In addition to digitalization, network-based providers of professional services in particular are important drivers of developments in the service sector. The M&A partnership Globalscope enables IFBC to support its clients in the worldwide search for suitable target companies and interested buyers in order to support service companies in developing their business model accordingly.
In the logistics sector the continuous digitization poses major challenges especially for small and medium-sized companies fueling the persisting consolidation trend in the industry. Increasing start-up investments indicate a fundamental disruption in the last mile delivery services through delivery drones, autonomous vehicles, and crowdsourced delivery services.
In the Professional Services area, growing customer needs for a fast, high-quality service delivery are increasing the importance of on demand workforce and flexible working models that can be adapted to the fluctuating customer demand. In addition, professional service firms continue to acquire smaller consulting firms to gain additional know how in order to expand their offering with highly specialized consulting services especially in the fields of digitization and analytics.
In the industrial services segment, offerings linking physical products and digital services are emerging. The data gathered through increasing interconnected sensors in production lines (Industrial Internet of Things) are giving rise to new service offerings. For example, predictive maintenance can be used to plan maintenance work in a targeted manner and thus increase the efficiency of production plants.
In August 2019, DSV completed the acquisition of the Swiss logistics company Panalpina. Panalpina, which is active in air and ocean freight as well as contract logistics, employs more than 14,500 people globally. The acquisition resulted in one of the world’s largest logistics companies with around 60,000 employees.
Logistics start-up Luckabox offers a platform to connect logistics service providers to companies demanding logistics services. Luckabox realized a seven-figure pre-series A financing round in September 2020. The successful financing round illustrates the increasing importance of innovative delivery services, especially on the last mile.
In January 2020, the leading Swiss digital agency Hinderling Volkart announced that it will become part of the Dutch company Dept which is present in more than 13 countries worldwide. Hinderling Volkart is a multiple award-winning Swiss digital agency. Its approximately 60 employees work at three locations in Zurich, Bern and Basel for clients such as SwissRe, Edelweiss, Swiss and Switzerland Tourism.
On 16. May 2023, the two companies VITARIS AG and CHROMOS Group AG announced a forward-looking transaction. The Swiss CHROMOS Group AG takes over the specialist supplier of innovative laboratory equipment and high-quality consumables for the Swiss Life Science market. The foundation of the acquisition was based on a match in company philosophy and business model. This integration into an international group of companies provides VITARIS AG with the basis for additional growth and for further development in existing but also new business areas.
IFBC supported the founder and owner of VITARIS AG as exclusive financial advisor in the development of strategic options for the future of his company. In dialogue, a long-term solution was developed and jointly implemented. In the subsequent sales process, IFBC as M&A advisor searched for the ideal buyer, developed the transaction structure and accompanied the contract and purchase price negotiations.
VITARIS AG was established 20 years ago through a management buyout. In 2015, the CEO Marius Kleger became sole owner and, together with his team, ensures the continuous growth and ongoing success of the company. The selective choice of brands from international leading manufacturers focuses on applications in cell culture, microbiology, molecular biology laboratories as well as general laboratory supplies in the Swiss market. VITARIS AG is headquartered in Baar and employs more than 20 people.
On December 20, 2022, Trifork and IBE announced the signing of a partnership. As partners, Trifork and IBE will work closely together in the future development of IBE’s online learning and testing platforms. As part of the partnership, Trifork will also acquire the majority of stake in IBE as of fiscal year 2023.
IFBC supported the founder and owner of IBE as exclusive financial advisor in the preparation of the transaction and throughout the entire transaction process. In a first phase, possible strategic options were examined with the owner and the transaction was prepared. During the implementation of the transaction IFBC as M&A advisor developed the transaction structure and accompanied the due diligence as well as the transaction negotiations.
IBE is a Swiss company focused on the development of software for adaptive testing and formative learning for schools in Switzerland and other German-speaking countries. IBE started as a privately organized research institute with a connection to the University of Zürich and has since earned an excellent reputation within the Swiss education system.
IFBC was mandated by EF Education First to value several EF companies to the attention of the Swiss tax authorities in connection with the Swiss tax reform (STAF). In cooperation with EF Education First, a standardized template was developed for the local managements, which subsequently enabled IFBC to efficiently value the companies. The company valuations are based on the DCF-approach and were documented in a valuation report.
EF Education First offers learning programs worldwide focused on language, travel, cultural exchange, and academics.
IFBC was engaged by the Diethelm Keller Group to perform independent valuations of selected group companies. Together with the management and considering analysts' expectations for the corresponding peer companies, business plans were developed for the respective companies, which were used as a basis for the discounted cash flow valuations. Based on sensitivity analyses with reference to the main value drivers, appropriate value ranges were derived for the companies to be valued.
Diethelm Keller Group is a privately held organization whose principal shareholders are the descendants of the founders. In addition to the participation as major shareholder in DKSH, a leading company in the field of market expansion services with a focus on Asia, the group consists in particular of four operating units in different business areas with over 2’500 employees in 20 countries.
The following graphs analyse the services industry over the past five years. The graphs show the development of the average semi-annual transaction multiples as well as a comparison between the trading multiples of listed companies in individual sub-sectors and per region as of the end of June 2020. The analysis is based on the Bloomberg database. In terms of size, a distinction is made between companies/transactions with a market capitalization of below (low-mid market) or above (large companies) USD 150 million.