excellence, our adherence to strong company values and the pivotal role of our passionate people. The continued support of our vendor partners has been key to our growth over the past years, whilst the trust our customers have shown in us has been integral to our success; our dedication remains in providing them with a superior experience and continue offering them our comprehensive range of products and services. We thank Smile Invest for their support over the past few years and very much look forward to the next stage of our successful journey together.”

Jean-Marie Laurent Josi – CEO, Cobepa
“We are thrilled to support SmartSD which puts digital technology, vendor value creation and superior customer experience at its core. We look forward to writing the next exciting chapter in SmartSD’s growth journey together with its founder-led management team and Smile Invest.”

Bart Cauberghe – Managing Partner, Smile Invest
“It has been a privilege to support as a majority shareholder SmartSD’s outstanding team on their growth trajectory over the past 5 years with the entry into the French market and developing the most advanced digital platform in the security value added distribution industry. We welcome a like-minded shareholder which will undoubtedly strengthen our collective ambition. SmartSD’s success has always revolved around a deep-rooted commitment to values, innovation, and most importantly, its customers. Together with SmartSD’s management team and Cobepa, we aim to achieve new milestones and further SmartSD’s success.”
 

SmartSD (www.smartsd.com)
SmartSD is a value-add e-commerce distributor of security systems, offering products and services through its advanced digital platform in the areas of video surveillance, burglary protection, fire protection as well as access monitoring. SmartSD has partnerships with a wide range of best-in-class, third-party brands for which the company subsequently distributes products and related services to customers, predominantly serving professional installers and integrators, across the Benelux and France. Additionally, SmartSD also offers training and technical services to its customers, where installers learn about the products and services supplied. SmartSD was established in 2008 and is headquartered in Breda (NL) with additional offices in Merchtem (BE), Paris (FR) and Toulouse. The company employs c.110 FTEs. 

Smile Invest (www.smile-invest.com)
Smile Invest (Smart Money for Innovation Leaders) is a European evergreen investment firm with ca. €500m of assets under management, financed by 40 entrepreneurial families and with a long-term focus on innovative growth companies. Smile Invest focuses on companies active in three investment themes: digitalization, healthcare and sustainability. Since its inception in 2017 Smile Invest has built a portfolio of 15 companies. From its offices in Leuven and The Hague, the team supports ambitious entrepreneurs and management teams in realizing their growth plans.

Cobepa (www.cobepa.com)
Based in Brussels and established in 1957, Cobepa is a well-recognised private equity investor, with over €4.4bn net asset value. Cobepa has a track record of strong cooperation with the management teams of its portfolio companies and in partnership with co-investors it aims to enhance the growth perspectives of its investments as well as the sustainability of their business models. In the last 20 years, Cobepa has completed almost 100 transactions; it currently holds 19 other portfolio companies across a variety of sectors including business services, financial services, healthcare and industrials. Cobepa works with a team of ~50 professional investors across offices in Brussels, Munich and New York.