Guild Buy Out Partners acquires Caseking Group from Equistone

17. July 2018
Munich — Funds advi­sed by Equi­stone Part­ners Europe (“Equi­stone”) are dive­s­ting their majo­rity stake in Case­king, a leading Euro­pean provi­der of PC gaming, e‑sports and tech products. Equi­stone had acqui­red Case­king in March 2014 and has consist­ently suppor­ted the company’s growth stra­tegy since then. Buyers are funds advi­sed by Gilde Buy Out Part­ners, the foun­ders and manage­ment of Case­king remain invol­ved. The parties have agreed not to disc­lose the purchase price or further details of the tran­sac­tion. The sale is subject to appro­val by the rele­vant anti­trust authorities.

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)
PwC (Commer­cial)

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