Waterland closes two new SME funds with €4 billion in capital commitments
Hamburg / Munich — Waterland Private Equity has launched two new funds — with capital commitments totaling four billion euros. Despite a challenging economic environment, numerous institutional investors thus provided Waterland with more fresh capital than ever before. In the DACH region, too, the European mid-market investor specializing in buy & build strategies can thus continue its success story even stronger.
Waterland’s ninth fund (“WPEF IX”) has a volume of 3.5 billion euros and will invest as usual in medium-sized companies in fragmented growth markets. With the “Waterland Partnership Fund I”, an additional fund was established for minority shareholdings, e.g. in selected former portfolio companies of Waterland. Funds amounting to 500 million euros are now available here. Fundraising for both funds was completed in just four months and significantly exceeded the original target.
“Capital commitments from top-class institutional investors from all over the world are not a matter of course in these tense and cautious times. However, the commitment of many existing and new investors shows that our investment philosophy and the numerous success stories are sustainably convincing,” says Dr. Carsten Rahlfs (photo © Waterland), Managing Partner at Waterland in Hamburg. In two decades, the company has completed approximately 1,000 transactions, founding and developing more than 150 new platforms to build successful long-term market leaders. The experienced buy & build investor implements an average of approximately ten add-on acquisitions for each of its portfolio companies.
Five new platforms in the DACH region in 2022
Waterland is active in Benelux, DACH, Scandinavia, Poland, France as well as in the British Isles and recently also in Spain. In the DACH region, Waterland initiated five strong platforms through majority acquisitions last year: Duvenbeck (a leading European logistics service provider), the Sleepco Group (merger of the premium bed manufacturers RUF and BRUNO from Germany and the Belgian LS Bedding), LionsHome (a leading European product comparison platform), the Swiss communications consultancy Team Farner and the software solutions provider MT. In addition, more than 20 strategic acquisitions were made for the portfolio — despite a very tense and competitive situation in numerous sectors.
For the new year 2023, Dr. Gregor Hengst, partner at Waterland in Munich, seesDespite the volatile macroeconomic environment, there are attractive opportunities in our target region. For example, technology-based services and healthcare remain interesting for us. In addition, we are identifying and monitoring other fragmented markets where our strong buy & build approach can come into play. In the current environment of increased volatility, our close collaboration with portfolio companies on their resilience and sustainable positioning remains an important focus — we are expanding our team in the 13 European offices for this purpose.”
In Germany and Switzerland, Waterland is currently invested in the following companies in addition to Duvenbeck, Sleepco, LionsHome, Farner and MT: MEDIAN (rehabilitation clinic operator), Schönes Leben Group (care facilities), Fit/One (fitness studios), Hansefit (company fitness offerings), Athera (physiotherapy), coeo (receivables management), Horn & Company (management consulting), Leupold (packaging), Serrala (payment and finance software), netgo (IT services), Skaylink (cloud services), enreach (unified communications), mrge (adtech), Netrics (managed cloud services) and GOD (enterprise software).
Waterland is an independent private equity investment firm that helps companies realize their growth plans. With substantial financial support and industry expertise, Waterland enables its portfolio companies to achieve accelerated growth both organically and through acquisitions. Waterland has offices in the Netherlands (Bussum), Belgium (Antwerp), France (Paris), Germany (Hamburg, Munich), Poland (Warsaw), the UK (London, Manchester), Ireland (Dublin), Denmark (Copenhagen), Spain (Barcelona) and Switzerland (Zurich). Currently, approximately fourteen billion euros in equity funds are managed.
Waterland has consistently outperformed with its investments since its inception in 1999. The firm ranks fifth globally in the 2020 HEC/Dow Jones Private Equity Performance Rankings and eighth among global private equity firms in the 2020 Preqin Consistent Performers in Global Private Equity & Venture Capital Report. In addition, Real Deals awarded Waterland the title of Pan-European House of the Year 2020 at the PE Awards.