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Equistone Partners Europe sells COMPUTERLINKS to Arrow Electronics Inc.

28 août 2013

Funds managed by Equistone Partners Europe Limited (“Equistone”) and all further shareholders of the COMPUTERLINKS Group (“COMPUTERLINKS”) yesterday agreed a deal for the sale of their investment in COMPUTERLINKS to Arrow Electronics Inc. (NYSE: ARW) for €230 million. Completion is subject to approval by the relevant anti-trust authorities.

 

  • ​COMPUTERLINKS is a leading distributor for IT security and internet technology solutions
  • Equistone successfully delisted COMPUTERLINKS shares in 2009
  • Arrow is a strategic partner for further international expansion

In 2008, funds managed by Equistone acquired a majority stake in COMPUTERLINKS alongside the management team. During Equistone's investment period, the company increased revenue from approximately €540 m (US0 m) in FY 2008 to approximately €940 m (US.2 bn) in FY 2012 (or, from approximately US0 m to US0 m, respectively, on a U.S. GAAP basis) and has shown international growth with ten new offices in six countries. For 2013 the company budgets revenues of € 1.1 bn (US$ 950 m, on a U.S. GAAP basis). During Equistone’s investment period, COMPUTERLINKS developed a comprehensive range of services which contributed to significant EBITDA growth and which became unique selling points for the company. In 2009 Equistone successfully delisted COMPUTERLINKS shares from the regulated market at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. COMPUTERLINKS is headquartered in Munich with a presence in 22 countries and has increased its number of employees from 566 in 2008 to approximately 720 worldwide.

Equistone's investment was made from EPEF III.

“Together with COMPUTERLINKS' management team and the company founder Stephan Link we have successfully managed to build upon the outstanding position COMPUTERLINKS occupies in the IT-security market. We completely retired the acquisition loan during our investment period. Today the company is stronger than ever, is a solid business and extremely profitable in its industry. Computerlinks is an example of the positive influence of the private equity industry on typical mid-cap businesses” comments Michael H. Bork, Senior Partner at Equistone Partners Europe. “We wish Stephan and the team the very best in their future achievements.”

Stephan Link, CEO of COMPUTERLINKS, added: “We are grateful for Equistone´s support in the growth of our business into new services and geographies. I believe that there are significant opportunities ahead in the IT areas of security, networking, storage and virtualisation, and we look forward to working with Arrow to explore these.”

The transaction was led by Michael H. Bork, Oskar Schilcher and Marc Arens at Equistone Partners Europe. Excel Partners, a specialist investment bank with offices in New York and Los Angeles, acted as exclusive financial advisor to the sellers in connection with this transaction. Ashurst LLP acted as legal advisor to the sellers.

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