Antares Vision grows again with rfXcel acquisition

Just a few months after buying up the assets of track and trace and serialisation specialist Adents, Antares Vision has agreed a deal to buy rfXcel, another player in that category.

Italy-headquartered Antares has agreed to pay $120 million upfront for rfXcel, which is based in the US with units in the UK and Russia and specialises in providing traceability, serialisation and integrated supply chain monitoring to the life sciences and food/beverage sectors.

Another $30m is on the table – payable to rfXcel shareholders by the first quarter of 2023 – tied to the achievement of certain commercial  targets.

In a statement, Antares said that adding in rfXcel would double the size of its software business and boost its revenues, earnings and cashflow from year one.

rfXcel operates a software as a service (SaaS) business model and makes a significant portion of its revenues from long-term subscription-based contracts, typically lasting four years or more, with an average recurrence rate of around 80 per cent, according to Antares.

It has a client base of more than 190 companies and made revenues of $17m last year, with the bulk of that (around 80 per cent) coming from US contracts, and has been growing at more than 25 per cent a year since 2018.

Antares itself recorded revenues of more than €58m in the first six months of 2020, its last available financial report, which was slightly down on the same period of 2019 as a result of the pandemic.

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Adding rfXcel will boost its ability to help clients shift towards “digital and sustainable supply chains, enabling full transparency and visibility,” said the company.

rfxCel’s founders – Glenn Abood and Jack Tarkoff – have agreed to remain with the merged company and re-invest around 40 per cent of the proceeds from the transfer of their shares (around $8m) in the business.

“Demand for traceability and serialised products and services has increased significantly over the last few years,” said Antares' chief executive Emidio Zorzella.

“This transaction accelerates our ability to offer best-in-class propositions in all our key reference sectors, life science and food and beverage.”

Antares has been steadily expanding in the last few years thanks in part to a series of acquisitions. Shortly after buying Adents’ assets for €1.5m (around $1.8m) last November, it bought Applied Vision Corp, bolstering its vision inspection systems for the glass and metal food/beverage container industry.

Last year also saw Antares acquire Croatian pharmaceutical tracking software company Tradeticity for just over €1m and Italian automated inspection company Convel for €12.5m, while it also opened its first operation in China.

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