Direct Investments

NORD Holding acquires 70% stake in PDS, the logistics service provider - Growth projected through acquisitions overseas

19.09.2006

NORD Holding is extending its portfolio in the logistics sector. To this end the Hanover-based private equity enterprise has acquired 70% of the PDS Group in Cologne. PDS is a systems integrator for mobile data capture systems that are especially used to track and trace goods.

Raimund Müller-Rau, the general manager of the company, has retained the remaining 30% stake. The vendor of the share acquired by NORD Holding is MUK Kapitalbeteiligungs-gesellschaft, a joint subsidiary of the Kreissparkasse Köln and the Sparkasse Köln-Bonn.

In addition to data capture hardware, PDS also supplies its customers with the necessary data capture software. This software, developed in-house, is tailor-made to meet customer requirements.

Whilst goods are currently largely identified using bar code systems, PDS has developed more effective concepts for using RFID technology. As a result the company is the chosen development partner for the LoCostix research project sponsored by the Federal Department for Education and Research to the tune of € 5.3 mil.

NORD Holding believes that PDS has carved out a satisfactory market position in an attractive market niche. Besides serving its medium-sized customer base the company also handles large projects valued at more than € 20 million. Its customer base includes major German logistics enterprises such as DHL, Deutsche Post, Hermes, etc.

The market has also gained momentum as a result of legislative changes. As of 2006 for example, it is now a requirement for companies to provide documentation of an uninterrupted cold chain for frozen foodstuffs. This can be most efficiently performed using mobile data capture technology.

In future, in addition to organic growth in the home market, the company is intended to grow overseas through acquisitions. As a result, NORD Holding is already conducting negotiations with interested companies that would compliment the PDS product portfolio.

Continuity, stability and trust are the chief prerequisites for a solid partnership. Due to its almost 40 years experience in the German equity market, its public sector shareholdings and its long standing management team, NORD Holding fulfils these prerequisites.

Its activities focus on the structure and funding of succession profiles as well as expansion stage financing for middle market companies. More recently spin-offs of medium sized business units from large corporations have played a greater role in NORD Holding's portfolio of activities. At present the company has holdings in roughly 50 companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The holdings generate annual turnover of between € 20 mil. and € 500 mil.

About NORD Holding

With its 50-year history and over € 2.0 billion assets under management, NORD Holding is one of the leading private equity asset managers in Germany with a focus on direct and fund investments.

The fund investments division targets the small- and mid-cap segment of the European private equity market through primaries, secondaries and co-investments.

NORD Holding has a strong focus on emerging buyout managers, hands-on investment strategies and regularly acts as an anchor investor. The division manages € 1.3 billion and ranks among the top decile fund investment groups in Europe.

The direct investments division of NORD Holding focuses on structuring and financing company succession models, acquiring parts of larger groups/subsidiaries as well as on expansion financing of medium-sized companies. In contrast to most other financial investors, who only manage closed-end funds, NORD Holding acts as a so-called "evergreen fund", thereby investing from its own balance sheet with no maturity restrictions. Currently, the fund has interests in more than 15 companies in the DACH region.

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NORD Holding
Unternehmensbeteiligungsgesellschaft mbH
Christiane Lukas
Walderseestraße 23
30177 Hannover

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lukas@nordholding.de