FSN Capital V Acquired Rameder Group
FSN Capital V has, together with management, acquired a majority stake in the Rameder Group, the European market leader in the distribution of towbars and related products. This partnership marks FSN Capital Funds’ first platform investment in Germany.
Founded in 1996, Rameder is today Europe’s leading distributor of towbars, bike carriers and roof racks. Based in the German town of Leutenberg and with offices in Ingolstadt (DE), Lille (FR) and Prague (CZ), the 200 employees at Rameder manage online shops in over ten countries (including kupplung.de in Germany), selling around 300,000 towbars each year throughout Europe.
After two decades of successfully investing in Scandinavia, in early 2018 FSN Capital Partners, acting as investment adviser to the FSN Capital Funds, opened an office in Munich and hired a team of professionals to advise the FSN Capital Funds on investments in the DACH region. The team, led by Partners Robin Mürer, Justin Kent and Patrice Jabet, focuses on growth-oriented, mid-sized companies that have a strong value proposition and a clear market-leading position, where the FSN Funds see a clear potential to support management teams to achieve their growth strategies by providing both capital and know-how. The FSN team will seek to support FSN Capital V and Rameder’s management to achieve its strategic goals to boost turnover further in the core markets of Germany and Austria, expand its assembly network, and foster greater international growth by way of acquisitions and strategic partnerships.
The team at FSN Capital Partners responsible for advising on the transaction is composed of Justin Kent, Eskil Koffeld and Clemens Plainer. FSN Capital V was also advised by Hengeler Mueller (legal), Bain (commercial), Alvarez & Marsal (financial), PwC (tax & ESG), eccelerate (e-commerce), JLT (insurance), capitalmind (debt advisory) and mcf (M&A).
Q&A – Bastian Latt, Associate Partner – eccelerate
Can you tell us about eccelerate’s involvement in the transaction?
The Munich team of FSN Capital tasked eccelerate with the digital due diligence, part of the commercial due diligence.
What was your specific role?
Our approach to digital due diligence focuses on the key operational performance metrics of companies with a digital business model – i.e. companies that sell their products or services via online distribution channels.
Similar to other digital DDs, for Rameder, we answered how well the company is operating along the sales-marketing funnel. Questions included:
- How effective is the target at getting traffic to its website? Where is traffic coming from?
- How successful is Rameder at converting prospects (i.e. traffic on the site) to buyers? Does the customer experience need improvement and what are the specific areas that need improving?
- How are customers engaged post-purchase? How does the company stay relevant and up- or cross-sell products? To what degree – if any – are interactions with customers personalised based on their past behaviour?
- What are the potentials across all of these dimensions and what prevents the target from tapping into these?
In this and other cases, we also look at back-end topics such as: What is the current IT setup? How reliable and scalable is the infrastructure? How is development organised?
Why is digital due diligence so important?
We think that when considering an acquisition of a digital target, it is fundamental to understand the core value generating elements of the firm. A classic commercial due diligence often does not go deep enough. This is often because consultancies do not have the required operational know-how on the advisory team to take a detailed look at for example a Google Ads account and determine how well the target is doing search engine advertising. However, for many digital companies, this is their fundamental growth and revenue driver and one needs to understand it properly to determine if and by how much a target can grow. Additionally, many targets we see are at a stage where they have had healthy growth to date, however, it quickly becomes obvious that to grow further and to scale to, let’s say additional geographies, a far greater digital or e-commerce professionalisation is necessary.
That’s why we recommend all investors to integrate digital due diligence as part of their commercial evaluation.