NORD Holding acquires stake in ESG software pioneer VERSO

7. Decem­ber 2022

Hanover/Munich. NORD Holding has deci­ded to take the mega­to­pic of sustaina­bi­lity or ESG into account and to set a corre­spon­ding focus both intern­ally and on the port­fo­lio side. The start­ing signal for this is the parti­ci­pa­tion in the ESG soft­ware pioneer VERSO, which has also been successfully repre­sen­ted on the market with consul­ting and trai­ning for seve­ral years. NORD Holding intends to intro­duce the soft­ware solu­tion in its 15 asso­cia­ted compa­nies and thus stan­dards in sustainable corpo­rate management.

With its invest­ment in VERSO, NORD Holding is rely­ing on one of the few ESG soft­ware solu­ti­ons that has been estab­lished over many years and has now grown into a holi­stic service provi­der in the area of corpo­rate sustaina­bi­lity. VERSO supports compa­nies to acce­le­rate their Sustainable Trans­for­ma­tion effec­tively and effi­ci­ently: From “Mission Zero” (carbon accoun­ting, reduc­tion and offset­ting), to ongo­ing sustaina­bi­lity manage­ment, to ESG report­ing, a focus area of VERSO. The company is thus ideally posi­tio­ned to bene­fit from the EU-CSRD (Corpo­rate Sustaina­bi­lity Report­ing Direc­tive) in the long term.

VERSO addres­ses the incre­asing need for digi­ta­liza­tion and know­ledge in various areas of sustaina­bi­lity in SMEs through the direc­tive for capi­tal market-orien­­ted compa­nies issued in 2017 and the Europe-wide exten­sion to smal­ler SMEs deci­ded in 2022. In addi­tion, there are further incre­asing regu­la­tory chal­lenges (e.g. Supply Chain Act), for which VERSO is alre­ady successfully prepa­ring its customers.

“We take our respon­si­bi­lity seriously: Toward our inves­tors and share­hol­dings, but also toward society and the planet. For us, the mega­trend of sustainable trans­for­ma­tion, and thus the area of ESG, is a key value driver. At the same time, we are deve­lo­ping ESG stra­te­gies with all our invest­ments to make our port­fo­lio more sustainable and thus, not least, more compe­ti­tive. VERSO alre­ady offers a strong and estab­lished solu­tion for compa­nies across all indus­tries and bene­fits from more than a decade of expe­ri­ence. Toge­ther with VERSO, we can ther­e­fore make a signi­fi­cant contri­bu­tion to our own port­fo­lio both on the opera­ti­ons side of NORD Holding and on the invest­ment side from the massi­vely incre­asing demand in the sustaina­bi­lity segment,” says Chris­tian Moritz Kukwa, Prin­ci­pal at NORD Holding.

Andreas Maslo, Co-Foun­­der and CEO of VERSO, comm­ents: “We are commit­ted to a great mission: To acce­le­rate the sustainable trans­for­ma­tion of the economy. But in order to imple­ment our stra­tegy to this end, we don’t just need fast money, but the right growth part­ners. After many discus­sions with a wide variety of inte­res­ted parties, we made a very conscious decis­ion in favor of NORD Holding. We were convin­ced by an inves­tor with deep roots in the German SME sector, a genuine desire for trans­for­ma­tion and a trans­pa­rent share­hol­der struc­ture. In addi­tion, NH’s domain exper­tise in soft­ware, consul­ting and now ESG speaks for itself. We are now incre­di­bly looking forward to jointly buil­ding the leading ESG soft­ware and consul­ting service provi­der in the German-spea­king region. Thus, we will be able to support compa­nies even more effec­tively in their trans­for­ma­tion towards sustaina­bi­lity and further acce­le­rate the process.”

The invest­ment was carried out by the two NORD Holding teams Busi­ness Services and Software/Technology and under­lines the sector compe­tence in the area of tech­­no­­logy-enab­­led services. On the part of NORD Holding, the tran­sac­tion was imple­men­ted by Chris­tian Moritz Kukwa, Chris­toph Grune­wald, Moritz Stolp and Korne­lius Karl Komischke.

VERSO supports medium-sized compa­nies holi­sti­cally in their Sustainable Trans­for­ma­tion with its soft­ware (SaaS) solu­tion and services for sustaina­bi­lity manage­ment. Consul­ting and trai­ning in CSR report­ing, manage­ment and climate accoun­ting make VERSO a compre­hen­sive part­ner for corpo­rate sustaina­bi­lity and ESG. Sustaina­bi­lity mana­gers profes­sio­na­lize and digi­ta­lize their CSR manage­ment with VERSO or bring even more effi­ci­ency into their exis­ting proces­ses, above all CSR report­ing. In addi­tion, VERSO supports compa­nies on their way to climate neutra­lity. VERSO GmbH, based in Munich, was foun­ded in 2010 by Andreas Maslo and Florian Holl and is now mana­ged by the two foun­ders toge­ther with Nuvia Maslo.

About NORD Holding
With over 50 years of history and assets under manage­ment of € 2.5 billion, NORD Holding is one of the leading private equity and asset manage­ment compa­nies in Germany. The focus is on the busi­ness areas of direct invest­ments and fund invest­ments. The focus of the direct busi­ness is on the struc­tu­ring and finan­cing of corpo­rate succes­sion models, the acqui­si­tion of group parts/subsidiaries and the expan­sion finan­cing of medium-sized companies.

In contrast to most other finan­cial inves­tors, who only manage time-limi­­ted funds, NORD Holding acts as a so-called “ever­green fund” with no time limit and invests from its own balance sheet. The company is curr­ently invol­ved with more than 15 compa­nies in Germany and other German-spea­king count­ries. The Fund Invest­ments busi­ness unit targets the micro and small cap segment of mid-market-orien­­ted private equity funds in Europe. The focus here is on primary, secon­dary and co-inves­t­­ments. NORD Holding focu­ses stron­gly on buyout mana­gers newly estab­lished on the market, opera­tio­nal invest­ment stra­te­gies and also regu­larly acts as an anchor investor.

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