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2023-01-9
Press Releases

IK launches Benelux and UK Development Capital strategy and promotes five to Partner

IK Partners (“IK” or “the Firm”), a leading European private equity (“PE”) firm, is pleased to announce that it has launched its Development Capital strategy in the Benelux and UK. The Development Capital pool sits within the IK Small Cap III Fund and invests between €10 million and €25 million in minority or majority situations to support growing businesses across the Firm’s core sectors of Business Services, Healthcare, Consumer and Industrials.

The Development Capital strategy in the Benelux will be led by Frances Houweling, who has been promoted to Partner and is based in IK’s Amsterdam office. She joined IK in 2013 and previously sat within the Benelux Small Cap team where she was involved in a range of transactions, including the recent 2Connect and Plastiflex transactions. Frances is also Chair of the Dutch Committee for Level20.

The strategy in the UK will be led by Simon May, who joined IK in 2020 and has also been promoted to Partner. Simon previously sat within the UK Small Cap team where he was involved in both the Forthglade and DA Languages transactions.

In addition, IK is delighted to announce three further promotions to Partner across the Firm’s Paris, Stockholm and Hamburg offices:

  • Morgane Bouhenic – Small Cap Investment Team, Paris
  • Henrik Geijer – Small Cap Investment Team, Stockholm
  • Joachim Dettmar – Operations Team, Hamburg

Christopher Masek, Chief Executive Officer at IK, commented: “Reflective of the continued growth and success of our Firm, it is with immense pride that we have promoted five exceptional colleagues to the partnership in recognition of their achievements and longstanding commitment to IK. These individuals display significant potential to carry on delivering outstanding results for investors and drive numerous value creation initiatives within our portfolio companies.

We are especially thrilled to have Frances and Simon as our first Development Capital Partners in the Benelux and UK respectively. These are among the largest PE markets in Europe, so this is a logical next step for us as we continue deploying funds across our successful investment platform with a presence in key markets across the continent. We believe their experience, both at IK and prior, coupled with their broad professional networks, will position the Development Capital strategy for considerable success in the future.”

Frances Houweling, Partner at IK, commented: “The launch of Development Capital in the Benelux is a natural progression for IK as we aim to increase our presence in these important markets for the Firm. I look forward to being a part of the growth of this strategy throughout 2023 and beyond.”

Simon May, Partner at IK, commented: “I am delighted to be launching our Development Capital strategy in the UK, leveraging the success of the strategy across Europe and the Firm’s growing presence in the UK market. We aim to build on IK’s position as the leading investment partner for Europe’s small and medium-sized businesses.”

For further questions, please contact:

IK Partners
Vidya Verlkumar
Phone: +44 (0) 7787 558 193
vidya.verlkumar@ikpartners.com

ENDS

Frances Houweling

  • Frances Houweling joined IK in 2013 and is the Partner responsible for the Development Capital Investment team, based in Amsterdam.
  • She specialises in the Healthcare sector and has been involved in several transactions across the Benelux region.
  • Prior to joining IK, Frances worked at J.P. Morgan, having gained an MSc in Finance and a BSc in Economics from the University of Groningen.

Simon May

  • Simon May joined IK in 2020 and is the Partner responsible for the Development Capital Investment team, based in London.
  • Sitting within the Industrials sector team, he is jointly responsible for portfolio investments across the UK.
  • Prior to joining IK, Simon was a Partner at Graphite Capital in London and began his career with PwC, having graduated from the University of Bath with a first-class honours degree in Mathematics.

Morgane Bouhenic

  • Morgane Bouhenic joined IK in 2017 and is in the Small Cap Investment team, based in Paris.
  • Sitting within the Healthcare sector team, she is jointly responsible for portfolio investments across France.
  • Prior to joining IK, Morgane worked at Bridgepoint and L.E.K consulting in Paris and Boston. She holds an MSc in International Management and Strategy from HEC Paris and a CEMS degree from the VSE University of Prague.

