CardFactory AG merges with Visioncard Kunststoffkarten-Produktions GmbH to form one of Europe's largest RFID card manufacturers
January 22, 2009
CardFactory AG (CardFactory), a leader in the chip card market, has signed an agreement with the shareholder of the Austrian company Visioncard Kunststoffkarten-Produktions GmbH (Visioncard) to merge the two companies. This merger will create one of Europe's largest RFID card manufacturers. CardFactory has been majority-owned by the private equity fund Ventizz Capital Fund III since 2006.
After the transaction, the new company will be managed by a managing board, comprising the former Visioncard managers Uli Reutner (in future: CEO) and Robert Wolny (in future: COO) and the two former members of CardFactory's managing board Andreas Gordes (CSO) and Jan Trommershausen (CFO). The new group will be named CardFactory and the companies/brands "Visioncard", "Novacard" and “PPC” will continue as they are a key component of the future strategy. Ventizz Capital Fund III will still be the majority shareholder of the new company after the transaction. Mr. Reutner and Mr. Wolny will hold equity interests in the new company.
"The merger will create a perfect symbiosis of a high quality, high volume card production and an impressive RFID Know How. I am delighted about this unique opportunity, which will provide our customers with great benefits," commented Uli Reutner, designated CEO of the new CardFactory Group. "Our joint resources will allow us to meet our customers needs even better in future," he added.
With the merger of CardFactory and Visioncard Ventizz Capital Fund III has reached another key milestone. It is the next step in the CardFactory long-term buy and build strategy after the add-on acquisition of PPC Card Systems GmbH at the end of 2006. "CardFactory has already an excellent position in the smartcard sector with its top-quality products. This merger will release synergies that will accelerate the company's planned growth and international expansion even further," commented Willi Mannheims, a member of Ventizz Capital Partners Advisory AG's managing board and one of its partners. This company exclusively advises the private equity funds Ventizz Capital Fund I-IV with a total fund volume of EUR 675 million.
Oldenburg-based CardFactory AG is an innovative, global manufacturer of chipcards and is one of the leading players in the market for future-proof technologies such as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and biometry. CardFactory AG, which was formed in 2000, is the holding company for its operating subsidiaries Novacard Informationssysteme GmbH and PPC Card Systems GmbH (both based in Germany) and PPC Card System B.V. (The Netherlands). Ventizz Capital Fund III holds a majority interest in the group.
Visioncard Kunststoffkarten-Produktions GmbH, based in Kematen/Austria, specializes in producing and printing chipcards and plastic cards. Visioncard is geared to larger volumes and has market-leading competence in all of the standard printing methods (offset, screen, thermal sublimation and thermal transfer printing).
Ventizz Capital Partners was formed in 2000 and has offices in St. Gallen and Düsseldorf. Ventizz Capital Partners exclusively advises the Ventizz private equity funds that offer equity capital for the growth of high-tech companies in the German-speaking region. Ventizz has three partners: Dr. Helmut Vorndran, Reinhard Löchner and Willi Mannheims. Together with a team of 13 professionals they currently advise four funds with capital under management totaling EUR 675 million. Ventizz Capital Fund IV L.P. is the largest of the four funds set up to date. After six months of fund-raising, this fund was closed at the end of 2007 with a volume of EUR 450 million and is thus one of the largest private equity funds for venture capital and medium-sized tech buy outs in the German-speaking region.
To date, Ventizz funds have invested in 29 companies focusing on renewable energy, medical technology, information and communication technology and on other branches of industry offering high value-added. In addition to a large number of trade sales, Ventizz has successfully placed three of its participating interests (ersol, SAF, PV Crystalox Solar) on the stock exchange.