Our global M&A alliance shows strong H1 2021

06.2021: Centum Capital is member of GCG Geneva Capital Group, the global network of independant M&A firms. The GCG Dealmakers Report H1 2021 has just been published: Across the globe, GCG members have closed 90 deals during the first six months of this year, with a cumulative value of over USD 1.1 bn (only disclosed deal values). M&A activities of the GCG network spanned across 10 countries and 16 different sectors.

The GCG Dealmakers Report | H1 2021 is available to download by >>clicking here<<

Productivity software maker teams with Cinven

06.2021: The private equity firm Cinven announces that it has agreed to make a majority investment in think-cell, the German developer of charting and layout software for PowerPoint for holistically streamlining professional slide production and thereby improving efficiency and quality when creating and editing presentations. Financial details of the transaction are not being disclosed.

Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, think-cell is the world’s leading productivity software for creating data-driven presentations in Microsoft PowerPoint, enabling users to generate sophisticated charts with ease while saving substantial time. think-cell also offers layout functions for automatically arranging text, graphic elements and images while scaling and aligning their content accordingly. The software has more than 800,000 end-users across more than 17,000 organisations globally. think-cell is used by 8 out of the 10 top global consulting firms, 80% of the Fortune 100, the entire DAX 30, and 9 of the top 10 US business schools.

think-cell was established in 2002 by co-founders Markus Hannebauer and Arno Schödl who will continue to be active members of the management team and will both remain significant minority investors in the business alongside Cinven. The partnership will combine the experience and quality of think-cell’s founders and the existing management team with Cinven’s international platform and expertise in driving and accelerating growth.

Centum Capital provides this information as a market news, but has not been involved in the transaction.


Pottery and stoneware maker takes investor onboard

05.2021: Funds of Maxburg Capital Partners have invested in Motel a Miio, a Germany based young D2C lifestyle brand for handmade pottery and stoneware from Portugal. Its product portfolio includes high quality tableware ceramics such as plates, cups, bowls and serving platters, as well as accessories such as vases, lamps, and soap dishes, all of which are sold through its own online shop and a network of own retail stores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Thanks to its strong D2C focus and excellent social media marketing expertise, Motel a Miio has quickly grown its footprint as a young and aspiring D2C lifestyle brand. The founders, supported by the new shareholder, an investment vehicle advised by Maxburg, now intend to increase the company’s reach by continuing its geographic expansion across Europe.

Centum Capital provides this information as a market news, but has not been involved in the transaction.

Kitchen and bathroom fittings company goes its own way

05.2021: Funds advised by Equistone Partners Europe have agreed to acquire Franke Water Systems, a leading European producer and supplier of kitchen and bathroom fittings for the residential, public and commercial sectors. Franke Water Systems is a division of Franke Group, which was founded in 1911 in Switzerland and is a globally active supplier of solutions and equipment for domestic kitchens and bathrooms, public washrooms, professional system catering providers and coffee brewing. Franke Water Systems was established as an independent division of the Franke Group and is formed of two business units, KWC and WSC, with production sites and competence centres in Europe, the United Arab Emirates and Asia. The company employs c. 900 people and generated revenues of more than 192 million Swiss Francs in 2020.

KWC is a Swiss market leader for residential bathroom, residential kitchen and commercial kitchen fittings. The well-established company offers its customers solutions ranging from the mid- to luxury-price segment. Primarily due to the high-quality materials and workmanship of its products, as well as its innovative design approach and a promise of “Made in Switzerland” quality, the company enjoys great popularity among fitters and architects. WSC offers its customers high-quality stainless-steel fittings and components for the commercial and public bathroom sector. WSC products are used in washrooms of facilities such as office or administrative buildings, sports stadiums as well as hotels and hospitals. WSC has several international sites and is characterised by its comprehensive and high-quality product portfolio as well as its high service competence.