Henrik Geijer

  • Henrik Geijer joined IK in 2019 and is in the Small Cap Investment team, based in London.
  • Sitting within the Healthcare sector team, he has substantial transaction and board membership experience.
  • Prior to joining IK, Henrik worked at Adelis Equity Partners in Stockholm and with the Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He holds a BSc in Economics and Business Administration from the Stockholm School of Economics.

Joachim Dettmar

  • Joachim Dettmar joined IK in 2019 and is in the Operations team, based in Hamburg.
  • He has extensive experience in management consultancy and PE and is responsible for the operational optimisation and support of portfolio companies.
  • Prior to joining IK, Joachim was a Partner with H&Z and LEK Consulting, having gained a PhD in Applied Mechanics / Engineering from the University of Stuttgart.
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2022-12-20
Press Releases

IK Partners and Keensight Capital to agree on the sale of Quanos

Leading pan-European private equity house IK Partners (“IK”) is pleased to announce that the IK Small Cap II Fund (“IK SC II”) has signed an agreement to sell Quanos Solutions GmbH (“Quanos” or “the Company”), a leading developer of software and technology solutions for smart information, to Keensight Capital (“Keensight”), one of the leading private equity managers dedicated to pan-European Growth Buyout[1] investments.

Headquartered in Nuremberg, Germany, Quanos is the global leader for industrial aftersales and digital technical documentation software. The Company offers a comprehensive product portfolio that enables customers to realise substantial cost and time savings, increase operational efficiency, drive profits of aftersales and service activities and enable customers to digitise aftersales services and offerings.

The Company has more than 1,000 customers worldwide who place their trust in Quanos’ software solutions and are served by 270 employees. Quanos’ software offering is focused on original equipment manufacturers and operators, thereby catering to a diversified customer base ranging from global champions to small to medium-sized enterprises.

The Company has recently launched its next-generation cloud platform (InfoTwin), bringing together the power of content and service solutions in one place. The integrated, modular software solutions enable customers to take a 360° view on their products to optimise service processes and efficiency, offer new service models and ultimately to increase customer satisfaction.

IK invested in Quanos in November 2018. Through M&A, three leading software companies were combined to create a market-leading platform for software and technology solutions for smart information. The Quanos brand was launched in 2020 with support from IK’s Operations team.

Keensight Capital will support Quanos’ team, led by Nikolaus Scholz, in its next phase of growth. The Company is well-positioned to further digitise the aftersales market, with massive potential to expand its solutions and services offering, market penetration and international reach, both organically and through acquisitions. 

Financial details of the transaction are not being disclosed.

Nikolaus Scholz, CEO at Quanos, said: “With IK’s support, we have been able to achieve a lot in a short period of time. From the brand and vision building to operational initiatives to the design of a product roadmap, we have a solid foundation on which we can grow further. We thank Nils and the team at IK for their invaluable support over the last few years and look forward to partnering with Keensight as we embark on the next phase of our journey.”

Nils Pohlmann, Partner and Advisor to the IK SC II Fund, said: “It has been fantastic to work with Nikolaus and his team to create Quanos and develop the platform into a market-leading software and solutions provider. The Company’s value proposition and vision are fully aligned with key trends. Quanos is in a prime position to shape the ongoing digitalisation wave in industrial aftersales and services. We wish Nikolaus and the team every success for the future.”

Stanislas de Tinguy, Partner at Keensight, said: “We have been very impressed with Quanos’ journey to date and the way in which it has undergone significant transformation to become a software powerhouse. Under Nikolaus’ leadership, the Company has gone from strength to strength, and we look forward to building on this and exploring new growth strategies.”

Completion of the transaction is subject to relevant legal and regulatory approvals.

PR Contacts

IK Partners
Vidya Verlkumar
Phone: +44 (0) 7787 558 193
vidya.verlkumar@ikpartners.com

Keensight Capital
Tim Lee
Phone: +44 (0) 7785 345 250
tlee@keensightcapital.com

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Yoann Besse
Phone: +33 6 63 03 84 91
yoann.besse@citigatedewerogerson.com

[1]Growth Buyout: investment in profitable, private companies experiencing strong growth, in minority or majority positions, with or without leverage, using a flexible approach tailored to the needs of individual entrepreneurs, in order to finance organic growth projects, acquisition strategies or provide historic shareholders with liquidity.

