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 and subprime lending.

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

The SantéVet Group raises 150 million euros of growth capital to become the leading pet health insurance platform in Europe

  • Founded in 2003, the SantéVet group is one of the major players in pet health insurance in France and Belgium.
  • This major fundraising is intended to accelerate the company's development over the next 5 years to make it the European leader in the sector.
  • SantéVet is already present in Belgium, Spain, and Germany.
  • The group aims to conquer new markets with potential, such as Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Austria.
  • Hugues Salord is appointed CEO, Jérôme Salord becomes Chairman of the Supervisory Board.

SantéVet, one of the leading French and European pet insurance platforms, has set itself the mission of democratizing pet care by leveraging its digital and technology platform to serve both pet owners and veterinarians. Today, SantéVet has reached a significant milestone in its development by announcing a major financing round of 150 million euros of growth capital. This round of financing was conducted with Columna Capital, SantéVet's majority shareholder since 2017, thus renewing its confidence in the company's vision and new strategic ambitions.

Two out of three French households own at least one pet, and this trend has been reinforced by the health crisis and the growing importance of remote working. SantéVet develops innovative solutions for both pet owners and veterinarians. For example, PayVet, a payment facility service, or Vetolib, an online appointment booking system that allows a growing number of pet owners to access relevant and available veterinary care. The company expects to have nearly 300,000 active insurance contracts by 2022 and 100 million euros in gross written premiums.

A new milestone in the growth of the SantéVet Group

This fundraising is the occasion for a change in the management of SantéVet. Jérôme Salord, founder of the SantéVet Group, has been Chief Executive Officer since 2003. His brother Hugues Salord, until now Managing Director of SantéVet, will take over the reins of the company as CEO. Jérôme Salord becomes Chairman of the Supervisory Board. Hugues Salord's priority will be to accelerate the group's growth in France and to pursue its internationalization. Already present in Belgium, Spain and Germany, the group aims to conquer new markets with potential, such as Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Austria. The percentage share of France in SantéVet's total turnover is expected to reduce to close to 50% over the next 5 years.

Hugues Salord, CEO of SantéVet Group: "Since the creation of SantéVet, we have been striving to offer innovative solutions on our digital platform to improve the daily lives of pet owners, professionals in the sector and the animals themselves. This fundraising allows us to take a step further in our ambitions while ensuring the continuity of our mission: to democratize access to pet care in the main European countries by offering affordable services adapted to all types of needs and a quality service. Our leading position in France and our arrival in several European countries confirm the growth potential in this sector."

Vilmos Pongracz and Rory Devlin, Partners at Columna Capital, state: "Columna is very excited to have the opportunity to continue its successful partnership with the SantéVet management team and accelerate the growth of the company across Europe in the coming years. SantéVet’s deep ties to the veterinary ecosystem and its unmatched focus on serving the healthcare needs of pets and providing consumer-centric and innovative services to pet owners put the company in a strong position to become the leading European pet health insurance business."

This fundraising will allow for significant investment in SantéVet Group's digital platform, customer solutions and the team, with the ambition to create 500 new jobs within 5 years. In 2026, SantéVet's goal is to become the undisputed leader in the European pet health insurance market with over 1 million insured animals.

About SantéVet

SantéVet is the market leader in pet health insurance in France and Belgium, with established operations in Germany and Spain. SantéVet was founded in 2003 in Lyon by Jérôme Salord, and today employs around 350 people in offices in Lyon, Lille, Barcelona, and Frankfurt. SantéVet offers a simple yet comprehensive suite of pet health insurance solutions that are renewed annually and cover illness, accidents, and prevention through three complementary brands: SantéVet, Bulle Bleue and Jim & Joe.

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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