Omnes Capital's exits: Groupe Melkonian

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Exit Date 
Famille fondatrice
Mid-Cap Buyout & Growth Capital

Groupe Melkonian

Specialist equipment for mining and mineral transportation

Headquartered in Aix-en-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône department), the Melkonian Group is a family-owned company that designs, manufactures and distributes equipment and spare parts for extracting and transporting minerals in the hard rock underground mining market.

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“We worked closely together, with openness and trust”
of the Melkonian group
Melkonian group

A family affair

After working with the Melkonian group for five years, Omnes Capital sold its investment in the leading mining equipment company with a heavy heart (February 2014).

Look back at a cordial and productive partnership

After Omnes first invested in the Melkonian group in 2008, commodity prices suddenly collapsed, plunging two-thirds in one quarter owing to a burgeoning financial crisis and a freeze on mining investment projects. But Omnes Capital did not lose confidence in the business.
In 2009, Melkonian managed to deliver profitable growth despite the crisis, by winning new customers.


Our key duty was to help the founders to build up their self-confidence and to make strategic decisions and take risks”, says Benjamin Arm, Managing Director at Omnes. This included the roll-out of an intermediate level of operational management and a strategy committee, a switchover from outright trading to the design, manufacture and marketing of equipment, and the creation of subsidiaries – in countries including Niger and Burkina Faso – to get closer to its customers while retaining its wholly French identity. Melkonian rose masterfully to a number of different challenges and we were delighted to have stood alongside it.

of the Melkonian group
Why did you choose Omnes Capital five years ago?

In 2008, we decided to approach investors so as to consolidate on the expansion in our family business with the support of financial experts, retain our management team over the long term and open up the Group’s capital for its employees. It was crucial for us to share our values with our new partner. From our very first meeting with Omnes Capital, we immediately felt similarities, confidence, and mutual respect, and so our cooperation began with a shared enthusiasm.

And looking back, how do you assess your fi ve years of working together?

It was an emotional moment when my brothers and I signed off on Omnes Capital’s exit. We worked closely together, with openness and trust, and our strategy committee meetings with Benjamin Arm and Daniel Balland, who has now retired, will live long in our memories. We invited Daniel to attend our next strategy committee meetings as special advisor, alongside our new investors: what better proof could there be of how pleased we were with our relationship with Omnes Capital! I also hope to stay in touch with Benjamin and, who knows, perhaps see him purchase another stake in a future funding round…

So why did the partnership come to an end?

Omnes Capital wanted to sell its shareholding. Five years is the normal length of an investment cycle. In parallel, we – the family – wanted to increase our shareholding. These two factors prompted us to bring the partnership to an end, but it was a really fantastic deal and so our new investors will have a lot to live up to!


• 1955: Jacques and Angèle Melkonian open a garage in Gardanne.

• 1975: After inventing an axle for equipment used in mining facilities, Jacques gives his garage to its 12 employees and sets up Continental Industrie, a supplier to all the mines in France.

• 1994: The founder’s three children acquire the business and decide to focus on building underground mining equipment for international markets.

• 2008: Omnes Capital invests in the Melkonian group, present in 70 countries.

• 2014: Omnes Capital sells its shareholding to Bpifrance, Amundi PEF and Sofipaca.