PRESS RELEASE, Vienna, 13 April 2016 - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP (Frankfurt) and Binder Grösswang advised ARDIAN (formerly AXA Private Equity) on the acquisition of GANTNER Holding GmbH, headquartered in Schruns, Austria
GANTNER is a leading international manufacturer of contactless RFID and NFC access control and staff time recording systems facilitating automatic identification. GANTNER solutions can be found in leisure facilities such as fitness clubs, water parks, public pools and spas, as well as in commercial and public buildings. GANTNER provides integrated overall solutions for membership and visitor management and cashless payments, as well as for high security access control (doors, cabinets and lockers) and staff time recording systems. GANTNER develops and produces both the hardware and the software required to run the systems, offering its customers integrated overall solutions. GANTNER is the market leader in the niche segment for fitness clubs in Europe, counting many of the most prestigious leisure facilities among its clients – among them well-known brands such as FitnessFirst, Holmes Place, McFit and Elements. It is also one of the three biggest companies in the public pools and spas segment. GANTNER has subsidiaries in Germany, the UK, Dubai and Australia and operates in more than 60 countries. Around a quarter of its global workforce of more than 200 is employed in R&D.
As part of the transaction, the existing management team, which has been successfully overseeing the GANTNER growth strategy for more than ten years, will invest in the company, thus providing the continuity that will ensure its further successful development. With the backing of Ardian, management is planning to further strengthen GANTNER’s leading position as a highly innovative supplier of NFC systems and to boost growth by tapping into new markets as well as seeking bolt-on acquisitions.
Dirk Wittneben, Head of Ardian Expansion in Germany, said: “The success of GANTNER is down to its innovative products, an experienced team with excellent know-how, and long-term customer relationships. We look forward to working alongside management to build on the existing product portfolio and to provide support for the company’s international growth. Additionally, we will offer GANTNER support through our international network as it moves to enter new markets.”
Binder Grösswang advised on the Due Diligence, SPA and management participations.
The Binder Grösswang- Team comprised Lead Partner Thomas Schirmer, Bernd Schneiderbauer (Partner), Hermann Schneeweiss (Senior Associate) and Cordelia Klauhs (Associate, all of them Corporate/M&A), for Regulatory Johannes Barbist (Partner), Markus Pinggera (Senior Associate) and Regina Kröll (Associate), for Finance Stefan Tiefenthaler (Partner), Robert Wippel (Senior Associate) und Markus Stelzl (Associate), for Antitrust Christine Dietz (Partner) and for Employment Angelika Pallwein-Prettner (Partner) and Sabine Apfl (Associate).
International Lead Counsel of purchaser Ardian was Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP Frankfurt with Lead Partner Mario Schmidt, and Partners Matthew Dean (Finance, London), Patrick Meiisel (Tax, Frankfurt), Jan Wilms (Finance, Frankfurt), Susanne Zuehlke (Antitrust, Brussels/Frankfurt) and Maximilian Schwab (Corporate, Frankfurt).