Technology companies are of particular importance in the age of digitalization and shape the development of all industries. The M&A partnership Globalscope enables IFBC to support its clients in the worldwide search for suitable target companies and interested buyers.
Digital transformation is leading to comprehensive social and economic changes. Through increased use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, 5G technology and robotic production, existing processes and services can be improved, and new solutions can be created. One of the main drivers of digitisation are semiconductor manufacturing companies, who are increasingly challenged by a rapidly growing demand and constant pressure to innovate.
Software and infrastructure are increasingly offered as a service to both companies and private customers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the trend towards remote working has also accelerated massively. As a result, audio, and video streaming as well as collaboration software have experienced a major boom. Furthermore, service providers had the opportunity to establish themselves as reliable partners for both companies and consumers.
Technological progress creates new opportunities for sharing infrastructure and services. Companies as well as consumers increasingly prefer flexible usage models and service solutions over investments in products. In this context, subscription-based payment models and advertising-financed revenue solutions are increasingly replacing traditional one-off payments. On the one hand, this offers new opportunities for sustainable customer loyalty. On the other hand, companies often require new financing models for these new payment methods.
In August 2020, the parent company of UPC announced the takeover of Sunrise Communications AG. The transaction was approved by the Swiss Competition Commission in late October 2020. Liberty Global thus initiated the delisting of the Sunrise shares from the SIX Swiss Exchange and the fully integration of Sunrise into the group structure.
On 8 September 2020, Netcetera and Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) announced a strategic partnership. In this context, G+D participated in Netcetera and became an anchor shareholder. The Zurich-based Netcetera is a global software company with cutting-edge IT products and individual digital solutions in the areas of secure digital payment, financial technologies, media, transport, healthcare and insurance.
The Swiss company SoftwareONE, a leading provider of end-to-end software and cloud technology, acquired the Australian company GorillaStack in May 2020. GorillaStack is a leader in cloud cost management and real time event monitoring, and one of the few companies holding the Amazon Web Services Cloud Management Tools competence status for resource and cost optimization.
With a view to a possible IPO in the next few years, IFBC was mandated by PayrollPlus AG as independent IPO advisor. IFBC analyzed and assessed the IPO-readiness of PayrollPlus AG based on the listing requirements of SIX as well as the general market requirements. IFBC also supported PayrollPlus AG in the preparation of a multi-year plan taking into account various scenarios. Furthermore, the valuation expectations for PayrollPlus AG in the context of an IPO were specified and transparently presented. Based on the scenarios developed, the expectations of the owner and the requirements for the IPO on the part of the SIX Swiss Exchange and the market, an IPO roadmap was drawn up. Among other things, this contains strategic measures to ensure IPO readiness in due course.
With its digital payroll platform, PayrollPlus AG offers a scalable solution for outsourcing payroll payments for freelancers, SME employees and private household employees and reducing the associated administrative workload in a cost-efficient manner. With the help of its software solution, PayrollPlus AG takes care of social insurance and withholding taxes as well as the timely transfer of wages and the necessary payroll accounting. In addition, customers of PayrollPlus AG benefit from attractive conditions of the group insurance.
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 engaged by Swisscom AG to review the determination of the impairment WACC of Fastweb S.p.A. as well as the existing impairment model, taking into account current knowledge and best practice. A specific focus was in particular on the quantification of a country risk premium and the handling of IFRS 16 in the context of the impairment test.
Swisscom is the leading telecom provider in Switzerland.
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 technology, media and telecommunications 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.