Entrepreneurial stories

Because daring, ambition and entrepreneurial spirit are part of its DNA, Impala is not just another investor. Impala does more than just support, it inspires, convinces and mobilizes. And very often wins.
Three examples, three stories of companies. And of success…


When Charles Rosier, a biotech investor, met Jacques Veyrat in 2016, he was so enthusiastic about discussing Dr. Augustinus Bader’s research that three days later the three men met in Leipzig at Augustinus Bader’s home.

Director of the Department of Applied Cell Biology at the University of Leipzig, Augustinus Bader has developed, in the course of his 30 years of research, a revolutionary healing gel capable of repairing severe skin lesions in order to avoid surgery or skin grafts.

With Charles Rosier, Augustinus Bader was seeking funds to finance both his medical research aimed at developing drugs resulting from his fundamental research on stem cells, and a brand of cosmetics which, if used regularly, would restore the youthfulness and elasticity of the skin. The key ingredient of the cosmetics is TFC8, which has the same properties as his healing gel.

Jacques Veyrat, was convinced. Impala became the shareholder of both Skin, the biotechnology company that manages medical research, and Regenity, the cosmetics company.

The success of the cosmetic line (produced for the most part at Pharma and Beauty, another of Impala’s holdings) was immediate in the United States: in the third year after its launch, the brand was voted “Greatest of All Times” by a jury of cosmetic specialists.

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photo de produits Augustinus Bader


In just five years, thanks to skillful acquisitions and synergetic strategies, Edgyn and Inexto have established themselves in the buoyant market of product traceability and authentication.

Although inherently difficult to quantify precisely, the counterfeiting market is one of the most lucrative in the world. According to the International Chamber of Commerce’s BASCAP report, the total value of the illicit trade is estimated at $1,770 billion. It is also estimated to have caused the destruction of more than 2.5 million jobs and a loss of $78 billion in tax revenues.

In France, the third most affected country in the world because of the strong presence of the luxury, spirits and cosmetics industry, customs and DGCCRF services seized 8.4 million fraudulent products in 2017. And they seized more than 564,000 bottles of fake perfumes in 2019.

In a context of economic globalization and free circulation of products and capital, the protection of branded products, currencies or official documents has become a major challenge for large companies and governments.

Impala has been addressing this issue since 2015. At the same time, faced with the collapse of the paper market, the Arjowiggins Security Group, the historical leader in banknote security, was experiencing difficulties. The Impala holding company acquired two of its divisions and their technologies, including Arjo Solutions, which specializes in product security.

For Aurélien Tignol, CEO of Arjo Solutions – which will become Edgyn in 2021 – and President of Inexto, this acquisition will boost the ambition and dynamism of a company and a team with unparalleled technologies and know-how. It will also accelerate the development of innovative digital authentication solutions from highly differentiated technologies.

In 2016, Impala seized a second opportunity in the product traceability and authentication sector with the creation of Inexto. After more than a year of negotiation, the company acquired several product marking and traceability software divisions divested by Philip Morris and the three other main tobacco producers. This included the know-how of an extremely qualified and experienced team of engineers and developers, led by Philippe Chatelain (CEO), Erwan Fradet (CTO) and Patrick Chanez (CIO).

Inexto’s unique know-how was skillfully used to develop and offer its traceability solutions to a growing number of industries, increasing its workforce from 16 to 100 people in five years, over its five sites around the world.

“We have built with both compagnies a unique portfolio of solutions, both in terms of its richness and complementarity. This allows us to meet the expectations of many industries: product traceability, anti-counterfeiting, the fight against parallel markets, regulatory obligations, and direct interaction with the consumer. We do this while keeping each company focused on its key priorities: brand protection for Edgyn, mandatory traceability in regulated markets for Inexto”.

Edgyn has developed digital fingerprinting processes (unique “biometric” digital signature of products), a portfolio of high-security inks and secret additives, security substrates for documents or currencies, a brand protection platform (“Edgyn Care”), connected security labels, etc.. while Inexto offers a whole range of track and trace software that allows a product to be identified and tracked in its supply chain, with unparalleled capacities on high-speed production lines.

Edgyn and Inexto have a combined turnover of almost €50 million. It’s a good example of the entrepreneurial spirit meeting a growing market opportunity.

Learn more: Edgyn / Inexto



Solution de digital fingerprint Edgyn
© Edgyn Digital fingerprint solutions – Adfirmia™ and Signoptic®


With the acquisition of three emblematic brand (Roger&Gallet, Lierac and Phyto), Impala aims with Laboratoire Native to become a major player in the cosmetic sector.

Building on the success of Augustinus Bader, Impala is discovering other opportunities in this sector.

In 2020, L’Oreal decided to divest itself of the Roger&Gallet brand, an iconic perfume and soap brand created in 1862 and the origin of Eau de Cologne. Despite its incredible heritage, this brand was not a priority for the company. But L’Oréal only wanted to sell the brand, without a team and without a structure, which meant rebuilding a sales network, a supply chain and administrative tools (logistics, IT, finance…) in a few months.

Impala took up the challenge and acquired the Roger&Gallet brand in the middle of the COVID-19 health crisis. Vincent Revol, an Impala partner since 2014 with a managerial profile, joined forces with Stéphane Enouf, a recognized expert in the cosmetics sector, to manage the new company.

Within a few weeks, 20 salespeople were recruited, and an IT system and a logistics tool were set up. As of September 1st, the team was at work and took over the commercial relationship with pharmacists, the traditional distributers of Roger&Gallet.

At the same time, the Alès group was in difficulty, as a result of historical management errors, and was placed in receivership. On September 24, Impala’s takeover offer was accepted, saving nearly 600 jobs. Next the Lierac (advanced dermo-cosmetic care) and Phyto (plant-based hair care) brands were combined with Roger&Gallet to form a coherent group of complementary brands distributed in pharmacies. This was the beginning of Laboratoire Native.

The new management team drew up an operational transformation plan: relocation of the head office, outsourcing of production, new IT systems, modernization of the warehouse, overhaul of the sales strategy and resumption of marketing investments. All functions were included, with one objective to restore the confidence and pride of employees.

The Lierac, Phyto and Roger&Gallet brands are the jewels of Laboratoire Native. They are each emblematic in their own market segment, with a strong heritage, effective and appreciated products. The result of heavy investments in R&D and marketing, the product offer will evolve to meet the expectations of today’s consumers. In line with Impala’s values, Native is particularly committed to offering responsible and environmentally friendly cosmetic products.

With a turnover close to €200 million (80% of which is international), Native’s ambition is clear: to remain one of the major players in cosmetics in pharmacies and parapharmacies. With the reputation of its brands and the recovery plan already initiated, the bet seems to be paying off.

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