February 2019: I-ADVISE AG advised Erich Utsch AG, Siegen, in realigning its business strategy divesting shares in a financial holding and assuming the majority shareholding in an Australian company.

Transactions executed for that purpose by the end of 2018 comprised the sale of all shares held by Erich Utsch in UTSCH Tönnjes International (“UTI”) and the acquisition of a majority stake in Australian LicenSys Pty Ltd. (“LicenSys”). The transactions are aimed to further drive forward Erich Utsch’s differentiation from competitors and strengthen its market positioning. Through the take-over of a majority interest in LicenSys, Erich Utsch has become market leader in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania. The acquisition also enables Erich Utsch to expand its technological base.

Erich Utsch AG is the global leader in the production of license plates and related system solutions.

I-ADVISE provided business consultancy with respect to specific economic issues in the context of the divestment of Erich Utsch AG’s UTI participation and the take-over of shares in LicenSys.

January 2019: I-ADVISE AG acted as court-appointed auditor in the context of the intended transfer of the shares of the minority shareholders of Pironet AG, Cologne, to CANCOM SE, Munich (squeeze-out).

In the Extraordinary General Meeting of Pironet AG on January 10, 2019 CANCOM SE as the majority shareholder of Pironet AG filed the motion to transfer the shares of the minority shareholders to CANCOM SE in return for a cash settlement of € 9.64 per Pironet share.

About Pironet AG
Via its wholly owned subsidiary, CANCOM Pironet AG & Co. KG, Pironet AG is the multi-cloud provider of the Munich-based CANCOM Group and offers its customers a wide range of IT outsourcing services. The ISG Experton Group estimates that CANCOM Pironet was among the top 10 cloud providers in the German B2B market in 2016. With around 250 employees, Pironet AG achieved sales of around € 56 million in 2018.

CANCOM SE as one of the leading providers of IT infrastructure and IT services in Germany, Austria, USA and the United Kingdom is listed on the TecDAX and SDAX of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. CANCOM group´s holistic product and service range includes IT consulting, design of IT architectures and IT landscapes, conceptual design and integration of IT systems, operation of IT systems, and sales of hardware and software.
The more than 3,000 employees worldwide generate annual sales of over € 1 billion.

I-ADVISE was responsible for ensuring the adequacy of the compensation of the minority shareholders of Pironet AG. In a comprehensive audit report, I-ADVISE confirmed the compensation determined by a valuation report.

January 2019: I-ADVISE AG advised Stadtwerke Gießen AG (“Stadtwerke Gießen”) on the sale of the electricity distribution grids of the city of Selters and the local community of Maxsain (“electricity distribution grids”) to Energieversorgung Mittelrhein (“evm”).

Around 88 kilometres of power lines and an associated operating property were sold to evm and the transfer of the grid service employees working in the grid area was agreed.

Stadtwerke Giessen is the regional energy supplier for the city of Giessen and the region “Mittelhessen” regarding electricity, natural gas and heat as well as drinking water. In addition, it operates the public bus services and the public baths. Stadtwerke Giessen, a 100% subsidiary of the university town of Giessen, with around 800 employees, supplies more than 190,000 customers and generated sales revenues of more than €400 million in 2017.

I-ADVISE comprehensively supported Stadtwerke Giessen in the preparation and execution of the transaction, by evaluating the electricity distribution grids and the operating property, preparing a fairness opinion and accompanying the contract negotiations.

January 2019: I-ADVISE AG advised ENGIE in Germany in the acquisition of OTTO Luft- und Klimatechnik GmbH & Co. KG (“OTTO Group”), Bad Berleburg. OTTO Group is a leading specialist in ventilation and air-conditioning solutions, cooling technology and building automation in Germany. By acquiring Otto group, ENGIE strengthens its leading market position in technical building services and deepens its product portfolio in ventilation and air-conditioning.

Otto Group with its 700 employees generated revenues of approx. €120m in 2018.

ENGIE in Germany is specialising in technical building services, facilities management, industrial refrigeration technology and energy services. ENGIE Deutschland AG is part of listed ENGIE group generating €65bn in revenues with more than 150,000 employees worldwide.

I-ADVISE provided both, Financial and Tax Due Diligence support to ENGIE.

January 2019: I-ADVISE AG supported the merger of Mayersche Buchhandlung KG and Best Of Books (B.O.B) with Thalia GmbH. The combination of 55 Mayersche bookstores in North Rine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate and the 300 Thalia stores in German speaking countries including Best Of Books (B.O.B) are forming Europe’s leading family-led bookseller.

Ongoing challenges in retail markets require innovative concepts and new alliances to sustain market success. Thalia and Mayersche are merging into an innovative bookseller with a strong regional footprint in the German speaking market, and the most successful omni-channel bookselling business. I-ADVISE provided Financial Due Diligence services to Mayersche and supported in all financial aspects of the merger.

I-ADVISE provided Mayersche Buchhandlung with Financial Due Diligence and financial advisory.

About Mayersche
In 1817 Mayersche Buchhandlung was founded in Aachen by Jacob Anton Mayer. It celebrated its second centenary anniversary in 2017 and is ever since its foundation a family owned business. Today Mayersche is run by the Falter family and is represented in 55 stores in the Western part of Germany. The Shop-in-Shop provider Best of Books is also part of the Mayersche business. In total, 1000 employees including 120 trainees are employed by Mayersche.