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2022-12-9
Reports

Sustainability Report (2021/2022)

We are pleased to share our 2021/2022 Sustainability Report “Unleashing Potential”.

This report has been developed with the aim of communicating our progress on actively applying environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) efforts; both within and outside of IK Partners (“IK” or “the Company”). The report features case studies from portfolio companies (“PCs”), alongside insights from our different teams to provide a comprehensive overview of IK’s ongoing commitment to responsible investment practices and ESG.

Throughout the past two years our efforts have been focused around embedding ESG in the investment process, strengthening compliance and reporting as well as enhancing our external engagement.

Our most notable highlights and achievements include:

  • Developing an ESG Policy and Roadmap for 2021 – 2023;
  • Having our science-based targets validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative;
  • Introducing a carbon footprint project for PCs; and
  • Joining industry initiatives including ESG Data Convergence Initiative CIimat International, 10,000 Black Interns and OUTInvestors.

To read more, please download the report using the button on the left.

If you have any questions, please contact:

ESG
esg@ikpartners.com

Marketing
marketing@ikpartners.com

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Please fill in your details in the form below to access the report:

2022-12-2
Press Releases

EdTech unicorn GoStudent to acquire DACH’s leading, centre-based tutoring company, Studienkreis, from IK Partners in landmark deal

GoStudent accelerates hybrid learning strategy to fuel future growth

Global tutoring market projected to reach USD 278 billion by 2026

Vienna / Berlin – December 2, 2022 – GoStudent, Europe’s leading EdTech company and one of the world’s largest online tutoring agents, today announced the acquisition of Studienkreis, the market leader in centre-based tutoring in the DACH region, from IK Partners (“IK”). The transaction accelerates GoStudent’s strategy to combine the best of both the online and offline world and to give people access to quality education through technology. 

The global online tutoring market, valued at USD 150 billion in 2020, is projected to reach USD 278 billion by 2026[1]. Coupled with a global learning crisis that includes teacher shortages, learning gaps and access to education, GoStudent is leading the conversation on the future of learning that will deliver more value to families across Europe.

Over the past 12 months the company made a number of strategic acquisitions including UK-based Seneca Learning, Tus Media Group from Spain and Fox Education from Austria. These acquisitions allowed the company to extend into AI-based learning content, improve and increase access to tutors and the addressable market and offer communication solutions for schools and families. With the integration of Studienkreis, the company can now address families with a preference for centre-based learning or group classes. This positions GoStudent firmly at the forefront of the morning, afternoon and content education market.

“Over 1.5 million online tutoring sessions are booked each month at GoStudent, but we believe the future of learning is hybrid. Combining online and offline creates an omnichannel model which brings maximum value to families and builds a barrier for competitors,” explained Felix Ohswald, CEO and co-founder of GoStudent. “With today’s announcement, GoStudent now offers a full spectrum of learning solutions for every type of student and budget. In addition to our core, 1:1, online tutoring, we offer everything from freemium products to group classes. It’s this winning combination that will fuel our future growth while at the same time boosting profitability.”

Established in 1974, Studienkreis is Germany’s leading tutoring company with over 1,000 learning centres across the country. A pioneer in online learning since 2012, the company serves 125,000 families every year in the DACH region. Under the ownership of IK since 2017, Studienkreis expanded to Austria through the acquisition of LernQuadrat in 2018 and strengthened its market-leading position in DACH through increased brand awareness and the provision of high-quality tutoring services. By combining offline tutoring with online services as well as own-developed digital tools, Studienkreis shares a vision for developing a blended learning experience.

“Since our first meeting, it was clear the two companies shared a passion and belief that the future of learning is hybrid, and we believe technology is key to enabling that. GoStudent’s position in the online world, together with our strong brand and physical position in Germany, will create a blueprint for building individual, dynamic learning paths so each student can not only improve their grades but unlock their full potential,” added Lorenz Haase, CEO, Studienkreis. “We are very excited to be part of this next phase of growth.”