Equistone’s investment supports the carve-out of Franke Water Systems from the Franke Group. Together with Thorsten Klapproth, former CEO of Hansgrohe SE and WMF AG, as well as the current management team, Equistone will build on the company’s solid business development in recent years and drive the international expansion alongside the organic and acquisitive growth of Franke Water Systems. A particular focus will be the continued development of the company’s innovative product range and the expansion of its strong brand positioning.

The financial terms of the transaction are undisclosed and remain subject to approval from the relevant competition authorities.

Centum Capital provides this information as a market news, but has not been involved in the transaction.

Driving school service provider accelerates growth

04.2021: German Equity Partners V, a fund managed by German investment company ECM Equity Capital Management GmbH, has acquired a majority stake in Ludwigsburg-based ACADEMY Holding AG, the leading provider of invoicing, factoring, driving instructor training and franchise services in the German driving school market. With its three business units, the ACADEMY Group covers the entire value chain within the driving school market. The demand for professional services in the driving school market is continuously increasing and thus offers further growth potential for the Group. The fund acquired the shares from a long-standing private investor. As part of the transaction, the management team comprised of board members Matthias and David Wimpff is taking a stake in the Group. Together with the long-standing management team and ECM, they will continue and expand the successful course of the ACADEMY Group.

With the foundation of DATAPART Factoring GmbH in 1994, the cornerstone was laid for today’s ACADEMY Group. As the leading specialist in invoicing services and factoring for driving schools with an annual factoring volume of around €170 million, DATAPART forms the core of the Group. Around this offering, the Group has established a number of other services along the entire value chain in the driving school market in order to meet the need of driving schools for a ‘one-stop shop’. As such, DVPi – which operates facilities for driving instructor training in Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg – is another pillar of the Group. Under the umbrella brand ACADEMY, it also offers the largest franchise system for driving schools in Germany at over 300 locations. Thanks to its firm market presence and complementary range of services, the ACADEMY Group has established a market-leading position in the German driving school market and has long-standing customer relationships with driving instructors.

Centum Capital provides this information as a market news, but has not been involved in the transaction.

Leading provider of end-to-end IP solutions formed by merger

03.2021: Paragon sells NovumIP, the leading service provider in the field of intellectual property (IP), to the French Questel Group. NovumIP was created in 2019 from the merger of PAVIS and Novagraaf, with the aim of offering customers an even wider range of IP advisory, administration and technology-based services. NovumIP is thus the central point of contact for all needs along the IP value chain. With more than 300 IP specialists, NovumIP manages over 2 million IP rights for +12,000 active customers worldwide.

This strategy complements Questel’s vision of building a fully integrated platform for software and services in the IP sector that addresses the requirements of companies and law firms throughout the IP lifecycle. With the merger of NovumIP and Questel, the globally leading provider of end-to-end IP solutions is now created.

The acquisition is subject to antitrust approval and the approval of German BAFIN.

Centum Capital provides this information as a market news, but has not been involved in the transaction.

Bathroom outfitter sold to financial investor

03.2021: AURELIUS Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA announced the acquisition of HÜPPE GmbH from Masco Corporation. HÜPPE is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of shower enclosures, shower trays, wall panels and bathroom accessories. In 2020, HÜPPE generated sales of c. EUR 70 million and employs around 470 people at two production sites in Germany and Turkey as well as six European sales entities.

The good development despite the corona pandemic reflects on the one hand a trend towards upgrading of the bathroom area by the end consumer and on the other hand the increasing replacement of bathtubs with more sustainable and barrier-free shower areas. HÜPPE stands for innovation, quality and customer service and is ideally positioned to benefit from these trends. Together with the management team, AURELIUS plans to drive growth beyond the existing product portfolio and customer base. In addition, AURELIUS will contribute operational know-how to achieve a more sustainable positioning of the group through efficiencies in the purchasing and manufacturing process. This solid standalone positioning will be the basis for future growth via add-on-acquisitions.

The transaction is expected to complete in April and is subject to approval by the relevant antitrust authorities. Financial details have not been disclosed.

Centum Capital provides this information as a market news, but has not been involved in the transaction.

