German private equity company Deutsche Beteiligungs AG (DBAG) has invested in German IT consultant akquinet, acquired two of its data centers, and is launching a new DACH-focused data center operator.

– Victoria Park Hamburg

The company announced this week that its DBAG Fund VII was conducting a management buyout (MBO) of akquinet AG, acquiring all the shares in the company. DBAG will invest up to around €5 million ($5.5m) alongside the fund to hold around 20 percent of the shares.

The deal is due to close in Q2 2022; the company said its members of the Management Board and managing directors of subsidiaries will take a “substantial reinvestment” in akquinet.

Launched in 2016, this deal marks the VII Fund’s 12th investment since 2016 and will see the fund almost 100 percent invested. Akquinet is the fund's fifth investment in an IT service and software company.

"With DBAG, we get a partner who trusts in our skills and market experience, supports our existing strategy and enables further growth," said akquinet board member Thomas Muszal.

The same day, DBAG announced it was acquiring akquinet Rechenzentrum “Lighthouse” GmbH & Co. KG and akquinet cubit GmbH, both of which own data centers in Hamburg. The latter is planning to bring a third data center online in 2023.

DBAG said the two 2MW data centers will be brought together under the umbrella of a newly founded company under joint management and form the basis for a new data center operator, which the company said it aims to grow throughout the DACH region through organic growth and acquisitions.

An equity investment of up to €23 million ($25.3m) is planned for the complete acquisition of each of the two companies, acquired from three private individuals and Akquinet AG Hamburg. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter and is funded by DBAG itself, not through one of its funds.

"With their mostly long-term leases, data centers offer very predictable income," said DBAG board member Tom Alzin. "Due to their investment profile, they are therefore very suitable as a long-term investment. The growing market offers potential for organic and inorganic growth, which we want to use with the new data center operating company."

Hamburg-based akquinet was founded in 2002 and offers consulting and outsourcing services. The company operates four data centers around Germany in Hamburg (x2), Norderstedt, and Itzehoe.

DBAG’s investment portfolio includes a number of construction companies, software firms, and a telecoms consultancy, as well as a broadband company and a semiconductor firm.

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