Nils Pohlmann, Partner at IK, added: “It has been a pleasure working with Lorenz and his team at Studienkreis. Education and people are the essence of our modern society and Studienkreis and GoStudent are leading players for tutoring services. We wish them the very best for their joint journey.”

Studienkreis will continue operating independently under its current leadership team while the two companies aim to identify synergies over time.

-ENDS-

[1] Global Online Tutoring Market Size, Status and Forecast 2021-2027

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2022-10-27
Press Releases

IK Partners invests in Plus que PRO

IK Partners (“IK”) is pleased to announce its investment in the French digital platform and services company Plus que PRO (“the Company”) alongside the co-founders Gregory Regouby and Sacha Goepp, who will retain control and management of the business. Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

Founded in 2014 in Alsace, France, Plus que PRO is a digital platform which enables craftsmen and small to medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) elevate their online presence, drive revenue and margin growth as well as protect and improve their reputation, while also providing consumers with a tamperproof review hosting service based on blockchain technology. The Company employs 190 people and has a growing subscriber base of thousands of business-to-business and business-to-consumer businesses in France, with a particular focus on the Construction as well as Business Services sectors.

With IK’s backing, Plus que PRO will be well-positioned to expand its share of the digital services market for SMEs and support its growth plan. IK’s experience in both the French market and with similar tech-enabled Business Services companies will enable Plus que PRO to roll out new and complementary solutions while marketing its consumer feedback solution to a wider range of enterprises.

Through this new partnership with IK, Plus que PRO aims to accelerate its franchise roll-out, further support its partners’ growth and continue to invest in R&D to enhance its product offering. The Company will continue to be led by Gregory Regouby, Sacha Goepp and their team.

The investment was made from the dedicated pool of Development Capital within the IK Small Cap III Fund, which held a final close at its hard cap of €1.2 billion last year.

Gregory Regouby, Chief Executive Officer of Plus que PRO, commented: “We are looking forward to working closely with IK Partners in the next stage of our growth. Their extensive expertise in the French market and proven track record of scaling similar-sized businesses makes them the optimal partner for Plus que PRO as we seek to expand our services offering and gain further market share in a promising market.”

Pierre Gallix, Managing Partner and Advisor to the IK Small Cap III Fund, said: “Gregory and Sacha have built an impressive business in the competitive digital services sphere in France. The underlying market opportunity is set to grow further in the coming years and we believe that with additional capital and support, Plus que PRO has the potential to become a leading player in France and beyond.”

For further questions, please contact:

IK Partners
Vidya Verlkumar
Phone: +44 (0) 7787 558 193
vidya.verlkumar@ikpartners.com

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2022-10-26
Press Releases

The Management led by Eric Goupil gathers a consortium to acquire Unither Pharmaceuticals from Ardian

The consortium comprises GIC and IK Partners (“IK”), entering the equity, as well as Keensight Capital (“Keensight”) and Parquest, reinforcing their existing positions. It will become the new shareholder of Unither Pharmaceuticals (“Unither” or “The Company”) alongside the management team.

Spun out of Sanofi in 1993, Unither is a leading European pharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organisation (“CDMO”) producing complex sterile liquid formulations for medical use and is currently the global market leader in the Blow-Fill-Seal (“BFS”) technology, a sterile single-unit dosage format.

Headquartered in Amiens, France, Unither employs more than 1,600 people across seven manufacturing facilities in France, the US, Brazil, and China, as well as an additional R&D centre in Bordeaux, France. Its products are sold in over 100 countries demonstrating a well-established global footprint. The Company benefits from a long-standing and loyal customer base made up of medium to large pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology, generics and over-the-counter (“OTC”) players and is recognised for its technical expertise and industrial performance. It has a strong track record of organic growth and with the support of Ardian, Unither has enlarged its footprint to China to serve a growing global demand for its high-quality BFS products.

