Liberta Partners supports merger of Kienzle Automotive and ght
Munich / Mülheim an der Ruhr / Nuremberg — The multi family holding company Liberta Partners announces that it has entered into an agreement to acquire ght GmbH Elektronik im Verkehr (“ght”) through Liberta Partners Fund II (“Liberta”). The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022. ght will be integrated into a holding structure together with Kienzle Automotive GmbH (“Kienzle”), which has already been part of Liberta’s portfolio since 2020.
The service portfolio of Kienzle and ght includes products and services for all aspects of digital and analog tachographs. The two companies, with a total of 13 locations in Germany and 186 employees, are the largest VDO sales companies and thus market leaders. At the same time, ght Managing Director Herbert Werthner will become the new CEO and shareholder of Kienzle Beteiligungs GmbH (“Holding”). Cornelius von Plessen, CFO of Kienzle Automotive, will serve as CFO of the holding company in the future. Liberta Partners will support the Group with its operational and strategic know-how and, together with the management, will invest specifically in future technologies in order to realize further growth potential.
Kienzle and ght offer complex telematics systems and services for controlling vehicle fleets. The mutual service portfolio also includes services related to the digital tachograph, the archiving of tachograph data, the retrofitting of assistance systems for commercial vehicles, and services for cab companies. In addition, ght is established in the southern German market as a system house for cash register systems, parking technology and parking space management, tank technology and access systems.
Further internal growth and acquisitions planned
Nils von Wietzlow, Partner at Liberta and responsible for succession solutions, said: “We are delighted to have been able to bring together two market leaders in automotive services, ght and Kienzle. The two companies also complement each other excellently in the telematics and systems technology business areas, and we see concrete expansion and cross-selling potential in all segments. We will actively support Kienzle and ght in their internal and external growth plans.”
Herbert Werthner, CEO of Kienzle Beteiligungs GmbH, emphasized: “The innovative cultures of ght and Kienzle Automotive are an excellent fit. With Liberta Partners, we also have an owner at our side who supports us strategically and makes it easier for us to invest in future technologies.”
This is the fifth investment of Liberta Partners Fund II, which closed in October 2019. The fund invests in group spin-offs and succession situations of family businesses with a strong focus on supporting the operational development of its portfolio companies.
About KIENZLE Automotive GmbH
KIENZLE Automotive GmbH (“Kienzle”) is the leading German provider for sales and service of networked devices and systems in the automotive aftermarket environment. From 6 of its own commercial vehicle workshops (5 in North Rhine-Westphalia and 1 in Baden-Württemberg), Kienzle, as the largest VDO system partner within Germany, serves around 770 contractually bound service partners and a total of over 10,000 commercial customers. In the area of data management and fleet telematics, Kienzle works with established software developers to create customer-specific evaluations and readout options. This has enabled Kienzle to establish itself in the public transport sector, for example. For more information, please visit: www.kienzle.de
About ght GmbH Electronics in traffic
Based in Bavaria, ght GmbH | Elektronik im Verkehr (“ght”) is a future-oriented trading and service company offering applications and systems in the automotive and systems engineering sectors. As VDO’s specialist dealer partner, around 500 certified § 57b specialist workshops are affiliated with ght in Bavaria. More than 10,000 customers have an active business relationship with ght. Especially in the field of archiving and telematics solutions for commercial fleets, ght is the leading provider in Bavaria. In addition, ght is also a system house for cash register systems, parking technology, parking space management, tank technology, access systems and access control systems and is an established player in the southern German market. For more information, please visit: www.ght.de
About Liberta Partners
Liberta Partners was founded in 2016 and is a multi-family holding company based in Munich. Liberta Partners invests in companies in German-speaking countries with clear operational and strategic development potential, especially in succession situations and corporate spin-offs. These are actively developed as part of the long-term “100% Core & Care” concept and benefit from Liberta Partners’ innovative entrepreneurial understanding. Liberta Partners’ team currently consists of 14 employees working in M&A, corporate development and legal, as well as an active industry advisory board. www.liberta-partners.com