Expansion of the German management team at Waterland Private Equity
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.
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).