Expansion of the German management team at Waterland Private Equity

9. Janu­ary 2019

Munich — Dr. Gregor Hengst (43, photo) has been Mana­ging Direc­tor in the Munich office since Decem­ber and is thus respon­si­ble for the further expan­sion of the local invest­ment acti­vi­ties toge­ther with Dr. Cars­ten Rahlfs (Mana­ging Part­ner in Hamburg) and Jörg Drei­sow (Mana­ging Part­ner at the Munich office).

In the past year, the Euro­pean private equity company Water­land consist­ently imple­men­ted its invest­ment philo­so­phy and inclu­ded nume­rous compa­nies with the best growth prospects in its port­fo­lio. In the DACH region in parti­cu­lar, 15 tran­sac­tions were success­fully imple­men­ted and the exis­ting port­fo­lio was expan­ded. In addi­tion to a further expan­sion of the invest­ment teams in the DACH region, the Bene­lux coun­tries, Scan­di­na­via and the British Isles by 14 new colleagues, the manage­ment in the German market will now also be strengthened.

Hengst (43), a quali­fied banker with a docto­rate inlaw, has been working for Water­land for around seven years; previously he worked for McKin­sey & Company and Vestar Capi­tal Part­ners, among others. At Water­land, he mana­ges, among others, the invest­ment and further deve­lo­p­ment of the payment soft­ware company Serrala Group (form­erly Hanse Orga) with several acqui­si­ti­ons as well as the invest­ments in Hanse­fit and Tineo. “I am very plea­sed that with Gregor Hengst we now have an addi­tio­nal colleague in the manage­ment team who combi­nes exten­sive expe­ri­ence and an impres­sive track record in streng­t­he­ning our port­fo­lio compa­nies,” says Jörg Drei­sow. In addi­tion to the Munich office, Hengst will also head the Zurich office, which opened in 2018 and from which he already over­sees Tineo, the commu­ni­ca­ti­ons company acqui­red by Water­land in the same year.

15 tran­sac­tions in Germany and Switzerland
Water­land prima­rily focu­ses on social mega­trends such as sustaina­bi­lity, demo­gra­phic deve­lo­p­ment and leisure and luxury, as well as the gene­ral trend towards outsour­cing. Since its foun­ding in 1999, Water­land has inves­ted in more than 450 compa­nies in these sectors — in 2018 alone, 11 plat­form and 38 add-on acqui­si­ti­ons were reali­zed across Europe. The port­fo­lio in Germany grew last year with the addi­tion of the Hanse­fit corpo­rate fitness network and the receiva­bles manage­ment service provi­der coeo; with the merger of the addi­tio­nal newco­mer Swyx with Voice­works and Centile, Water­land built up a Euro­pean market leader for unified communication.

In total, Waterland’s port­fo­lio compa­nies in the German-spea­­king region were streng­t­he­ned in their further deve­lo­p­ment through 15 acqui­si­ti­ons — inclu­ding several faci­li­ties for Germany’s largest private opera­tor of reha­bi­li­ta­tion clinics MEDIAN and for the specia­list clinic group ATOS, as well as already two specia­list provi­ders for the care service provi­der Schö­nes Leben, whose acqui­si­tion was comple­ted in 2018.

Part­ner for growth-orien­­ted medium-sized companies
“Our approach of streng­t­he­ning the market posi­tion of compa­nies in frag­men­ted growth markets through targe­ted acqui­si­ti­ons and orga­nic growth was again very success­ful in the past year,” explains Dr. Cars­ten Rahlfs. “In addi­tion to capi­tal, it is our profes­sio­nal and opera­tio­nally expe­ri­en­ced team that actively works with the manage­ment of the port­fo­lio compa­nies to turn ambi­tious plans into reality quickly and sustainably.” Water­land also expects to further expand its acti­vi­ties in the German-spea­­king region in the coming year: “The focus is on estab­lis­hed SMEs with outstan­ding products and services — in the face of no fewer chal­len­ges, they can realize decisive growth steps with our finan­cial, stra­te­gic and opera­tio­nal support,” says Hengst.

About Water­land
Water­land is an inde­pen­dent private equity invest­ment firm that helps compa­nies realize their growth plans. With substan­tial finan­cial support and indus­try exper­tise, Water­land enab­les its port­fo­lio compa­nies to achieve acce­le­ra­ted growth both orga­ni­cally and through acqui­si­ti­ons. Water­land has offices in the Nether­lands (Bussum), Belgium (Antwerp), Germany (Munich, Hamburg), Poland (Warsaw), the UK (Manches­ter), Denmark (Copen­ha­gen) and Switz­er­land (Zurich). Curr­ently, 6 billion euros in equity funds are managed.

Water­land has consist­ently outper­for­med its invest­ments since its foun­ding in 1999 and has regu­larly ranked among the top three leading private equity firms world­wide in past HEC/Dow Jones Private Equity Perfor­mance Rankings. In addi­tion, Water­land has also been among the top 3 most consis­tent buyout fund mana­gers globally in the Preqin Consis­tent Perfor­mers in Global Private Equity & Venture Capi­tal Report in recent years.

Water­land is listed as a fund mana­ger in the direc­tory main­tai­ned by the Dutch regu­la­tor AFM (Auto­rit­eit Finan­ciële Markten).

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