About

We invest in European lower mid-market companies with ambitious growth strategies.

Founded in 2009, Columna Capital is an entrepreneurial investment firm with offices in London, Lugano and Luxembourg. Led by four partners, the Columna team consists of an engaged group of professionals that actively support ambitious management teams and entrepreneurs to drive organic growth and execute on consolidation opportunities. Typically, we invest in profitable companies with revenue of €15-100 million. We are a long term partner and our success is based on our ability to identify unique opportunities with growth potential where we aim to at least double the size of the business over the investment period.

We invest in European lower mid-market companies with ambitious growth strategies.

Founded in 2009, Columna Capital is an entrepreneurial investment firm with offices in London, Lugano and Luxembourg. Led by four partners, the Columna team consists of an engaged group of professionals that actively support ambitious management teams and entrepreneurs. We are a long term partner and our success is based on our ability to identify unique opportunities with growth potential where we aim to at least double the size of the business over the investment period.

Focus On Growth

We focus on accelerating the growth of the companies we back through active support and provision of capital.

Concentrated

We are a high conviction investor in fewer companies allowing us to dedicate more time to management to actively support growth.

Flexibility

We aim to be flexible and provide relevant solutions to all stakeholders to unlock the potential of the underlying business.

Relationship Driven

We aim to build credibility and establish strong working relationships. Managers are often our best source of reference.

Origination

Our expanding network of relationships and open mind allow us to identify interesting opportunities where proper engagement makes all the difference.

Alignment

We are principals not agents and are fully aligned with all stakeholders through a meaningful co-investment in the companies we invest in.

Focus

Investment Focus

We are passionate about building great businesses and aim to partner with high quality management and entrepreneurs to deliver transformational growth. We are looking for the following key features:

  • €15-100 million revenue and trading profitably
  • Potential for expansion or consolidation in the domestic market or internationally
  • Differentiated market positioning with attractive product or service offering
  • Ambitious managers that believe in their business

Buy & Build

We only invest with an identified strategic growth plan and assist management to accelerate growth through:

Buy

Strategic acquisitions rapidly transform a company’s footprint. By consolidating verticals, adding new geographies, clients and/or expanding the service offering, businesses can rapidly scale and consolidate market share. Together with management, Columna has to date successfully completed over 60 add-on acquisitions in Europe, the US, Africa and APAC for its portfolio companies.

Build

We are close to our businesses and actively support organic growth. This can involve working with management on, among other things, corporate strategy and planning, assisting them in recruiting key talent, raising finance, winning new business, establishing financial reporting tools or evaluating important investment decisions in infrastructure & technology.

Sectors

Columna invests across sectors and has developed specific expertise in the following sectors:

Regions

Columna invests in continental Europe with a specific focus on attractive companies in the following target markets:

Austria

France

Italy

Spain

Switzerland

Map

Responsible Investment Policy

PRI - Principles for Responsible Investment

Columna Capital is an entrepreneurial investment firm sponsoring European small to mid-market companies with growth potential.  Our strategy is to identify off-market opportunities and invest in a limited number of attractive companies as a long-term partner.  This strategy is underpinned by our values of honesty, integrity and transparency, which are core to our reputation.

We believe that taking an active management approach over longer hold periods and applying sound practices to environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) matters throughout the investment cycle can result in sustainable value creation.  In order to achieve this, we have developed a robust Responsible Investment System, which seeks to identify and manage ESG matters consistently and effectively, both in our own business and in our underlying portfolio companies.  To demonstrate our commitment to Responsible Investment, Columna became a signatory to the PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment) in 2017 and we have since integrated the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the way we consider environmental, social and governance matters.

This Responsible Investment Policy outlines the key objectives, principles and values that form the basis of our Responsible Investment approach.  We believe this to be comprehensive but recognise that the wider Responsible Investment agenda continues to change.  To this end, we will review the document annually, and update it where necessary.

Overall objectives

As an investment firm, we aim to ensure our continued access to high quality investors, through delivering above-market sustainable returns and maintaining good relations with key investors over the longer-term.

Through our active management role, we try to maximise positive impacts of our investments (including creating commercial success), while avoiding or minimising material negative impacts and, where possible, helping realise social and environmental benefits.  At a minimum, our objective is to proactively and consistently comply with all relevant laws.  

We acknowledge climate change is a sustainability priority and therefore endeavour to conduct our business with consideration of the key aims of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.  In particular, we aim to incorporate climate risk into our investment criteria, including understanding how our activities and investments may contribute towards its causes, and determining any actions we can foster to mitigate such risks in a manner that is consistent with our investment objectives.  We support the recommendations made by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which we are progressively adopting while we identify and manage climate risk associated with our operations and those of our investees.

