3 questions to smart minds

From turnaround specialist to international all-round investor

For this 3 questions to Donatus Albrecht

Aure­lius Group in Munich
Photo: Dona­tus Albrecht
13. July 2021

AURELIUS had long made a name for itself as a turn­around inves­tor. The AURELIUS Group is now active in various segments and specia­li­zes, among other things, in the acqui­si­tion of compa­nies with deve­lo­p­ment poten­tial through opera­tio­nal support. Recently, a midcap private equity fund of over EUR 500 million was raised for Euro­pean deals. 

For this 3 ques­ti­ons to Dona­tus Albrecht, Part­ner at the Aure­lius Group in Munich

1. AURELIUS has evol­ved from a well-known turn­around inves­tor to a midcap fund inves­tor. They recently raised EUR 500 million for it. A Corona oppor­tu­nity or what do you plan to do with it?

AURELIUS has steadily evol­ved over the past 15 years as a pan-Euro­pean active and diver­si­fied invest­ment group, moving from the clas­sic turn­around busi­ness into healt­hier and larger tran­sac­tions over time. From that point of view, this is not an oppor­tu­ni­stic decis­ion. The new Fund IV follows the proven stra­tegy of inves­t­ing in compa­nies in trans­for­ma­tion proces­ses, corpo­rate spin-offs and even complex buy-out situa­tions. Howe­ver, we are now in a posi­tion to make larger acqui­si­ti­ons. The focus here will be on compa­nies that gene­rate more than 100 million in sales and have their head­quar­ters in the EU or UK. With the listed AURELIUS Equity Oppor­tu­ni­ties we will conti­nue to play the lower midmar­ket segment and invest in compa­nies below the 100 million sales threshold.

So at AURELIUS, we are excel­lently posi­tio­ned in the midmar­ket sector with the new fund, as illus­tra­ted by the recent acqui­si­tion of Panasonic’s Consu­mer Batte­ries busi­ness. Our strong opera­tio­nal focus remains unch­an­ged: a team of more than 90 specia­lists who support carve-out issues and also imple­ment opera­tio­nal measu­res in the after­math. Buy-and-build also remains an inte­gral part of our invest­ment stra­tegy. This means that we will screen the market for poten­tial acqui­si­ti­ons at an early stage and support the compa­nies through acqui­si­ti­ons in addi­tion to orga­nic growth.

2. What does the Euro­pean lineup look like? How many deals (%) do you now do outside Germany?

Today, AURELIUS is a pan-Euro­pean inves­tor with offices in Munich, London, Amster­dam, Stock­holm, Madrid and Luxem­bourg. From the various loca­ti­ons, we take care of the regi­ons (UK & Ireland, DACH, Bene­lux, Nordics & Southern Europe). Almost two thirds of our tran­sac­tions now come from markets outside Germany, Austria and Switz­er­land. We are thus broadly posi­tio­ned for a consis­t­ently stable deal flow, as we are well able to offset decli­ning M&A acti­vity in certain markets with an increase in other countries.

3. Growth capi­tal is a topic in high demand in Germany. Aure­lius has been opera­ting in this segment for about 3 years. What is your stra­tegy in this segment?

AURELIUS Growth Capi­tal has grown to become an important pillar of our busi­ness. This area mainly deals with medium-sized succes­sion situa­tions in the small­cap segment. AURELIUS Growth Capi­tal is finan­ced by entre­pre­neu­rial fami­lies from Germany, Austria and Switz­er­land, has no fixed holding period and is desi­gned for a long-term and sustainable invest­ment stra­tegy. The focus is on healthy, well-performing compa­nies in stable and growing markets. These are often entre­pre­neurs who are looking for a part­ner for the next growth phase, for exam­ple for orga­nic growth, inter­na­tio­na­liza­tion and acqui­si­ti­ons­/add-ons. Here, too, our opera­tio­nally driven and entre­pre­neu­rial approach helps us to take the next stage of growth toge­ther with our port­fo­lio companies.

About Dona­tus Albrecht 

Dona­tus Albrecht is a part­ner at AURELIUS and has been jointly respon­si­ble for all M&A acti­vi­ties there since 2006. For the AURELIUS Group, he mana­ged a total of over 100 purchase and sale tran­sac­tions. Dona­tus Albrecht studied econo­mics at the Ludwig-Maxi­mi­li­ans-Univer­sity in Munich and has been working in the private equity / venture capi­tal indus­try for more than 20 years.

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