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Waterland: netgo group acquires ckn Computer and becomes leading DATEV partner

Photo: Water­land logo version
8. March 2022

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).

About Water­land

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.

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