On July 3, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Cerha Hempel, working alongside Deloitte Legal in Germany, had advised Germany's GBTEC Software + Consulting AG on the acquisition of all shares in Avedos. CEEIHM spoke with Sven van Berge Henegouwen, Partner at GBTEC, to learn more about the deal.
CEEIHM: To start, please tell our readers a few words about GBTEC Software + Consulting AG.
Sven: GBTEC is a leading software provider for the digital transformation of organizations. More specifically, it offers Business Process Modeling, Process Execution, Digital Process Automation, Robotic Process Automation, and Process Mining tools. On top of that, it uses these tools to offer specific Governance, Risk, and Compliance — "GRC" — solutions.
CEEIHM: What was it about Avedos that made it a particularly attractive target for you?
Sven: Avedos is one of the most renowned names in GRC in Europe. The company has a deep understanding of GRC functionality and a great customer base. GBTEC's own approach for GRC is based on its Process Management skills. Combining GBTEC's process optimization knowledge with Avedos’ deep domain knowledge of functional aspects to GRC helps us in creating a world-leading GRC tool.
CEEIHM: What’s next for Avedos post-acquisition in the short- and mid-terms?
Sven: We aim to continue its growth in the GRC space and combine the functional knowledge with GBTEC's more process-based knowledge to create GRC tools that offer the best of both worlds. Furthermore, we will help the company continue its transition to fully-fledged cloud solutions. We are quite confident this will lead to one of the leading GRC tools in the world.
CEEIHM: Cerha Hempel noted the "extremely difficult circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic," when describing the deal. How, in practice, did these pan out and how did you overcome them to push the deal through?
Sven: Like everyone, we really had to adjust to the new realities of a COVID dominated world. Luckily both GBTEC and Avedos provide solutions that are still in high demand. Both management teams also showed excellent poise to navigate the companies through these difficult times and I am happy to report both companies are still showing excellent performance. That made the decision to push through, for everyone involved, a lot easier. Logistically we had to adjust our processes a bit. Luckily the pragmatic stance of all players allowed us to navigate those issues as well.
CEEIHM: And, since we mentioned them, why did you retain Cerha Hempel as your advisor on this deal?
Sven: Cerha Hempel is, of course, a well-known name in M&A in Austria, but it was the pragmatism that attracted us to them. They really know how to get deals done and to focus on the important business aspects. I am happy to say that they confirmed all our expectations during the process!
CEEIHM: What about the firm they worked alongside – Deloitte Legal in Germany?
Sven: Deloitte Germany is the law firm in Germany that we have worked with the most in the past. We are very happy with their support and will continue to engage them for future transactions. Over the years of our cooperation, we have build up a good rapport and they know exactly what we think is important and what is of less concern. This makes our cooperation very practical.
CEEIHM: How did you find the pair worked together?
Sven: The two firms worked together very well and professionally.