Caisse becomes top investor in Swiss animal tagger Datamars

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has invested in Datamars Inc, a Swiss provider of identification solutions to track livestock, companion animals and textiles. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which resulted in the Caisse becoming the company’s largest investor, alongside senior management and European private equity firm Columna Capital. Columna, which has backed Datamars since 2011, was said last year to be planning a sale of the business in a deal valued at more than US$306 million. Stéphane Etroy, co-head of direct investment, private equity at the Caisse, said the pension fund will support Datamars’ growth strategy.


CDPQ Invests in Datamars, a Global Leader in Animal and Textile Identification

MONTREAL, March 15, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ – Today, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) announced an investment in Datamars, a leading player in the identification of animals and textiles. CDPQ will become the company’s largest shareholder, alongside Datamars’ senior management and Columna Capital, who have been invested in the company since 2011.

Datamars is a global company based in Switzerland whose technology is used to identify and track livestock, companion animals and textiles. Through its emphasis on constant innovation and its ability to successfully acquire and integrate other companies, it has grown to be one of the leaders in each of the three segments in which it operates.

Operating in an industry driven by fundamental trends, such as increasing global concerns regarding food safety, Datamars offers strong growth opportunities and is well-aligned with CDPQ’s long-term investment strategy.

“Datamars’ management has been very successful in developing the company into a global leader in animal identification. Traceability has become an indispensable part of the agri-food sector given increasing food safety concerns worldwide, with identification as its linchpin. We are delighted to join forces with Klaus Ackerstaff and his team to support the company’s growth strategy,” said Stéphane Etroy, Co-head of Direct Investment, Private Equity at CDPQ.

“I am delighted to have CDPQ on board as strong long term investors and supporters of our continued sustainable growth strategy, together with Columna we are positioned very strongly for the future,” said Klaus Ackerstaff, CEO of Datamars.

“Columna Capital is delighted to continue its investment in Datamars. We have found an excellent partner in CDPQ to support the next phase in the development of the company,” said Rory Devlin, Managing Partner of Columna Capital.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. As at December 31, 2016, it held $270.7 billion in net assets. As one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers, CDPQ invests globally in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure and real estate. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @LaCDPQ or consult our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

Datamars is the global leader for high performance RFID solution for the companion animal, livestock and textile identification markets. Our expertise, track record of technological innovation and profound understanding of customers’ needs have earned Datamars a reputation for unsurpassed quality and performance. Datamars employs more than 800 people with offices in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Datamars is a private company, headquartered in Bedano, Switzerland. For more information, please visit

Columna is an entrepreneurial and operationally engaged European private equity firm focusing on investments in small to mid-market companies with growth potential. Columna’s strategy is to identify off-market opportunities and invest in a limited number of attractive companies where it actively works with management and other stakeholders to drive long-term value creation. Founded in 2009, with offices in London and Lugano (Switzerland), Columna has more than €200 million of assets under management. For more information, please visit

For further information: Jean-Benoît Houde, Senior Advisor, Media Relations, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, +1 514 847-5493,; Rory Devlin, Managing Partner, Columna Capital LLP, +44 2033225301,

Photo courtesy of Datamars Inc