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HOME FEATURES › Actebis prepares for life with Droege

Actebis prepares for life with Droege

by Stuart Wilson, Thursday 27 August 2009

European distribution giant Actebis posted pre-tax profits of US$32.9m in the first half of 2009, up 5% year-on-year. The growth in profits demonstrated that Actebis had achieved better operating margins as sales actually fell 5% year-on-year to US$2.28 billion. Actebis is also coming to terms with new owners in the shape of Droege Capital, which is splashing out a minimum of US$57m to snap up the company.

Actebis attributed the positive results to increased growth in Northern Europe including Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The company has experienced a significant slowdown in the ICT wholesale business in Germany since the beginning of 2009.

Actebis’ results statement declared: “The Actebis Group is currently enjoying substantial benefits from the streamlined business processes and structures and the ongoing rationalisation in these areas. The combination of cost leadership in tandem with a broad customer base and product portfolio has shown itself to be very successful in the crisis.”

Actebis’ two German companies – NT plus and Actebis Peacock – also held an event in the second quarter that attracted 4,500 visitors. NT plus also rolled out a new SAP system that the company claims has allowed resellers to benefit from a faster and more user friendly ordering process.

Actebis also received approval from the Danish regulatory authorities in July allowing the company to push on with its purchase of Ingram Micro’s Danish operation. The integration of Ingram Micro’s unit into Actebis Denmark is ongoing.

In early August Actebis announced that it had a new owner. Dusseldorf-based Droege Capital is buying close to 100% of Actebis – including its companies in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, France, Denmark, Norway and Sweden – from private equity outfit Arques Industries. The proposed deal is subject to regulatory approval.

Actebis reckons that Droege Capital will provide an ownership platform for continued profitable growth. The company claims to have weathered the downturn well and now hopes to increase its market share as consolidation continues in the ICT sector.

Klaus Hellmich, chairman of the Actebis Group’s executive board, said: “The Actebis management team is fully behind this change. Droege has an excellent reputation in the SMB sector, is equity financed and sets great store by the long-term growth of its holdings. In addition, Droege is familiar with the wholesale business and our business model.”

Frank Tanski, managing director of Droege Capital, commented: “Actebis is the cost leader and is well placed thanks to a market-oriented range of products, an attractive portfolio of services and a forward-looking strategy that promises continued success in the future.”

The price paid by Droege depends on Actebis’ future performance but amounts to at least US$57m, according to Arques. Hans Gisbert Ulmke, CFO at Arques, said: “This is a further consistent step in the realignment of the portfolio. The group’s debt position and the risk profile of Arques Industries AG are clearly reduced and the equity capital ratio is improved."

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