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Sagard Enters Into Exclusive Negotiations With Primelis’ Management and Initiative & Finance To Invest In Primelis

On March 27th, 2024, Sagard announced it has entered exclusive negotiations with Primelis’ management and Initiative & Finance to invest in Primelis, a leading “Martech” agency dedicated to optimizing its clients’ digital marketing performance with a holistic approach powered by its suite of tech tools.

Founded in 2012 by Philippe El Khechen and Hillel Brodowicz, Primelis is a digital marketing specialist, which counts c.120 expert consultants and targets to achieve sales of 35m€ in 2024. Primelis differentiates itself through its 360° Managed Services offer: the group’s ROI-oriented approach aims at designing and implementing cutting-edge digital marketing strategies, by optimizing the combination of Organic performance and Paid acquisition levers, augmented by a suite of proprietary tech tools and data expertise.

Primelis supports brands in reaching the most qualified audience through the mastery of all channels (Search Engines, Social Media, Shopping Marketplaces), while its tech stack (internal tools and SaaS offer) allows to leverage Artificial Intelligence and Data to augment its consultants and quality of service, through better informed decision-making, improved performance tracking / reporting, and ultimately amplification of Organic and Paid performance.

Building on its success in Europe, Primelis has accelerated its growth since 2021 with the launch of its US operations, led by Asher Charbit. Primelis now serves over 350 active clients in Europe and the US (c.30% of group activity).

Primelis’ growth is driven by the structural trend of increasing investments in digital media (due to digitalization of media channels, growing importance of social media, digitalization of consumer habits) and the increasing complexity of the digital ecosystem (multiplication of channels x platforms x formats, higher reliance on data in a context of increasing regulatory constraints, and the emergence of new AI-related usages) which brands need to master to reach their targeted customers. Additionally, the context of shortage in expertise drives the demand for marketing services from third-party specialized agencies.

Sagard’s investment alongside the founders and management team will allow Primelis to pursue its dynamic development in Europe and North America and further invest in its suite of technological tools, including its SaaS offer which is gaining traction with tech-savvy clients.

Sagard will also support the management team in its selective M&A strategy to accelerate the group’s development in new geographies and complement its capabilities and tech tools.

Philippe El Khechen, CEO of Primelis commented: “Thanks to its unique tech and entrepreneurial DNA, combined with a 360° approach of digital marketing levers, Primelis has been able to grow fast over the last few years and to differentiate itself in terms of ROI and digital visibility impact for its clients. We are now delighted to team up with Sagard given their ability and eagerness to support our development in Europe as well as in North America, to back our M&A strategy and to invest in our tech stack.”

Maxime Baudry, Partner and Charlotte Kitabgi, Managing Director at Sagard, added: ” We have been particularly impressed by the historical development pace of Primelis. Since the creation of the group in 2012, the management team has overperformed on all dimensions and succeeded in creating a leading digital acquisition specialist with a unique holistic and tech-enabled approach. We are now delighted to partner with Philippe El Khechen, Asher Charbit and the entire Primelis team to support their next phase of expansion.”

Founded in 2012, Primelis is a tech-enabled digital acquisition specialist (Search, Social, Data) with a differentiating 360° approach, supported by a suite of proprietary tech tools. The company observed a very dynamic development since its creation, building upon its strong underlying market growth, dynamic commercial development with European and US clients, as well as the successful acquisition of Haskn in 2020 (focused on Content).

Sagard is a French investment fund that provides equity capital to support the development of mid-sized companies led by ambitious management teams. Founded in 2003 with the support of the Desmarais family, Sagard’s investor base comprises leading industrial families as well as blue chip institutional investors. Since its inception, Sagard and its Paris-based team of 12 professionals have invested in 44 industrial and service companies in France. Primelis will be the tenth investment of Sagard 4.

The Sagard team comprises Antoine Ernoult-Dairaine, Maxime Baudry, Charlotte Kitabgi, Augustin Perrin, Célia Kanoui Cressey and Federico Gallenzi.

Since its creation in 1984, Initiative & Finance has carried out nearly 350 growth and buyout capital transactions and has contributed to the emergence of many mid-sized companies. A former subsidiary of the Natixis group, the management company became independent in 2010 through its own MBO and now manages c. €650 million in capital on behalf of leading French and European institutional investors and family offices.


  • M&A advisory: Cambon (Laurent Azout)
  • Financial BDD: 8Advisory (Christian Berling, Robin Blanc)
  • Strategic BDD: Kearney (Patrick Rabbat, Julien Vincent, Antoine Mallat, Bruno Finel)
  • Lawyers (corporate, financing and tax): Mayer Brown (Hadrien Schlumberger, Patrick Teboul, Rémy Bonnaud)
  • Legal, Social and Tax BDD: D’Ornano et Associés (Raphaëlle d’Ornano, Lauren Goodenough)


  • M&A and financing advisory: Amala Partners (Jean-Baptiste Marchand, Jean-Michel Cagin, Jad Hariri), eCAP Partner (Numa Bourrague, Alban Dohin)
  • Financial VDD: Alvarez & Marsal (Frederic Steiner)
  • Legal, Social and Tax VDD: KPMG (Mathieu Gauthier, Albane Eglinger and Xavier Lemaréchal)
  • Lawyer (Corporate): Lamartine (Fabien Mauvais) and Dumon Partners (Bastien Moraga)

Press contact Sagard
Marina Da Cruz: [email protected] / + 33 (0)1 53 83 30 23

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