Arvato acquires International Gothia Financial Group
Guetersloh/Oslo. The Bertelsmann subsidiary Arvato is acquiring Gothia Financial Group headquartered in Norway and thereby combining its financial services activities. The combination with its subsidiary Arvato infoscore as a nucleus makes Arvato Europe’s number 3 in the fast growing field of Business Information and Financial Services with a combined revenue of more than EUR 500 million . Arvato and Herkules Capital, a leading Norwegian Private Equity firm which has owned Gothia since 2008, have agreed not to disclose any financial details.
Gothia Financial Group is a full-service provider for the entire invoice process chain. The company offers its clients solutions that range from invoicing to accounts receivable and liabilities management. With over 1,200 employees and more than 2,000 clients, Gothia is very well established in the Scandinavian countries as well as the UK and Ireland region and has distinct growth opportunities in the GSA region, comprising Germany, Switzerland and Austria, as well as the Netherlands and Spain.
With the combination, Arvato will advance the internationalization of its business information and financial services activities and be able to offer its payment handling solutions to clients all over Europe going forward. In particular, Arvato will benefit from Gothia’s strong service portfolio in the rapidly growing eCommerce segment as well as in factoring. Potential is to be unlocked notably through the pan-European use of the PayByBill payment solution established by Gothia. Integration of this product rounds out Arvato infoscore’s portfolio in B2C factoring, which includes its own Trust’nPay solution.
Achim Berg, CEO of Arvato and member of the executive board of Bertelsmann, said: “The combination of Arvato infoscore and Gothia has compelling logic for us - it serves both the Arvato and the Bertelsmann strategy and meets investment criteria perfectly. The market for business information shows an attractive, lasting dynamic and enables high rates of profitable growth. Given the low cyclicality, we’re expanding into a highly resilient market strongly driven by growth areas like eCommerce.”
Rikke Tobiasson Reinemo, Partner Herkules Capital, stated: “Gothia has become a leading European credit management solutions provider with a unique ability to service the entire credit management solutions value chain. During Herkules’ ownership, Gothia has substantially strengthened its organization, market presence and product portfolio at the same time as having solid earnings growth every year. We have had a great cooperation with the strong management team.”
Michael Weinreich, member of the executive board of Arvato and CEO of Arvato infoscore, commented: “The acquisition is mainly focused on combining geographically complementary services. Moreover, we will be able to offer all customers attractive new services in the field of business information. The workforce at Gothia’s operating locations plays a crucial part here. I am pleased that Trond Kristian Andreassen is taking a key role in driving ahead the combination as deputy CEO of Arvato infoscore.”
Trond Kristian Andreassen, current CEO of Gothia Financial Group A.S., added: “Arvato infoscore is an ideal partner for us. Both our companies have similar business models and complementary regional areas. We both also have a corporate culture committed to the entrepreneurial spirit.”
The transaction, which has to be approved by the anti-trust and bank supervisory authorities, is expected to be completed by mid-year 2013.
As a global BPO services provider, Arvato supports business customers all over the world in successfully shaping their customer relationships. 64,000 employees in almost 40 countries design and implement customized solutions for this purpose. These consist of processes such as marketing and CRM services, supply chain management and distribution as well as financial services – all of which are interlinked by integrated IT platforms. Arvato is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA. More information to be found at: www.arvato.com.
About Arvato infoscore
Arvato infoscore is a subsidiary of Arvato, the internationally networked outsourcing service provider of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA. Headquartered in Baden-Baden, Arvato infoscore operates from twelve locations in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and the Netherlands with a workforce of 2,400 employees. The company provides the full range of accounts receivable management services, from risk scoring and inception, billing and settlement including securing and prefinancing, right through to payment entry or collection. More information to be found at: www.arvato-infoscore.de
Herkules consists of three funds, with a total capital base of NOK 12.25 billion in committed capital from Norwegian and international investors. Herkules has the financial strength to acquire majority ownership positions in established companies with growth potential. Companies owned by Herkules funds are: Noratel, European House of Beds, Micro Matic Norge, Tilbords, Hatteland Display, EFG European Furniture Group, Nevion, Estrella Maarud, Gothia Financial Group, Bandak, New Store Europe, Enoro, Odlo Sports Group, Intelecom, Norsk Jernbanedrift, Helse Holding and Espresso House. More information to be found at: www.herkules.no
Gothia is a leading partner for credit administration and financial services. The group, which is owned by Herkules Capital, has had a very strong growth since it was acquired back in 2008. In 2012, the company generated over EUR 130 million in revenues and currently employs more than 1,200 staff in 9 countries. Also the financial results have developed very positively in the same period. More information to be found at: www.gothiagroup.com