The biggest German exits and takeovers of 2012

Georg Räth 2013-01-04 5

Who sold out in 2012 and cashed major profits? Last year once again saw businesses spending millions to take over competitors and promising new companies. Here’s the list of the most important exits of 2012…

Immoweb to Axel Springer

ImmowebLast November, Axel Springer took over a majority share in Belgian real estate portal Immoweb.be. The media conglomerate, via their newly founded daughter company Axel Springer Digital Classifieds, bought 80 per cent of the shares for a record price of €127.5m. Immoweb was founded in 1996, with Managing Director Christophe Rousseaux remaining head of the company post takeover.

Qype to Yelp

qypeTowards the end of October, US online review and ranking portal, Yelp, announced they would be taking over their Hamburg-based competitor, Qype. By joining together, Yelp aims to improve their mobile platform – as Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman cites in his blog. According to informationen from TechCrunch, the takeover cost Yelp a cool $50m.

Betreut.de to Care.com

Betreut.de Berlin nursing service provider Betreut.de was yet another German startup that made an impressive exit. Now they’re taking on the US market, with American competitor Care.com by taking over Betreut.de for an undisclosed amount. Betreut.de had previously been financed by Holtzbrinck Ventures, Mutschler Ventures and the eDarling financiers.

12 Designer to 99 Designs

12 DesignerCalifornian startup 99Designs took over German 12designer.com, both websites in the design service segment. In 2011, 99Designs received a $35m financing round from Accel to support their expansion, choosing Germany as their base.

MyBeans to Tchibo

MyBeansLaunched in 2009, MyBeans offers customers a delivery service of self-mixed coffee beans. Last October the firm moved to Hamburg and was taken over by coffee giant Tchibo for an undisclosed amount. “After three exciting years in the online coffee industry, we sold our platform MyBeans.com to Tchibo,” founder of MyBeans, Christian Hartl, announced in October.

Meinestadt.de to Axel Springer

Axel Springer Digital Classifieds, which was founded by Axel Springer and global investors General Atlantic, took over Allesklar.com AG and the city information portal Meinestadt.de. Gründerfamilie Stagger and Holtzbrinck Digital sold the company, receiving 56.1 per cent and 43.9 per cent in the business respectively.

Allyouneed.com to Die Post

Allyouneed.comAfter being online for only two years, online supermarket All you need was taked over by the Deutsche Post DHL. With an 81 per cent sharholding in Allyouneed.com, the Deutsche Post DHL is the only shareholder besides founder Jens Drubel. The amount the shares cost remains unclear. Christian Heitmeyer, former founder of the company, bowed out of the company and the 48 per cent shareholding he had in it.

Casacanda to Fab.com

CasacandaLess than a year after being founded, German shopping club Cascanda was taken over by US competitor Fab.  The deal was good news for the Cascanda founders – they received Fab shares for the acquisition. Cascanda was valued by the Wall Street Journal at $10m prior to the deal. The early acquisition of the company was also likely to have put a smile on Klaus Hommels’ face, as Casacanda came through his international incubator Springstar.

Fliplife to Kaisergames

FliplifeFounded at the end of 2009, the Cologne-based online career games portal Fliplife was taken over by competitor KaiserGames, a previous investor in the business (along with Mountain Super Angel, High-Tech Gründerfonds and Rapidshare). The takeover can be regarded as predominately a talent and know-how acquisition. For the two Fliplife founders, Ibrahim Eysan and Thomas Bachem, the sale was their second exit after selling Sevenload.

Gutscheine.de to RTL

After acquiring Netzathleten  in August 2011, media group media group RTL Deutschland invested once again in the internet business by taking over couponing portal Gutscheine in January last year. RTL Interactive will be responsible for directing Gutschiene HSS GmbH, with founder Marcus Seidel staying on as the managing director of the portal.

Loxideals to Mr. Net Group

LoxidealsPayment and billing company Mr Net Group GmbH &Co. KG, from Flensburg, took over the majority holding in Hamburg-based Loxideals for an undisclosed amount. In January, the two providers began an app-cooperation together.

Preis24.de to ProSiebenSat.1

Preis24.deSevenVentures, the shareholding daughter of Pro Sieben Sat. 1 Group, gained the majority shareholding in price comparison portal Preis24.de, a daughter company of Sixt e-Ventures. It’s the market recognition of Preis24.de that attracted SevenVenture – with an impressive 25 per cent of German consumers recognising the brand.

OnlinePizza Norden and Pizza-online.fi to Delivery Hero

Pizza-online.fiThe international delivery service Delivery Hero took over competition OnlinePizza Norden Group for an impressive eight-figure amount. One month later, the Berlin-based delivery portal spread its wings in Scandinavia by taking over 100 per cent of the shares in Pizza-online.fi for a seven-digit price. Prior to the takeover, Delivery Hero, which is a portfolio company of Team Europe (disclosure: also a share holder in VentureVillage), already had a minority holding in the Scandinavian pizza delivery portal.

Pyszne.pl to Yourdelivery

Pyszne.plIn March, Yourdelivery Gruppe expanded by acquiring Polish competitor Pyszne.pl, the second largest portal for online food delivery in Poland. Yourdelivery is also available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France.

Chili Entertainment to Hitfox

Chili EntertainmentBerlin-based startup Hitfox.de took over Chilli Entertainment GmbH and expanded their portfolio in the area of games marketing by acquiring Chilli Entertainment games advertising network Ad2Games. The buying price was a seven-figure euro amount, according to information on the business. Before being bought out, Chilli Entertainment GmbH was held by majority shareholder Gameforge AG.

Schnäppchenfuchs and Mein-Deal to Gutscheinpony

SchnäppchenfuchsMein-DealDiscount portal Gutscheinpony took over competition Schnäppchenfuchs  in February, winning out against powerful companies Axel Springer and Econa, who, according to sources, were also after the portal. One month later, the Berlin discount portal took over Ralph Möller’s Mein-Deal, yet another competitor.

Baby Basket and Juvalia & You to Pippa&Jean

Juvalia & YouDespite only being founder in May with capital from Vorwerk Ventures, social marketplace for jewellery Pippa&Jean was already in   position to take over baby gift hamper site Baby Basket by the end of June. The deal aimed to improve the synergy between the companies. The team from Baby Basket were transferred into the Pippa&Jean business structure on 1 July and in December, and Pippa&Jean was able to takeover yet another competitor: Juvalia & You.

Playnik to Next Idea

PlaynikNext Idea GmbH took over as the parent company of online games platform Looki from Hamburg-based WWG WWG Worldwide Games GmbH. Next Idea GmbH recieved the portal Playnik, along with all other brands from the company. Prior to the takeover, Looki was financed by Neuhaus Partners, High Tech Gründerfonds and T-Venture.

Translated by Michelle Kuepper

For related posts, check out

The biggest German financing rounds of 2012
Technology 2012 – the winners and the losers
Want to go global in 2013? Beware the 5 reasons companies fail at international expansion


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