Values

In order to achieve our objectives, we have developed a set of ESG values.  These are consistent with our core business principles, and are embedded in Columna’s approach to investing:

  • Integrity - We are aware that reputation is vital to our business. A demonstrable commitment to honest and ethical practice in everything we do is essential to gain the trust of customers, partners and investors.  Our Responsible Investment System, and the associated training, makes it clear to all our employees how they need to behave in considering ESG issues.
  • Transparency – We believe transparency is the basis of a trustworthy relationship.  We are committed to using documented ESG practices in a systematic and effective way, in order to help us understand and manage ESG matters within our Portfolio Companies, as well as communicate opportunities and risks to our stakeholders, including our investors.
  • Reliability – We are integrating structured ESG criteria into our investment activities in a replicable way to ensure that our decision-making is robust.  We believe adopting this approach can have a positive impact on the performance of our portfolio investment companies making them, too, more reliable.
  • Proactiveness – Columna partners take board positions in all portfolio companies and we actively engage with company management to improve ESG performance of our businesses, as may be relevant.

Exclusion zones

Columna and its funds will not make investments related to the following sectors: adult entertainment, gambling, tobacco, alcohol, arms manufacturing, testing on live beings, unsustainable wildlife exploitation, subprime lending and the provision of retirement or sheltered housing for the elderly.

Management commitment

Columna’s management is committed to promoting and encouraging Responsible Investment practices, and to providing necessary resources to ensure appropriate implementation of the ESG commitments outlined in this document.

Disclosures under the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation

Portfolio

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Team

News

SantéVet, a specialist pet insurance business, has completed a transaction to renew its shareholder base. Following a sustained period of growth, during which SantéVet has strengthened its market leadership in France, achieved further innovation and improved its profitability, Serena Capital and Idinvest, who have been shareholders since 2011, have sold their interests in the Company to Columna Capital, a European growth investor with significant experience in the pet sector. The transaction has also seen management increase its equity interest in SantéVet. The transaction was completed without acquisition finance and foresees further equity funding to drive growth opportunities for the business.

France has one of the largest pet populations in Europe with approximately 20 million cats and dogs. SantéVet is an important partner for pet owners to provide preventive care and health insurance for pets. The strong growth of the pet insurance market is reflected in the consistent double-digit growth in the Company’s revenues over the last five years. As the undisputed market leader in France with written premiums of €35 million, SantéVet is also present in Spain and Belgium and foresees opportunities to enter into other European markets in the coming years. The Company, founded in 2003 by Jérôme Salord, focuses purely on providing health insurance to pets and also allows pet owners to spread the costs of preventive care with a number of clics on its website.

The sellers and management were advised by Jean-Denis Cornillot and Jacques-Henri Piot, partners at Acta Finance.

“We are very pleased with this transaction. It affords an attractive exit for our historic investors to whom we are grateful for their support. It also offers an attractive new investment opportunity for Columna Capital who are keen to expand their activities in the pet sector, and we are delighted to welcome Columna as new shareholders of SantéVet. The structure of the transaction allows us to increase our investment capacity in order to accelerate our future development” stated Jérôme Salord, CEO of SantéVet.

“With a strong market position and an excellent management team, SantéVet has the type of profile that we are looking for in our investments. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to support SantéVet in the next phase of its development” commented Rory Devlin and Vilmos Pongracz, the partners of Columna Capital that led the transaction.

“The past five years have been an exciting adventure alongside the management team of SantéVet, whose talent has established the Company as the profitable high growth market leader in France and led the expansion into Spain and Belgium. We are pleased to pass the baton to Columna Capital for the next phase of the Company’s development on a European scale. We wish the management team and the new investor every success with this exciting business.” Philippe Hayat, partner and founder of Serena Capital and François Lacoste, Partner of Idinvest added.

Contact

If you like what we do and are interested to work with us, please get in touch. We will respond.

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London

Columna Capital LLP
7 Cavendish Square
3rd Floor
London W1G 0PE

Columna Capital LLP
7 Cavendish Square, 3rd Floor, London W1G 0PE
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Switzerland

Columna Capital Switzerland SAGL
Via San Salvatore 10
6900 Lugano – Paradiso
Switzerland

Columna Capital Switzerland SAGL
Via San Salvatore 10, 6900 Lugano – Paradiso, Switzerland
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Luxembourg

Columna Capital Luxembourg S.à.r.l
2-8 Rue Julien Vesque
L-2668
Luxembourg

Columna Capital Luxembourg S.à.r.l
2-8 Rue Julien Vesque, L-2668, Luxembourg
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