Karlsruhe, Sofia, Munich, 22 March, 2021. ec4u and BULPROS have entered a merger agreement, joining forces to deliver next generation digital cloud experience to enterprises. The combined platform has more than 1,400 employees across 25 offices in 11 countries and is backed by the pan-European private equity firm Silverfleet Capital, which has invested in a majority stake in the merged company.
The two companies, ec4u and BULPROS, have been collaborating since 2018 as partners in the field of digital cloud solutions and have their headquarters in Karlsruhe, Germany and Sofia, Bulgaria, respectively. The company founders and existing management teams of both companies will remain as large shareholders and continue to operate the merged company. The merger transaction is only subject to regulatory approval.
Founded in 2000, ec4u is specialized in the digital transformation of clients’ business-critical processes in marketing, sales, service and e-commerce across their entire customer lifecycle. The company’s business offering includes consulting services, technical implementation, and ongoing enhancement and operation of clients’ CRM systems. To date, ec4u has completed more than 800 transformation projects, primarily in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The company employs more than 400 experts across its European sites.
BULPROS, founded in 2010, is a digital transformation company whose offerings include enablement of digital solutions, cyber security solutions, cloud migration and managed services, as well as technology services. BULPROS operates on a global scale with over 1,000 employees across 20 offices located in Europe and North America. The company has been frequently cited as one of the fastest growing technology organizations by the leading industry observers, such as Deloitte in their "Technology Fast 50 in CE" and Financial Times 1000 Europe, amongst others.
In addition to their competitive portfolios and expert employees, the two companies bring strong relationships with strategic technology partners, including Salesforce, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, IBM, Cisco, and Snowflake to the newly merged company.
With changes in technology representing a core macro trend underpinning Silverfleet’s investment thesis, the investment in ec4u and BULPROS builds on the firm’s extensive experience with tech-enabled businesses. Recent investments include TrustQuay; a trust, corporate services and fund administration provider and Collectia, a credit management services platform. Prior successful investments within the Services sector include Phase One, Ipes and TMF.
Ivaylo Slavov, CEO of BULPROS, commented: “I am excited that we are further extending our excellent partnership with ec4u to a combined platform which will help our customers in their digital transformation journey by delivering next level customer experience. I’m delighted that Silverfleet Capital is joining us in realizing our vision to become a leading partner for Digital Cloud Experience to businesses.”
David Laux, CEO of ec4u, commented: “After working together with BULPROS for so many years, on behalf of the entire ec4u team, I am proud to be part of this success story. As always, the sum is more than its parts and I’m looking forward to accelerating our growth with the commitment of Silverfleet Capital.”
Dr. Christian Süss, Partner at Silverfleet Capital, said: “ec4u and BULPROS are leading service providers in the cloud-based digital business solutions market, which is highly attractive. We are delighted to be in a position to support them in unlocking their full growth potential in the future.”
Joachim Braun, Partner at Silverfleet Capital, added: “Both ec4u and BULPROS have strong strategic partnerships with the leading players in the digital platform environment. We look forward to helping both companies explore further areas for cooperation and expansion.”
The Silverfleet team that worked on the transaction comprised Dr. Christian Süss, Joachim Braun, Benjamin Hubner and Jennifer Regehr. Silverfleet was advised by Latham & Watkins (Corporate & Tax Legal), Shearman & Sterling (Finance Legal), NautaDutilh (Legal), PwC (Financial), wdp (IT), Grant Thornton (Tax), Kambourov (Legal), Noerr (Legal), Schoenherr (Legal), Bär & Karrer (Legal), Kearney (Commercial), and MD Advisors (Debt Advisory). Financing was provided by Ares.
About Silverfleet Capital
Silverfleet Capital has been a leading European mid-market private equity investor for more than 30 years. The investment team of 28 executives is based in London, Munich, Paris and Amsterdam.
