London/ Bad Homburg — Verdane, the Euro­pean growth-focu­sed inves­tor, has acqui­red a port­fo­lio of five profi­ta­ble tech­no­logy compa­nies and part­ne­red with HQ Equita, a leading invest­ment firm in Germany. This is Verdane’s 19th invest­ment in the DACH region and follows the opening of Verdane’s second office in Germany earlier this year.

The port­fo­lio of HQ Equita Fund V compri­ses five invest­ments: Ebert­lang, a leading pan-Euro­pean value-added distri­bu­tor of cyber­se­cu­rity and infra­struc­ture soft­ware; Muegge, an indus­trial tech­no­logy provi­der of plasma and micro­wave tech­no­lo­gies for end markets, inclu­ding the produc­tion of sustainable, lab-grown diamonds; r2p Group, a provi­der of intel­li­gent tech­no­logy systems for public trans­port; inde­vis, a cyber­se­cu­rity provi­der; and The Pack­a­ging Group, which deve­lops advan­ced pack­a­ging tech­no­lo­gies that help custo­mers switch from plas­tic to sustainable paper packaging.

The tran­sac­tion provi­des liqui­dity for the LPs and conti­nuity for the HQ Equita team, along with custo­mi­zed value crea­tion plans, stra­tegy road­maps and follow-on capi­tal for each of the five compa­nies and their respec­tive manage­ment teams. To achieve this, Verdane worked closely with HQ Equita’s team, as well as with repre­sen­ta­ti­ves from HQ Direct as the GP’s share­hol­der and the fund’s MLPs. Verdane and HQ Equita will work toge­ther to scale these assets and plan to explore future M&A oppor­tu­ni­ties for contin­ued inter­na­tio­nal growth beyond the DACH region.

HQ Equita was foun­ded in 1992 and is an estab­lished mid-market private equity inves­tor in Germany, backed by inves­tors such as insti­tu­ti­ons, foun­da­ti­ons, trusts and the Quandt Family Office.

Verdane can invest as a majo­rity or mino­rity owner, either in indi­vi­dual compa­nies or in port­fo­lios of compa­nies, and has one of the most flexi­ble invest­ment manda­tes in Europe, allo­wing for both direct invest­ments and port­fo­lio tran­sac­tions. Verdane’s unique approach is reflec­ted in its tran­sac­tion struc­ture and gover­nance model, which takes into account the indi­vi­dual inte­rests of all stake­hol­ders. In this parti­cu­lar case, the port­fo­lio tran­sac­tion crea­tes an option for the exis­ting LPs while provi­ding conti­nuity for the HQ Equita GP team, with a clear focus on unlo­cking value in the port­fo­lio compa­nies through an opti­mi­zed owner­ship structure.

Verdane will support the growth of the port­fo­lio compa­nies, and Elevate, Verdane’s team of inter­nal opera­tio­nal experts, will work closely with manage­ment in areas such as go-to-market, data, finance and talent. Verdane invests thema­ti­cally in the areas of digi­ta­liza­tion and decar­bo­niza­tion. Since its incep­tion in 2003, Verdane has comple­ted 60 port­fo­lio acqui­si­ti­ons. Another nota­ble port­fo­lio buyout and GP part­ner­ship with UK-based Lang­holm Capi­tal in 2021.

Verdane has also streng­the­ned its opera­ti­ons in the DACH region, with nota­ble invest­ments inclu­ding Hornet­secu­rity Group, a leading Euro­pean cyber­se­cu­rity soft­ware company, and Momox, Europe’s largest re-commerce plat­form. Follo­wing this tran­sac­tion, Verdane will have 19 port­fo­lio compa­nies in the DACH region.

Emanuel Johns­son, Part­ner at Verdane (photo © Verdane), commen­ted, “This is a perfect ‘Verdane port­fo­lio deal’ in the sense that we worked closely with seve­ral stake­hol­ders: HQ Equita, their long-stan­ding LP base, and the manage­ment teams of each company in the port­fo­lio. It has been a plea­sure to work closely with HQ Group repre­sen­ta­ti­ves and the team at HQ Equita, and we are exci­ted to support each of these five great compa­nies indi­vi­du­ally by lever­aging the Verdane plat­form and our exten­sive expe­ri­ence in scaling Euro­pean tech­no­logy companies.”

Malte Rippel, CEO of HQ Holding, commen­ted, “On behalf of the Harald Quandt family and HQ Group, we are very plea­sed with the outcome of this tran­sac­tion as we have found a long-term part­ner for the HQ Equita team and the fund’s portfolio.”

Hans J. Moock, a part­ner at HQ Equita, commen­ted, “We have been working with some of the compa­nies in our HQ Equita port­fo­lio since 2018 and this is an exci­ting oppor­tu­nity to conti­nue our part­ner­ship with them along­side Verdane and leverage Verdane’s global expe­ri­ence network to conti­nue their growth.”

Florian Wiem­ken, Part­ner at HQ Equita, added: “Our entire team is exci­ted about the pros­pect of part­ne­ring with Verdane, whose invest­ment will support our exis­ting stra­te­gies while offe­ring an attrac­tive long-term perspec­tive. We are very proud to embark on this jour­ney with a high-quality plat­form like Verdane.”

Fair­view Capi­tal Group, Ltd. acted as exclu­sive finan­cial advi­sor in the transaction.

Milbank served as legal coun­sel for Verdane.

Clif­ford Chance acted as legal advi­sor to HQ Equita Fund V.

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