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The organic food industry is steadily growing and is becoming increasingly important in the food market. The March issue of the I-ADVISE Spotlight “ORGANIC FOOD – STRONG GROWTH OF A HEALTHY MARKET” gives an overview of the strongly growing organic food market in Germany and takes a look into its future. We report on the structural changes in distribution channels, highlight key trends in the organic food sector and conclude with M&A activities of financial and strategic investors.

Access the publication in English here; for the German version please see here.

Fifth, updated, Study on German Valuation Practice

Düsseldorf, March 13, 2019: The fifth edition of the study on German valuation practice in squeeze-outs, mergers and other legal measures according to German law has been complemented by reports with valuation dates in 2018 and analyses the development of valuation practice since 2010.

The new I-ADVISE study can serve as a reference point for the most important parameters of valuations and offers an overview of solutions to a multitude of valuation questions by valuation professionals. “The new tendency to derive the terminal value from average margin estimates or long term projections by the valuator has a high potential value impact.”, explains Dr. Jochen Beumer, Head of Valuation Services of I-ADVISE AG.

You can download the complete study here. The German version may be dowloaded here.

I-ADVISE supports Erich Utsch AG in strategic reorientation

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.

I-ADVISE acts as court-appointed auditor in the squeeze-out of Pironet AG

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.

I-ADVISE advises STADTWERKE GIESSEN on the sale of electricity distribution grids

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.

I-ADVISE advises ENGIE on the acquisition of OTTO Luft- und Klimatechnik

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.

I-ADVISE advising Mayersche Buchhandlung on the merger with Thalia

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.

I-ADVISE AG further expanding in Valuation Services

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.

Evonik sells its US Jayhawk site supported by I-ADVISE

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.

I-ADVISE advising Intercus GmbH on its growth financing

September 2018

Bad Blankenburg. Intercus GmbH retained I-ADVISE AG to assess options to fund its strategic growth perspectives. Such growth financing was provided by the new minority shareholder bm|t beteiligungsmanagement thüringen gmbh, Erfurt.

The cash injected into equity will support Intercus in its efforts to develop marketable product innovations and to expand into new regional markets.

„bm|t and Intercus form a partnership that is built on a long-term relationship and reliability. Intercus is therefore ready to cope with coming challenges and well-prepared to take advantage of new opportunities”, explained Thomas Busch, managing director of Intercus.

About Intercus

Since 15 years Intercus develops and manufactures implants in the field of traumatology and orthopaedy for domestic and international markets. Intercus specialises on polyaxial locking systems and innovative products enhancing wound healing.

Together with well-renowned clinics and universities from all over the world, Intercus’ R&D department seeks to develop new implants and to identify new materials. Intercus’ highest quality products are manufactured in a state-of-the-art production site in Thuringia.

About bm|t

Back in 2003, bm|t was founded by its sole shareholder Thuringia development bank (“Thüringer Aufbaubank”). Its funds are used to provide equity capital to younger and also well-established enterprises from Thuringia with particular growth perspectives. In general, equity financing is provided by Midcap Fund for Thuringia (“Mittelstands-Fonds Thüringen”) which is managed by bm|t.