Silverfleet Capital’s second independent fund closed in 2015 with commitments of €870 million. Since its close, the fund has completed investments including:
- Coventya, a specialty chemicals business headquartered near Paris, France
- Sigma Components, a UK precision aerospace components manufacturer
- Lifetime Training, an apprenticeship provider to the UK market
- Pumpenfabrik Wangen, a manufacturer of specialist pumps based in Germany
- Riviera Travel, a leading specialist holiday operator offering a global portfolio of escorted tours and cruises
- Prefere Resins, the European market leader in the development, production and sale of phenolic and amino resins
- CARE Fertility, the UK’s leading fertility services provider
- CoreDux, a leading designer and manufacturer of ultra-purified and specialised metallic hoses
- Collectia, a fast-growing debt collection and debt purchase business operating primarily in Denmark with a niche presence in Sweden, Norway and Germany
- 7days, a leading supplier of medical workwear, which it exited in January 2021
Silverfleet also has a dedicated lower mid-market investment team, which has completed two investments:
- STAXS Contamination Control Experts, the Benelux leader in cleanroom consumables distribution
- TrustQuay, the global leader in technology for the trust, corporate services and alternative fund administration markets
Silverfleet Capital seeks to create value by identifying businesses within its core sectors that will benefit from selected macro growth criteria and then working with its portfolio companies to transform their growth prospects. These transformation strategies include investing to accelerate organic growth, increasing the international profile of each business, making follow-on acquisitions, and focusing on operational improvements. Since 2004, Silverfleet Capital has invested €2.1 billion of equity in 33 companies.
Silverfleet Capital invests in four sectors: i) services; ii) healthcare; iii) manufacturing; and iv) consumer.
Silverfleet Capital invests in companies with headquarters in four regions. Since 2004, total invested capital (%) by region was:
- the UK and Ireland: 32%
- the DACH region: 29% (Germany, Austria, Switzerland)
- the Nordics: 21%
- France & Benelux region: 15%1
- Other: 3%
Silverfleet Capital has a consistently strong realised investment track record. Recent exits include:
- 7days, a leading designer, producer and supplier of modern and innovative medical workwear (3.1x cost);
- Phase One, a leading technology business specialising in high-end digital imaging software and equipment (4.6x cost);
- Ipes, a leading provider of outsourced services to Private Equity in Europe (3.7x cost);
- CCC, one of Europe’s leading German speaking BPO service providers;
- Cimbria, a Danish agricultural manufacturer2;
- Kalle, a German artificial sausage casings manufacturer (3.5x cost);
- OFFICE, the UK shoe retailer (3.4x cost); and
- Aesica, a leading pharmaceutical CDMO business (3.3x cost).
(1) Includes a US headquartered investment sourced in Belgium
(2) Money multiple not disclosed for legal reasons
To find out more: www.silverfleetcapital.com
BULPROS is a global digital transformation company, one of the fastest growing technology organizations, recognized by the prestigious rankings of Deloitte "Technology Fast 50 in CE" and "Technology Fast 500 in Europe, Middle East, and Africa", Inc. 5000 Europe, Financial Times 1000 Europe, and McKinsey’s report “The rise of Digital Challengers”, etc.
Its offerings include Digital Solutions, Cyber Security, Cloud and Support Services, and Technology Services, with focus on Financial Services and Insurance, Professional Services, Telecommunications, Manufacturing, Healthcare and Retail.
BULPROS operates on a global scale and has over 1000 employees, working across 20 offices, located in Europe and North America.
BULPROS has established successful customer and partner relations with Fortune 500 IT companies such as Cisco, Microsoft, IBM, VMware, SAP etc. BULPROS is a co-founder of the Association for Innovation, Business Excellence, Services and Technology, the CE Business Council Growing Europe, and a member of the American Chamber of Commerce and the German Outsourcing Association.
ec4u expert consulting ag is a leader in the field of CRM. It assists its customers in the digital transformation of their business-critical processes in marketing, sales, and service - across the entire lifecycle (also known as the "customer journey").
ec4u knows that for a company to stay healthy and stable, these particular customer-centric units must interact seamlessly. Hence, the consulting, implementation, and support services ensure that the customer journey always encompasses the entire lifecycle of the project – ranging from strategy and expert consulting services to technical execution, support, and advancement. These activities are accompanied by the commitment of modern Customer Analytics & Business Intelligence-Methods.
ec4u enhances its performance with diverse value-added services that include setting up customer lifecycle management, providing demand centers, and actively monitoring social media. The models for all services are tailored to your specific needs, aimed at achieving the best possible project outcome. On the technical end, ec4u stands behind the current market leaders in CRM. ec4u is active in all facets of CRM, underpinned by 11 offices with more than 400 employees and over 800 successfully executed projects worldwide.
To find out more: www.ec4u.com