Livingstone has successfully advised DBAG Expansion Capital Funds (DBAG ECF) and its platform investment Deutsche Infrastruktur und Netzgesellschaft mbH (DING-Holding) on the closing of the add-on acquisition of Iska Schön GmbH (ISKA). Livingstone has served as an advisor to DBAG ECF and its platform investment DING-Holding throughout an extensive buy-and-build process within the fiber-optic network infrastructure sector.
Founded in 1961, Munich-based Iska Schön GmbH is a family-owned German Mittelstand company, and a full-service provider of turnkey solutions for its customers including planning, deployment, and documentation of new networks.
Employing approximately 200 employees, the Company is active in civil engineering projects ranging from the construction of underground cable network infrastructure, sewage construction as well as hydraulic, and pipeline construction.
Within the sector of telecommunication and carrier networks, Iska’s service offering includes the construction, maintenance, and servicing of fiber-optic and wired networks, pipe and cable networks (incl. power lines), among others. The Company works with the most common cable deployment methods and has an extensive, modern fleet of vehicles and machinery. Network operators, telco-providers, utility providers, municipalities, commercial enterprises, construction companies, and private customers are among ISKA’s clients.
“As an entrepreneur, the long-term strategy of DBAG and DING-Holding is very compelling. This is not only a great opportunity for ISKA as a company, but also our outstanding employees. This opens up the possibility to provide our renowned regional competencies to a growing nationwide customer base. The management team including Thorsten Schatz and Hermann Gruber as well as myself will stay within our roles in the company and look forward to continue our successful relationship and business operations with our clients, partners and employees,” said Mike Schön, Managing Director of Iska Schön GmbH.
The demand for high-speed internet connections – and thus, the need for fiber-optic links – is increasing expeditiously alongside appetite for the internet. However, only seven percent of German households are currently connected to fiber-optic networks – the EU average is three times as high. DBAG ECF has been building various successful groups of companies within this segment in recent years and has thus played a pivotal role in realizing growth potential by providing the necessary capital and its long-standing experience in the expansion of fiber-optic networks.
Ragnar Geerdts, Managing Director of DBAG, added, “Our investment into ISKA is already the second successful add-on-acquisition within only a couple of months following the initial platform investment into STG-Group at the end of 2019, and emphasizes our ambitions in the Bavarian region. This rapidly growing group of companies will be enriched by additional add-ons, which will be complementary in terms of their regional focus as well as their customer type. We are looking forward to building an important and leading nation-wide player within the fiber-optic and wired network infrastructure.”
Johannes Faber, Director at Livingstone Düsseldorf, commented, “Our Düsseldorf team has successfully advised positive outcomes in nine transactions within the broadband/fiber-optic infrastructure industry, four of these occured in the second half of 2019. We are glad that we were able to combine our expertise within the telecommunications and broadband infrastructure industry with Ragnar Geerdts and his team at DBAG ECF in support of this transaction. We look forward to continued positive efforts with DBAG ECF and DING-Holding in support of their buy and build strategy.