Together, GIC, IK, Keensight and Parquest will leverage the strong local footprint of their respective international platforms to support Unither’s future growth by: continuing to support new and existing customers in launching new products; further penetrating the US market; taking advantage of the significant growth expected in China; and expanding into BFS adjacencies such as vaccines and multi-dose preservative free dosage forms. The management team is significantly reinvesting its proceeds and the Company will continue to operate under Eric Goupil’s leadership as he transitions to the newly created role of Executive Chairman.

Financial details of the transaction are not being disclosed.

Eric Goupil, Executive Chairman at Unither Pharmaceuticals, said: “With Ardian’s support, we have been able to strengthen our business in the US, expand into China and continue investing significantly to cope with our customers’ strong demand and fuel our future organic growth. In collaboration with our new partners, GIC and IK and with the support of our historic partners Keensight and Parquest, we are seeking to build on this strong foundation, to continue satisfying our customers and leverage our global footprint.”

Philippe Poletti, CEO at Ardian France, Member of the Executive Committee and Head of Buyout Activity, said: “We are very pleased to have been part of Unither’s growth for the past five years. Our strong relationship with Eric Goupil allowed us to help the group develop and consolidate its position as a global leader. We would like to thank the whole Unither team and wish them a successful future alongside GIC, IK, Keensight and Parquest.”

Choo Yong Cheen, Chief Investment Officer of Private Equity at GIC, said: “We are excited to invest in Unither alongside Eric Goupil, IK and existing shareholders Keensight and Parquest. Unither is a clear market leader in the BFS business space with its innovative and diversified product portfolio, a steady customer base and highly resilient revenue model. We are confident in Unither’s long-term growth potential as the global CDMO market continues to benefit from an increase in pharma drug production and outsourcing trends. We look forward to partnering with the Company’s outstanding management team and our consortium to take Unither to its next phase of growth.”

Magdalena Svensson, Partner at IK and Advisor to the IK Partnership Fund II, said: “Under the leadership of Eric Goupil and with Ardian’s backing, Unither has established itself as a global market leader in sterile liquid formulations and the BFS segment. Having stolen a march on the rest of the sector, Unither holds a unique position which, thanks to the high barriers to entry and strong underlying markets, warrant high growth expectations. We look forward to actively contributing to the strengthening of Unither’s global industrial footprint and operations, with the support of our in-house platform teams. Together with management, GIC, Keensight and Parquest, we plan to pursue existing growth strategies and explore new avenues in the BFS field as well as in adjacent technologies.”

Pierre Remy, Managing Partner at Keensight, said: “We are extremely pleased to continue our strong partnership with Unither and its very talented management team, in an exciting new phase of the Company’s development. During our tenure as shareholder, the Company strengthened its leadership position globally and undertook a significant operational expansion in China and Brazil via two major acquisitions. By reinvesting in Unither, we remain committed to supporting the management team in helping them execute on their continued growth strategy, both organically in the rapidly expanding BFS market and through selective strategic acquisitions. We are very happy to continue the journey with Parquest and to be joined by GIC and IK.”

Denis Le Chevallier, Managing Partner at Parquest, said: “We are delighted to have supported a new stage of development alongside Eric Goupil and his teams. Since our first investment in 2006, Unither has enjoyed uninterrupted growth and is now the undisputed leader in BFS. We are convinced that this new chapter to be written alongside GIC, IK and Keensight will enable the group to continue and accelerate its development, particularly internationally.”

Completion of the transaction is subject to relevant legal and regulatory approvals.

PR Contacts

IK Partners
Vidya Verlkumar
Phone: +44 (0) 7787 558 193
vidya.verlkumar @ikpartners.com

Ardian
Headland
Ardian@headlandconsultancy.com

GIC
Samantha Chiene
Phone: +44 (0) 207 725 3557
samanthachiene@gic.com.sg

Mah Lay Choon
Phone: +65 6889 6841
mahlaychoon@gic.com.sg

Keensight Capital
Tim Lee
Phone: +44 (0) 7785 345 250
tlee@keensightcapital.com

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