Large manufacturer of ARM-based embedded computer systems to be formed.
Garz & Fricke, portfolio company of Afinum Siebte Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG, advised by Afinum Management GmbH, acquires Keith & Koep GmbH, based in Wuppertal („Keith & Koep“). Together with the founders Volker Keith and Luitger Koep, who will remain managing directors of the business, Garz & Fricke undertakes to continue the growth trajectory of the last years and to form a leading manufacturer of ARM-based embedded computer systems. Consisting of a combination of hardware and software, these systems are among the most important components in technical devices. Fields of application include medical technology, electronics for professional kitchen equipment, security technology and industrial automation. In March 2019, the Garz & Fricke Group already acquired Stuttgart-based e-GITS GmbH, a software application HMI, cloud technology and IoT developer. With the acquisition of Keith & Koep, the second within a year, the group now has its headquarters in Hamburg and locations in Wuppertal, Stuttgart, Minneapolis (USA) and Chennai (India).
Matthias Fricke, Managing Director of Garz & Fricke: “With Keith & Koep, we’re complementing our product portfolio perfectly. While we supply our customers with human machine interfaces (HMI), application software and complementary products such as payment services, Keith & Koep specializes in system on modules — in other words, compact plug-in computer modules. These have a wide range of applications and are used wherever special interfaces and form factors are required.” Keith & Koep computer modules are applied in the fields of medical technology, industrial automation, robotics, aerospace engineering, and more. The module technology enables extended product life cycles, as the plug-in modules can be replaced in most cases if necessary.
This enables Garz & Fricke to offer an extended product range. Volker Keith, Managing Director of Keith & Koep: “New sales markets are opening up for us because we can sell our products via the international sales partners and the Garz & Fricke subsidiary in the US.”
Garz & Fricke will retain all employees as well as the production site in Wuppertal. Volker Keith and Luitger Koep will stay on as managing directors of Keith & Koep. Matthias Fricke: “Thanks to the much stronger Research & Development team, we can now reach out to attractive, larger customers for whom we were previously too small.” Volker Keith adds: “In addition, there are considerable synergy effects in R&D because we carry out the basic developments with the same processor architectures of NXP and Linux operating systems.”
With this acquisition, the number of employees of the Garz & Fricke Group increases to 180. The company expects continued strong growth and plans to further expand its business into industrial small computers and software development.