Tools maker for mechanical surfaces sold to investor

01.2021: Funds of PINOVA Capital acquired the German based ECOROLL AG Werkzeugtechnik. ECOROLL is a leading supplier of tools and machines for mechanical surface improvement of metal components. The product portfolio comprises self-engineered tools and machines for roller burnishing and deep rolling, as well as processing cylinders. In close cooperation with customers in manifold industries, ECOROLL develops solutions that ensure high-quality surfaces and prolonged lifespans of metal components while streamlining manufacturing processes. ECOROLL employs 85 people and produces exclusively in Celle, Germany. The company also has a sales office in Cincinnati, USA.

PINOVA acquired the company together with the management in January 2021. Dr. Karsten Röttger, long-standing CEO, has significantly expanded his existing shareholding in ECOROLL as part of the transaction. Dr. Röttger and PINOVA will continue to drive the company’s growth and develop ECOROLL further into an international full-range supplier for mechanical surface finishing.

Centum Capital provides this information as a market news, but has not been involved in the transaction.


Medical workwear company with new investor

12.2020: Paragon Partners, together with French co-investor Chequers Capital, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in 7days Group, a leading supplier of medical workwear. The management team, led by CEO Ulrich Dölken, will significantly re-invest as part of this transaction.

7days was founded in 1999 in Osnabrück/Germany and is now a leading supplier of modern and innovative workwear for medical professions. 7days designs, produces and distributes a wide range of high-quality workwear, from tunics to lab coats, for more than 300,000 customers in the healthcare sector in twelve countries, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Scandinavia. 7days has a vertically integrated business model with diversified supply chains and distributes its products through a fully integrated multi-channel distribution platform, including both catalog marketing and e-commerce channels. This has enabled the company to achieve consistent growth in its German home market and internationally. Today, 7days employs 240 people and is expected to generate sales of over €40 million in 2020.

With the support of its new majority shareholders, Paragon and Chequers, 7days plans to further accelerate its growth trajectory in Germany and the rest of Europe in the coming years. 7days will benefit from continuing strong market trends such as the increasing professionalization of medical workwear and increased hygiene awareness in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which promise future growth potential in a fragmented market.

Centum Capital provides this information as a market news, but has not been involved in the transaction.

EQT acquires SaaS construction intelligence platform

11.2020: EQT as acquired a majority stake in thinkproject, Europe’s leading SaaS provider of construction intelligence solutions for the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Owner-operated (AECO) industry. thinkproject helps improve its customers’ delivery times, reduce waste and energy consumption, while improving sustainability in one of the key carbon emitting industries globally. Its software product suite covers the full construction lifecycle and is driving digitization in one of the largest but least digitally penetrated industries.

The EQT IX fund has acquired the majority stake from TA Associates and founder Thomas Bachmaier. TA, Thomas Bachmaier and the management team will re-invest significantly into the Company in the context of this transaction. thinkproject’s management team, led by CEO Gareth Burton and CFO Ralf Gruesshaber, will continue to lead the Company and build on its strong track record of growth and innovation.

Founded in 2000 and headquartered in Munich, thinkproject serves more than 250,000 users in over 60 countries. Its cloud-delivered, integrated digital solutions help customers be more efficient, cost-effective and simplify their digital transformation across the construction lifecycle. The Company employs around 450 people and its software is used by 2,750 customers across international private and public asset owners, project developers, and general contractors.

thinkproject’s underlying end market, the construction industry, is one of the largest and least digitized industries globally. EQT intends to support the current direction taken by the management team by further growing the Company’s global customer base, backing product extension, geographical expansion and supporting a consolidation of the fragmented construction software space. thinkproject is expected to leverage the full EQT platform during its next phase of growth, including EQT’s digital and sustainability expertise, local-with-locals presence across Europe and Asia-Pacific, and domain experience. Moreover, the Company will be supported by the EQT Network, including advisors from EQT’s software, real estate and infrastructure space.

Centum Capital provides this information as a market news, but has not been involved in the transaction.