Clearwater International advises the shareholders of Sopexa on the sale of a majority stake in the company to Comexposium and Hopscotch

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Clearwater International has advised the shareholders of Sopexa on the sale of a majority stake in the company to Comexposium and Hopscotch, each acquiring 33% of the share capital. The long-standing shareholders, together in a holding company, will keep the remaining 34%.

Sopexa is one of the leading international communication agencies specialised in food, drink and lifestyle. The company operates in 61 countries and employs 280 professionals through an integrated network of 26 agencies worldwide (Canada, China, Germany, Japan, UK, USA, etc.).

Hopscotch is one of the French leaders in public relations, event, digital and social web. The group is listed on the compartment C of Euronext Paris with a market capitalisation of c.€23 million. Hopscotch employs c.540 staff and generated revenues of €150 million in 2015.

The Comexposium group, one of the world’s leading event organisers, is involved in more than 170 B2C and B2B events across 11 different sectors, including food, agriculture, fashion, security, digital, construction, high-tech, optics and transport. Comexposium hosts more than 3 million visitors and 45,000 exhibitors in 26 countries around the world. Comexposium’ shareholders include private equity firm Charterhouse.

The transaction constitutes a new step in Sopexa’s deployment strategy. The alliance aims at creating the largest French PR network with a global footprint, by capitalising on the skills of the three companies.

The Clearwater International team was led by Partner Philippe Guézenec, with support from Director Benjamin Zayat and Associate Matthias Krimmel.

Jean-Réné Buisson, Chairman of Sopexa, Frédéric Bedin, CEO of Hopscotch and Renaud Hamaide, CEO of Comexposium commented: “The alliance between Sopexa, Hopscotch and Comexposium represents the only alternative to Anglo-Saxon networks in conceiving, organising the international promotion of the best of what France has to offer: food, luxury, tourism, lifestyle, etc.”

Philippe Guézenec, Managing Partner, Clearwater International said: “This transaction allows Clearwater International to strengthen its position within the Food & Beverage and Business Services sectors, especially with certain longstanding clients such as Avril or Crédit Agricole. We are convinced that this transaction will be a success for all three companies, and that each will be able to play off the strengths of the others.”