About Thalia
Thalia was established in 1919 in Hamburg and is market leader in retail bookstores in German-speaking countries. Thalia is owned by the Herder, Kreke, Busch and Göritz families. Thalia operates ca. 300 stores in Germany and Austria, including a 50% share in more than 30 Orell Füssli Thalia PLC bookstores in Switzerland. Thalia’s successful omni-channel strategy enables customers to access its products via all existing sales channels. Thalia employs 5,000 people.

Düsseldorf, November 2018: I-ADVISE continues its growth in valuation services and complements the valuation services team led by Dr. Jochen Beumer with Pia Brandenstein.

Pia Brandenstein is an expert in the field of valuation service with particular experience as auditor or independent expert appointed by the court in the context of German stock corporation laws and transformation laws. She also has a large consultancy track record being both German public accountant (Wirtschaftsprüfer) and German tax accountant (Steuerberater) Starting her career in a next-ten-auditory she changed to a specialist in valuation to finally reach I-ADVISE.

„We are very happy to welcome Pia on board as a well-renowned valuation expert“, so Dr. Jochen Beumer, Head of Valuation Services of I-ADVISE AG.

October 2018: Evonik is taking the next step in systematically focusing on specialty chemicals with the divestment of its US Jayhawk site in Galena, Kansas. The site produces precursors for agrochemicals, which are not included in the growth businesses defined by Evonik.
Jayhawk’s activities fall under the Agrochemicals & Polymer Additives business line in Evonik’s Performance Materials segment. Under a share deal, funds advised by the international investment firm Permira will acquire the site along with the company and its approximately 120 employees. The sale price is in the high double-digit million dollar range. The transaction is subject to approval by antitrust authorities in several countries.

I-ADVISE provided financial sell-side support to Evonik including the compilation of a financial fact book.

Permira is a global investment firm. Founded in 1985, the firm advises funds with a total committed capital of approximately €32 billion. The Permira funds have a long track record of successfully investing in industrial companies around the world and have invested over €4.6 billion in more than 20 companies. The CABB Group, headquartered in Sulzbach am Taunus, Germany, is a globally active producer of precursors, intermediates, and active substances for fine chemicals. With about 1,000 employees, the Group generates annual sales in the region of €450 million.

Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The focus on more specialty businesses, customer-orientated innovative prowess and a trustful and performance-oriented corporate culture form the heart of Evonik’s corporate strategy. They are the lever for profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company. Evonik benefits specifically from its customer proximity and leading market positions. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world with more than 36,000 employees. In fiscal 2017, the enterprise generated sales of €14.4 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €2.36 billion.

Düsseldorf, February: I-ADVISE continues its growth in valuation services and complements the valuation services team led by Dr. Jochen Beumer with Klaus Jürgens.

Effective 1 February I-ADVISE hired Klaus Jürgens, an expert in the field of valuation service particularly in the banking and insurance industry. After his training as a banker he studied business administration at the WWU Münster and passed the exam as a German tax accountant (“Steuerberater”). In his professional career he worked at a Big4 Accounting and Advisory firm and an international insurance group.

„We are very happy to welcome Klaus on board as a well-renowned valuation expert“, so Dr. Jochen Beumer, Head of Valuation Services of I-ADVISE AG.

DruckDüsseldorf, 1.2.2018: As part of the scholarship program ProTalent, I-ADVISE AG awards sponsorships to students at the Chair of International Accounting (IUR) at the Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU).

ProTalent is a scholarship program of WWU based on the German national scholarship program introduced by German government in 2011. The scholarship program of WWU is designed to support excellent students and to support education of young professionals. Frequent and regular contact and exchange of students with sponsors facilitate access to professional work experience.

Thanks to an improved financial independence sponsored students can focus on their studies and much better develop skills based on their talents.

Frank Berg, Partner of I-ADVISE AG, enthusiastically explains the commitment to the ProTalent scholarship program: „Sponsoring excellent performance and capabilities not only expresses our appreciation for talented and motivated students. We as a firm rate our role as sponsor as an excellent means to enter into exchange and discussion with tomorrow’s high performers. As a professional services firm we highly value quality and excellence not only in our work but also on the part of our employees. Participating in the scholarship program thus represents a consequent investment in the future success of our firm.“

Frankfurt, July 2017: In the sales process of Müller-Elektronik to publicly traded Trimble I-ADVISE acted on behalf of the founding families. The transaction was completed on July 3, 2017 after customary closing conditions, especially antitrust clearance by the cartel authorities, had been satisfied.

Trimble acquires one of the leading companies in agriculture electronics and precision farming with activities in Europe and in North and South America.

Since its foundation in Salzkotten, East Westphalia/Germany in 1977, Müller-Elektronik has been a pioneer and leader in the development of agriculture electronics with ground-breaking innovations, establishing ISOBUS hardware and software solutions for agriculture. Today Müller-Elektronik employs more than 375 people worldwide.

Trimble, headquartered in Sunnyvale, California/USA, is a leading provider of advanced GPS based positioning technologies and systems for a variety of industries and applications. In agriculture, Trimble’s solutions include guidance displays for parallel motion and steering systems, GPS/GNNS systems, flow and application control, operational management software and much more.

„The merger of Trimble and Müller-Elektronik and the combination of both systems is solely possible by establishing a partnership of these two companies creating significant potential in this industry“, Christian Müller, managing director of Müller-Elektronik, points out.

The I-ADVISE team led by Andreas Ewers (Partner, Frankfurt) supported the shareholders of Müller-Elektronik as financial advisor during the entire sales process.

I-ADVISE is an accounting and advisory firm specialised in transaction and valuation services and is member of an international alliance of independent advisory firms.