SECO S.p.A. acquires all shares in Garz & Fricke Group
Following a very successful growth path, AFINUM Siebte Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG, advised by Afinum Management GmbH, (“Afinum”) and the minority shareholders, including the founders, have sold their stake in Garz & Fricke Group (“Garz & Fricke”, “G&F”), Hamburg, to SECO S.p.A., Arezzo, Italy. The transaction creates the European listed champion in the IoT-AI market, which will continue to be supported by all sellers in their role as future minority shareholders.
Founded in 1992 by Manfred Garz and Matthias Fricke, Garz & Fricke is a leading provider of standard and custom edge HMI solutions, their building blocks, and a tailored ecosystem of IoT, software and payment solutions. Afinum acquired a majority stake in the company in 2017 and Garz & Fricke has since expanded its activities through two strategic acquisitions in the field of edge systems and software applications. Today, G&F operates under three complementary brands: “Garz & Fricke” (HMI solutions), “Keith & Koep” (System-On-Modules) and “e-GITS” (Software & Platform). The acquisition of Garz & Fricke as well as the acquisitions of Keith & Koep and e-GITS were succession situations typical for Afinum, in which the respective company was acquired directly from the founding generation.
With Afinum’s strategic and financial support, the group’s workforce was doubled from approximately 100 to approximately 200 employees and a regional company with one location in Hamburg was transformed into an international, medium-sized group of companies with additional locations in Germany as well as the USA, Taiwan and India. Technologically, Garz & Fricke evolved from a primarily hardware-focused supplier of HMIs and vending machine electronics to an integrated system provider in the IoT sector with its own software and payment solutions.
Afinum was also able to significantly support and develop the group with regard to management succession as well as the establishment of a second management level. Under the leadership of CEO Stefan Heczko, who was recruited by Afinum, Garz & Fricke was able to accelerate its positive development, especially in the areas of organization and management, business development, sales and finance, and is thus excellently positioned to continue its sustainable growth path.
The transaction is already the third highly successful divestment of Afinum in the current year 2021.