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.