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Equistone acquires gaming and PC hardware leader Caseking

26 mars 2014

"‹Funds managed by Equistone Partners Europe Limited ("œEquistone") today announce the acquisition of a majority stake in Caseking Group ("œCaseking" or "œthe Company"), the leading European online supplier of high-performance gaming and PC components, from AFINUM, alongside Company management. The deal value is undisclosed.

Equistone’s investment will support Caseking’s growth, including an expansion into new geographies and further development of the Company’s product portfolio to reinforce its leading position in current markets. The transaction has received regulatory approval.

Caseking was established in Berlin in 2003 by co-founders Toni Sonn (Chief Executive) and Kay Kostadinov (Chief Financial Officer). In 2012, Caseking acquired Overclockers UK, a leading online distributor of PC components, based in the UK.

Overclockers UK provides a wide range of performance hardware at competitive prices, as well as engagement services for its customers. The Overclockers UK online forum is the most popular of its type in the UK, featuring both computer and lifestyle discussion topics. Today, Caseking and Overclockers UK are widely recognised as leading suppliers of high-performance gaming and PC components to the gaming community and PC enthusiasts. Employing close to 90 people in Germany and nearly 60 in the Overclockers UK business, Caseking also operates across a number of European markets, including France, the Netherlands and Poland, as well as in Taiwan. Caseking’s turnover for the current financial year, ending 30 April 2014, is projected to be c. €100 million.

Caseking Group primarily sells its products online, targeting consumers from the gaming community and PC experts, as well as resellers and system integrators. The Company offers products and advisory services in PC performance, design and noise reduction. Through the expansion of its product portfolio, storage capacities and a modern logistics system, Caseking offers more than 9,000 products to customers in the B2B and B2C sectors and has an average stock availability of over 95%. Caseking is one of the few providers active throughout the entire supply chain, from manufacturer to consumer, allowing the Company to provide manufacturers with direct customer feedback on high-end PC components, which enables them to be continually refined while promoting customer loyalty.

Kay Kostadinov, Chief Financial Officer of Caseking Group, said: “We have been working for over ten years in an attractive, niche market, during which time we have established ourselves as a leading European supplier and well-respected partner for users, specialist shops, gaming-enthusiasts, and manufacturers in the gaming community. We are looking forward to working with Equistone to expand the Company into further European markets and reach new customers.”

Peter Hammermann, Managing Director at Equistone Partners Europe, commented: “In Caseking, we have invested in an established, mid-sized company with extremely high growth potential in a dynamic, cutting-edge industry. Caseking and Overclockers UK have built a strong brand over the last few years, exemplified by its reliability, recognition and popularity with customers. We look forward to working with Caseking’s distinguished management team, led by its founders Toni Sonn (CEO) and Kay Kostadinov (CFO), to support the Company’s future growth.”

Dr. Peter Hammermann, Alexis Milkovic and Leander Heyken led the deal for Equistone.

Advisers to Equistone included: Skadden (legal M&A and LDD), KPMG (FDD, TDD and structuring), N+1 (debt advisor), Ashurst (legal financing) and PwC (CDD).

Dr. Gernot Eisinger, Tobias Fauser und Dr. Jochen Klemmer led the deal for AFINUM.

Advisers to AFINUM included: Altium (M&A), P+P Pöllath+Partners (legal) und PwC (Vendor DD).

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