As a German investment company, we have been shaping succession situations for SMEs for more than 20 years: respectful, strategic and far-sighted.
With the ambition to make good things even better, today we strengthen and develop leading companies for tomorrow. To achieve this, we live and appreciate our entrepreneurial freedom.
Our investment approach puts people first, because we believe that people in a company are the most valuable asset.
For us as management, in addition to a good personal relationship, the understanding of our business model was very important. Afinum clearly differentiated itself positively in this respect during the process.
With Afinum, we have found the perfect partner who, with a lot of commitment and clear ideas about the value drivers and a mission statement, drives us and the company forward. A challenge that will put It Works in a completely different league in the public media sector.
With Afinum, we have won an experienced and entrepreneurial partner who has guided Ledlenser back to independence through a professional carve-out management.
LIFTKET is a very successful medium-sized company. In 2016 we brought Afinum on board. Today I can say: It was just the right step at the right time.
As a founder-led company, it was important to us to find an investor that shared our vision for our business. With Afinum we have found such a partner.
We are familiar with the typical challenges and growth areas of entrepreneurial, medium-sized companies.
Since our foundation in 2000, we have accompanied many companies across various industries and situations on their path to further growth. There was never a blueprint – our approach is always as individual as the company and its owner itself.
We see ourselves as committed entrepreneurs and sparring partners supporting companies and their management teams in achieving ambitious goals, without getting involved in day-to-day business.
The vast majority of our investments are made in the context of succession situations of family firms. We support both founders as well as second and third generations in effectively managing the transition period of their firms, and engage in an open dialogue about potential pathways. An essential first step for us as new owners is to set up a sustainable organisational structure to secure the firm’s heritage and ensure the continuation of the success story.
In the case of our portfolio company Liftket, we have implemented a timely succession solution. A new management team was formed by a combination of internal key talent external hires while aligning interests via a management participation program. Together with the management team we pursue an ambitious growth strategy focusing on expanding the firm’s international footprint, unlock operational potential through further investments, and a selective approach to bolt-on acquisitions.
The management teams are the key element for a sustainable and successful development of our portfolio companies. We support the companies to build sustainable organisations and to find the right talent – in the context of succession solutions, the execution of growth strategies, or building up a second management layer. Our dedicated in-house HR Team is able to support the search for key talent and draws from its deep expertise based on a wide set of comparable situations.
At our portfolio company Zeit fuer Brot we started immediately after our investment to build up a second management layer in close collaboration with the founding shareholder in order to unlock the full growth potential of the business.
Successfully executing growth strategies also means to ensure and enhance operational performance. Throughout the initial stage of our investment period, we identify structural or temporary barriers for further growth and work together with management to overcome them. We pay special attention to the potential of digitalisation of the business model and processes.
In the case of Liftket, we cooperated with a specialized advisor to identify bottlenecks in the production. Overall output and output volatility were improved via sustainable solutions enabling accelerated growth.
At our portfolio company Garz & Fricke all departments were brought together by building a new corporate headquarter – an important step for expanding the production capacities and driving innovation through seamless collaboration across the R&D and Marketing & Sales department.
We invest in firms with a leading position and unique capabilities within their segment. Identifying strategic avenues to optimally combine internal resources and external market opportunities together with the management team, is a key part of our value contribution. Our experience shows that this often leads to new markets entries.
A key element of our growth strategy at Garz & Fricke is to transfer the firms capabilities to applications in the fields of medical and security technology. By implementing a verticalized sales approach – supported by recruiting additional talent – the company was able to significantly strengthen its presence within those strategic segments.
A cornerstone of the growth strategy of our portfolio companies usually is to expand the international footprint. We support the management teams with our experience, expertise and network to effectively drive international growth. We act as sparring partners for developing international growth strategies, and for expanding existing and building up new geograpical presences – organically or through bolt-on acquisitions.
For example, we have supported d&b in entering Asian markets through our local Afinum presence in Hong Kong, successfully accelerating the internationalization strategy of the hidden champion.
M&A transactions are our home turf. Therefore bolt-on acquisitions complement our portfolio strategy as a valuable growth option. We have been present in our segment for over 20 years and bring access to a broad network within the mid-cap M&A market as well as expertise in successful dealmaking to the table.
We supported our portfolio company Caseking and its managing shareholders throughout the acquisition of the market leader in the UK and thereby enabled the company’s evolution to a truly international player in its segment.
Dedicated buy-and-build strategies were pursued at Let’s Go Fitness and Copytrend. In both cases the platforms were expanded by ten bolt-on acquisitions to cement the companies leading market positions.
Due to the expertise in developing organizations and implementing scalable processes, I chose Afinum as a strategic partner for further growth. The cooperation is intensive, but above all it is great fun on a personal level.
Afinum invests industry agnostic. We believe that – with the right team – value creation potential can be captured within the majority of sectors and across portfolio companies.
Our team has a broad sector experience and access to relevant experts through our deep network of thought leaders.
Listan, Ledlenser, Garz & Fricke, LIFTKET, Kappa optronics, d&B audio
Perfect Drive Sports Group, Zeit für Brot, ICONIA, ONSKINERY, Görtz, Caseking, Bettmer, SIGG
Lemco Précision, Schlote, Altendorf, Alfmeier, Schlotterer, Sinnex, Pinova, Schaetti, Holmer, Kinshofer
FAST LTA, Threema, IT WORKS, Midoco, Empolis, Avantgarde, Orwo
COTTA, THONET, Erpo, Machalke
SanderStrothmann, evitira, Meridian Spa, Let's Go Fitness, Riester
Ventomaxx, Engel & Völkers, k-uni, Swisshaus
Copytrend, TKS, Arwe
Afinum invests in companies with a proven business model and clear growth perspectives. In general, we aim for majority shareholdings.
We are looking for entrepreneurial management teams and typically invite them to invest alongside Afinum.
The companies we invest in typically fulfil the following criteria:
Buy-out Fund 2017 has a total size of 410 Mio. EUR. equity capital. This allows us to realize the following transactions:
To reach our goals, we rely on experienced and supportive investors. Many of them have been with us since 2000.
Our principle: We invest as a team
together with our investors.
In order to achieve our investment goals, we need to have the right investors. These are on the one hand, well-respected entrepreneur families, who possess a deep understanding of mid-market businesses. In addition to capital, these investors provide us with valuable know-how.
On the other hand, our investor base comprises inter alia well-known asset managers, insurance companies, banks, pension funds. Afinum’s investors are typically based in our target regions; which means, they understand the country-specific challenges and value drivers of our portfolio companies.
Due to our investors base and structure, we are independent, quick in decision-making and flexible. Our team also invests substantial amounts of its own money, thereby fully aligning our interests with the ones of our investors.
Afinum was founded in 2000. Large parts of the team knew each other well before that. The foundation of our success is the quality of our team.
We are proud of the companies that we support on their individual growth path.