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.
In the context of the potential spin-off of the Lehrmittelverlag Zürich (LMVZ) from the cantonal administration into a legally independent entity, IFBC was mandated to support the LMVZ in establishing a business case tailored to this purpose. Together with the management, IFBC developed a new qualitative business plan as well as an adapted quantitative financial plan. The results served the department of education as a decision basis for further planning steps.
Lehrmittelverlag Zürich (LMVZ) is the leading provider of learning media in Switzerland. As a largely independently operating entity of the department of education of the Canton of Zurich, LMVZ employs around 65 people and holds a range of over 2,000 articles, consisting of proprietary products and merchandise. The publishing house’s educational products have won several awards for their quality and innovation.
On November 2, 2021, media service provider Annex Werbe AG and digital marketing agency adisfaction Suisse AG announced their merger to form Adisfaction-Annex AG as of January 1, 2022.
IFBC supported the two companies Annex Werbe AG and adisfaction Suisse AG as financial advisor in the evaluation of strategic alternatives, in the decision-making process as a basis for the merger, in the subsequent structuring as well as in the implementation of the merger. In addition, IFBC supported Marco Pfister in the management buyout at Annex Werbe AG as financial advisor. This included the support of the negotiations, the structuring of the financing as well as other financial aspects of the transaction.
As an agency for digital marketing and cross-media campaigns, Adisfaction-Annex AG offers its clients customized solutions from a single source.
On November 2, 2021, the Deutsche Vermögensberatung AG and Global Sana AG announced the start of a strategic partnership. IFBC supported the shareholders of Global Sana as exclusive financial and M&A advisor in the preparation of the transaction and throughout the entire transaction process. During the preparation phase of the transaction, IFBC advised the shareholders in the context of the evaluation of possible strategic options and prepared the company for the upcoming transaction in an initial transaction readiness phase. In the subsequent transaction execution, IFBC conducted a structured international buyer approach, developed the transaction structure, supported the due diligence and led the negotiations.
Global Sana is a Swiss company and with more than 110’000 customers a leading provider of insurance advisory services.
On October 4, 2021, the Swiss Post announced the acquisition of all shares of the SwissSign Group. Before the transaction, the SwissSign Group was held as a joint venture of various reputable Swiss companies. IFBC supported the shareholders of SwissSign Group as exclusive financial and M&A advisor in the preparation of the transaction and throughout the entire transaction process. During the preparation phase of the transaction, IFBC advised the shareholders of SwissSign Group in the context of the evaluation of possible strategic alternatives and coordinated the decision-making process between the existing shareholders. Regarding the sale process, IFBC prepared the SwissSign Group for the upcoming transaction in an initial transaction readiness phase. In the subsequent transaction execution, IFBC conducted a structured international buyer approach, developed the transaction structure, and supported the due diligence and negotiations.
SwissSign Group is a Swiss digital security company employing around 90 people. SwissSign Group's services can be grouped in three business segments: In the identity business, SwissSign Group offers SwissID, which enables a secure login to online services. In the certificate business, SwissSign Group issues digital certificates that allow encrypted and secure online communication and tamper-proof signing of documents. In the signature business, SwissSign Group enables its customers to sign documents electronically in compliance with legislative requirements.
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.