Livingstone has advised Deutsche Infrastruktur Netzgesellschaft mbH (DING), a portfolio company of DBAG Expansion Capital Fund (DBAG ECF), on its add-on acquisition of IMD Infrastrukturanlagen Montagedienstleistungen GmbH (IMD Group), a provider of installation and construction services for utilities and FTTX-operators.
IMD Group is a family-owned German Mittelstand company, which emerged in 2004 from an MBO of ABB Group in Lehrte/Ahlten and has nine further branches in Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, Hamburg, and North Rhine-Westphalia. With approximately 200 employees, the Group of companies offers installation and maintenance services in all supply areas (gas, water, power, district heating) as well as to FTTX-networks with an extensive fleet of vehicles and machinery.
Customers include telecommunication providers, energy suppliers, municipalities, commercial enterprises, construction companies, and private customers. The special service portfolio of IMD Group also includes installed fiber-optic lines, which are leased to customers on a long-term basis with a full service and maintenance package. In 2019, the Group of companies generated sales of around EUR 26 million (USD 28m).
“DING’s ability to execute on its long-term strategy to expand into a strong corporate group with our new partners was compelling to me as an entrepreneur, stated Andreas Ahmann, Managing Director of IMD Group. “This is an outstanding opportunity not only for IMD Group but for our employees. I will, of course, remain with the Company in the coming years and will continue to be available to our customers and employees also in the future.”
The demand for high-performance internet connections and thus, the need for fiber-optic connections, continues to increase. However, so far, only seven percent of all households in Germany are connected to fiber-optic networks – the EU average is three times as high. In recent years, DBAG has made a significant contribution to the expansion of fiber-optic networks in Germany by investing in various companies in this sector.
Consequently, Deutsche Beteiligungs AG and DBAG ECF formed Deutsche Infrastruktur und Netzgesellschaft mbH (DING) in late 2019, to create a full-service provider and general contractor for the expansion of (fiber-optic) infrastructure networks with an almost nation-wide presence due to its Group-members STG Group, Bochum, Leinberger Bau, Büdingen, Iska Schön, Holzkirchen and now IMD Group.
“The acquisition of IMD Group is the third successful add-on acquisition in a short timeframe following the acquisition of the STG Group and the foundation of DING. We will continue to keep growth-rate and acquisition pace high to continue to grow the group of companies with complementary companies and develop DING into a critical nationwide player in the field of telecommunications and line network construction,” explained Christoph Lüthe, Managing Director of DING.
Christian Grandin, Partner at Livingstone Düsseldorf added, “This is the tenth transaction completed within the telecommunications infrastructure sector with four transactions completed in the second half of 2019. We are pleased the DBAG team once again relied on our expertise in this sector and had us support them from the initial contact through project management to signing.”