Waterland: netgo group acquires ckn Computer and becomes leading DATEV partner
Hamburg / Borken / Waltrop — The netgo group (“netgo”), a fast-growing IT provider with branches in many parts of Germany, is once again expanding its portfolio of services: Following several acquisitions in the past two years, ckn Computer GmbH & Co. KG (“ckn Computer”) from Waltrop, a proven specialist for the DATEV ecosystem as well as IT solutions with a focus on tax consulting firms and auditors, is now joining the group. The sellers of the majority shares are ckn founders and shareholders Oliver Günter and Stefan Koch-Niehus — both will remain on board as managing directors.
ckn Computer was founded in 1988 and, together with its subsidiary Divacon, has sites in Düsseldorf and Kassel in addition to its headquarters in Waltrop. Through the continuous development of its service and sales network, ckn has established itself as a high-performance IT service provider, particularly in the Rhine-Ruhr region and in central Germany. Thanks to its comprehensive portfolio of services, the company is uniquely positioned among its customers, with a focus on tax consulting firms and auditing companies. Its services include the setup and ongoing operation of complex IT infrastructures and local networks for server systems, clients, printing and copying systems. With the innovative cloud solution “ckn PARTNERasp”, the most important components of IT can be outsourced to the protected DATEV data center. The company, which is one of the largest and most important partners for DATEV and its clients thanks to its maximum certification as a “Solution Partner”, currently employs around 70 people.
Waterland Private Equity has held a majority stake in netgo group, which was founded in 2007, for more than two years. Since the partnership was launched, netgo has been able to significantly expand its presence in the highly fragmented German market for IT service providers through a targeted buy & build strategy. With a total of eight acquisitions since Waterland’s entry, netgo has both broadened its portfolio of IT services for SMEs and gained new customers and market share throughout Germany, and now reports group sales of over EUR 300 million.
With ckn, netgo is expanding its portfolio to include solutions that optimally meet the special requirements of tax consultancies, business law firms and their clients in particular. In addition, the Group is complementing its range of services in the DATEV field, above all with the areas of DATEV payroll and document management as well as the application service provider and hosting business in DATEV infrastructures. As a result, the fast-growing group will operate in the future as one of the largest providers of DATEV IT outsourcing solutions active throughout Germany.
“ckn Computer is an important part of netgo’s strategic roadmap towards a one-stop store for medium-sized customers and, with its complementary locations in Waltrop and Kassel, once again strengthens the group’s presence across Germany,” comments Dr. Carsten Rahlfs, Managing Partner of Waterland, on the acquisition.
Dr. Oliver Mauss, CEO of netgo group, adds: “With ckn, we will be by far the largest provider of DATEV IT outsourcing solutions nationwide and will be able to address the needs of tax consulting firms, auditing companies and their clients even better with group-wide expertise.”
“For ckn, becoming part of a strong group like netgo means the continued development of our long-term, entrepreneurial success; customers and partners will benefit from the strengthening in service and offering. We are very much looking forward to the cooperation,” says Stefan Koch-Niehus, managing partner at ckn.
Waterland already has extensive experience in the digitalization, IT and telecommunications sectors: the Waterland portfolio in these areas in the DACH region includes GOD (software development), enreach (unified communications), Skaylink (cloud services) and Netrics (enterprise IT).
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, over nine billion euros in equity funds are under management.
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.