Guild Buy Out Partners acquires Caseking Group from Equistone
Caseking was founded in 2003 as an online store for gaming and PC accessories in Berlin by Kay Kostadinov and Toni Sonn and has since developed into one of Europe’s most successful suppliers of high-performance computer systems, PC components and accessories for the gaming sector. Today, the group of companies employs around 400 people. Caseking is represented by its own business units in Germany, the UK, the Scandinavian countries, Southern and Eastern Europe, and Taiwan. Through a logistics network of six warehouses, Caseking processes over 540,000 orders annually and ships approximately four million goods worldwide. The product portfolio covers trade with exclusive own and licensed brands as well as third-party brands.
During Equistone’s involvement, Caseking’s revenue increased from €96 million in fiscal 2013/14 to €239 million (2017/2018). This growth was driven primarily by targeted acquisitions; however, adjusted organic sales growth was also well into double digits each year. Even before Equistone’s involvement, Caseking had acquired the British company Overclockers, a leading supplier of hardware components. The Group strengthened its presence in other key European regions with the acquisition of Hungary-based Kelly-tech in July 2014 and Portugal-based Globaldata in February 2017. Trigono, a provider of gaming products and software licensing and maintenance services active in Sweden and Norway, joined the Group in November 2017. Most recently, Jimm’s PC Store, a Finnish retailer of computers and gaming accessories, was added in early 2018.
“We have been able to massively expand Caseking’s international presence through our targeted strategic acquisitions, and effectively and successfully drive expansion into new markets and countries,” said Toni Sonn, CEO of the Caseking Group. “We also achieved exceptionally strong organic growth across all product categories offered. Equistone has always supported us in this as a partner. We now look forward to embarking on the next successful phase of growth together with the new owner.”
“Our goal was to support Caseking in its organic growth and through targeted acquisitions. At the same time, it was about strengthening Caseking’s leading position in key European markets, leading the company into new markets and maintaining Caseking’s high credibility in the gaming community. This is very challenging in a fast-growing market with demanding and brand-sensitive clientele,” says Alexis Milkovic, Partner at Equistone. Leander Heyken, also a partner at Equistone, added: “We are pleased to have mastered this so successfully together with the management and employees. We wish Caseking all the best for its further development and know that the company is in good hands with its new owner.”
Alexis Milkovic and Leander Heyken are responsible for the transaction on the part of Equistone.
Advisors Gilde Buy Out Partners:
transaction advised by William Blair (M&A)
P+P Pöllath + Partners (Legal)
KPMG (Financial & Tax)