3 questions to smart minds

The entrepreneurial investor — increasing value through active transformation

For this 3 questions to Hartwig Ostermeyer

Active Capi­tal Company (ACC)
Photo: Hart­wig Ostermeyer
25. May 2022

Value crea­tion in the SME sector often requi­res stra­te­gic trans­for­ma­tion. This is often very successful when it is deve­lo­ped and imple­men­ted toge­ther with an investor.

For this 3 ques­ti­ons to to Hart­wig Oster­meyer, Part­ner at Active Capi­tal Company (ACC) in Munich

1. Active Capi­tal has had an office in Munich as well as the Nether­lands since 2019 and recently acqui­red the mecha­ni­cal engi­nee­ring company LIEB as part of the succes­sion process. How do you intend to deve­lop the company further?

Our new invest­ment in Germany, LIEB, fits perfectly with ACC’s DNA. The company combi­nes a high level of tech­no­lo­gi­cal exper­tise with outstan­ding growth poten­tial. We see this in a stron­ger focus on auto­ma­tion solu­ti­ons for semi­con­duc­tor manu­fac­tu­ring combi­ned with an inter­na­tio­na­liza­tion of busi­ness acti­vi­ties in the “semi­con­duc­tor hotspots” world­wide. To this end, we will invest in the Röden­tal site near Coburg in order to create the struc­tures needed to realize this growth. But we don’t just contri­bute finan­ci­ally; we are also advi­sors and spar­ring part­ners for manage­ment, helping to shape the next phase of the family business.

2. You have now made 5 invest­ments in Germany. What role do buy-and-build stra­te­gies play in your German investments?

Acqui­si­ti­ons are a very good way to greatly acce­le­rate growth or stra­te­gic alignments. Howe­ver, it is important to first have a good plat­form that can be stra­te­gi­cally deve­lo­ped further. Accor­din­gly, we are less concer­ned with cost syner­gies when it comes to acqui­si­ti­ons than with the rapid imple­men­ta­tion of stra­te­gies. As an inves­tor, we bring the tran­sac­tion expe­ri­ence to manage these proces­ses along­side the day-to-day busi­ness of the port­fo­lio compa­nies. Through the acqui­si­tion of Inno­vate, for exam­ple, we have not only opened up the market for medi­cal wet wipes for the Codi Group, but also estab­lished Codi as a Euro­pean player in this area at a stroke. At Schahl­LED Light­ing, we have raised the sales orga­niza­tion to a comple­tely new level within one year through two acqui­si­ti­ons in 2021 and are now active at three loca­ti­ons in Germany.

3. ACC was foun­ded by entre­pre­neurs. Where do you see the advan­tage in this constellation?

We were foun­ded with the ambi­tion to combine the best of two worlds: The profes­sio­na­lism and tran­sac­tion expe­ri­ence of an inves­tor and the prag­ma­tic and hands-on way of turning visi­ons and stra­te­gies into reality of entre­pre­neurs. This connec­tion is also reflec­ted in the fact that many mana­gers of our port­fo­lio compa­nies also become inves­tors them­sel­ves through invest­ments — a fact of which we are very proud.
Because many of us have worked in or mana­ged compa­nies, we can empa­thize well with employees and mana­gers. We can clas­sify diffi­cul­ties in the opera­tio­nal busi­ness, know about the chal­lenges and concerns of change and can thus stand by the manage­ment as a part­ner in many situa­tions. We iden­tify stron­gly with our compa­nies and their products and we know what it means to have respon­si­bi­lity for employees, custo­mers regio­nal struc­tures asso­cia­ted with our invest­ments. And we simply enjoy making compa­nies better and seeing them grow.

About Hart­wig Ostermeyer
Hart­wig Oster­meyer is a part­ner at Active Capi­tal Company. He heads the German office in Munich and is respon­si­ble for local deal sourcing, invest­ment oppor­tu­nity scree­ning and local port­fo­lio manage­ment. — Hart­wig Oster­meyer star­ted his career as an M&A consul­tant in London with a focus on the energy sector. He then worked as a project mana­ger at the Boston Consul­ting Group in Munich and gained opera­tio­nal manage­ment expe­ri­ence at Sixt. Hart­wig holds a degree in engi­nee­ring from the Tech­ni­cal Univer­sity of Berlin.

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