650 employees
Types of aircraft equipped
Ecovadis rated since 2022

Aresia is a French civil and defense aeronautical engineering group. On the commercial side, Aresia is a Tier 1 subcontractor to Airbus, supplying rudders for the A320 and A330 ranges. In defense, Aresia designs, develops and manufactures load-carrying systems for combat aircraft, including those used on the Rafale for the French Ministry of Defense and for Dassault Aviation.

In June 2018, HLD acquired a majority stake in Aresia alongside Jacques Rafaut, a longstanding shareholder, the management team and minority shareholders. While the company was initially not on the market, we succeeded in establishing a relationship of trust with Mr. Rafaut and Mr. Berthet, which persuaded them to enter into exclusive discussions, pre-empting the transaction and avoiding a competitive process.

Our investment thesis centers on build a leading European manufacturer of civil and defense aeronautical equipment. This ambition is paired with a targeted external growth strategy that maintains a balanced exposure to civil and defense aviation. Aresia is the result of mergers combining five aerospace companies: Rafaut, Alkan, AEds, Secapem and Lace. The acquisition of Rafaut’s main historical competitor, Alkan, in 2021, was a key step that made Aresia the European leader in lift and ejection systems.

To achieve our goal of establishing Aresia as an innovative, responsible and sovereign equipment manufacturer, we rely on a number of privileged partners, including HLD. With its warm and attentive support, HLD is perfectly fulfilling its dual role as business developer and sparring partner so that we can reach our defined goal together.
Nicolas Orance [CEO]

Current initiatives

  • Operational excellence

    Strengthening the management team to prepare the group for its next growth phase. Modernizing the supply chain, optimizing the procurement policy, and sourcing of suppliers, quality control.
  • External growth

    Integration of build-ups following four acquisitions in 2021, 2020 and 2019.
  • Organic growth

    Strengthening of the sales teams, with a particular focus on international business.
  • ESG

    Publication of a CSR policy and introduction of Ecovadis ratings to make Aresia a benchmark for its sector.
  • Innovation and product roadmap

    3 R&D programs on hydrogen tanks contributing to innovations for decarbonizing the aeronautical sector.

Achievements to date

  • +4
    4 acquisitions, in both civil and defense aeronautics, to reach target size
  • 4.0
    Construction of an automated and digitalized Industry 4.0 factory in Valenciennes (France)
  • 22,000
    Delivery of the 22,000th rudder for the A320 program for a total of 10,000 aircraft equipped
  • 10,000+
    Over 10,000 defense transport equipment systems put into service

Latest news

In 2024, Aresia's strong organic growth, driven in particular by its presence on key programs (Rafale, A320), combined with the diversification of its customer base, some of which is international (creation of a subsidiary in the US, strong commercial partnerships in India), will enable the Group to pursue a robust development dynamic. In addition, the Group's commitment to innovation and ESG, its mastery of the supply chain and the transformation of its production site position Aresia as a partner of choice for its customers (civil and defense aeronautics) in the context of sustainable growth.
In 2023, Aresia will continue its development path based on strong organic growth linked to its presence on key programmes (Rafale, A320) and the diversification of its customer base. The transformation of its production site, its mastery of the supply chain and the launch of innovation programmes, combined with the Group's growing commitment to ESG, will enable Aresia to meet the challenges of its customers (civil and defence aeronautics) within a framework of sustainable growth.
Rafaut Group and all of its entities are combining their activities to create a new aeronautical player: ARESIA. By combining these entities, all leaders in their respective fields, ARESIA offers global expertise based on the know-how of each and the recognized experience of all. This synergy makes it a strong and resilient entity, a major dual player.
The acquisition of Alkan makes the Group the European leader in the design and manufacture of mission equipment for combat aircraft and helicopters. With this acquisition, the Group is ideally positioned for the SCAF program (future European fighter aircraft) and has reached the critical size needed to accelerate its international expansion and diversify its revenue base.
Rafaut acquires Secapem in December 2020, a leader in training systems for fighter pilots. Secapem counts nearly 14 air forces around the world in its customer portfolio, and this acquisition allows the Group to complete its equipment range and generate additional commercial synergies.
Rafaut is expanding its product portfolio to include external tanks and fighter pods. This offering further cements its relationship with Dassault and brings the Group closer to the critical mass needed for greater visibility in the market.