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Press release - 28 March 2022

New transaction carried out by Largillière Finance: Transfer of Cotton Bird to existing managers, accompanied by Trajan

The investment bank Largillière Finance has advised the founders of Cotton Bird, leader on the market of high-end announcement cards, in the transmission of their company to the managers in place, accompanied by Trajan.

Founded in 2011 by Hector and Frédérique Cano, Cotton Bird has established itself as the French leader in the high-end invitation publishing market. The company has built its success on its recognized creative expertise, premium positioning and French-made products, a 100% digital approach and a well-mastered customer service. Cotton Bird employs around 100 people at its two sites in Lille and Perpignan and has experienced average annual growth of more than 15% since 2015 to reach €17 million in sales by 2021, 30% of which is international.

Anxious to ensure the success of their succession while preserving Cotton Bird's independence, the founders have organized the managerial transmission of the company over the past two years by entrusting the general management to a duo composed of Kevin Ha and Julie Joaris. The two managers, who are taking along a dozen executives who are investing alongside them in the operation, are continuing the development plan initiated by the founders: consolidation of the brand in France, Germany and Spain, expansion of the product offering and continued international development with the opening of new countries.

The efficient process led by Largillière Finance allowed to set the best conditions for all parties involved in this MBO and to identify the best candidates to support the growth of Cotton Bird. This transaction was completed through the implementation of a bank acquisition financing from Caisse d'Epargne Hauts-de-France.

"We are very happy to hand over the reins of Cotton Bird to Julie and Kevin. They have already demonstrated that they will be able to preserve the creative DNA and the operational requirements that have made the company so successful," said Frédérique and Hector Cano. "We thank Frédérique and Hector for their confidence. Today, they are handing over a company with solid fundamentals and great development prospects. We are also very happy to be accompanied in this entrepreneurial project by the Trajan team, which seduced us with its expertise in transfer operations, its ambition for the company and its values," say Julie Joaris and Kevin Ha.

"Digital is a business model that has proven its success, and this is our third transaction in this sector since the beginning of 2022. We are very pleased to have been able to advise Cotton Bird in this transfer and to have brought new perspectives to this company in which we believe" adds Nicolas Ibanez, Partner at Largillière Finance.

With offices in Paris, Lyon, Geneva and Brussels, Largillière Finance is an independent investment bank dedicated to assisting managers and shareholders of small and medium-sized companies with their capital transactions: company sales and acquisitions, financing (capital and/or debt), financial engineering (valuation, etc.) and financial strategy.

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