QSC acquires INFO AG and strengthens its ICT competence
- Agreement enables QSC to acquire 58.98 percent of the shares of IT services provider INFO AG
- INFO AG's IT Outsourcing and IT Consulting lines of business to accelerate QSC's evolution into a provider of ICT services
Cologne, May 2, 2011. Cologne-based QSC AG (QSC) has today entered into a purchase agreement with MZ Erste Vermögensverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, in Hamburg, a major shareholder of INFO Gesellschaft für Informationssysteme AG, in Hamburg (INFO AG), to acquire 58.98 percent of the 4,000,000 total shares issued by INFO AG at a price of € 14.35 per share. This means that MZ Erste Vermögensverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH is thus selling all of the INFO AG shares it holds.
Execution of the purchase agreement is still subject to anti-trust approval. QSC will issue a public tender offer for those shares of INFO AG that are not held by MZ Erste Vermögensverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH.
INFO AG is an independent provider of services for IT Outsourcing and IT Consulting in Germany. Its portfolio includes the planning, implementation and operation of challenging IT solutions for small and mid-size companies, both nationally as well as internationally. INFO AG has three data centers of its own in Hamburg and Oberhausen with total floor space of 6,000 square meters. Furthermore, INFO AG is an SAP Systems House and a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.
Market potential for QSC is increasing greatly
With the acquistion of INFO AG, QSC is complementing and broadening its existing portfolio to include additional IT competence, thus considerably accelerating its transformation from a telecommunications provider into a provider of ICT services. Only just last December, QSC had acquired Nuremberg-based Housing and Hosting specialist IP Partner AG. With a total workforce of nearly 1,300 people today, the new corporate group is able to offer small and mid-size business customers a comprehensive spectrum of ICT services: From complete voice-data communication to Housing and Hosting, IT outsourcing right through to IT consulting. With this move, QSC is sustainably strengthening its positioning as an independent mid-size provider of ICT services for small and mid-size business customers.
QSC co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Bernd Schlobohm explains: "QSC and INFO AG make for an outstanding fit. Both are founder-led companies, both focus on small and mid-size enterprises and both embrace long-term business relationships." Schlobohm goes on to stress: "With the new ICT portfolio, the market potential for QSC is increasing greatly. We will be exploiting this potential. I look forward to working together with the entire INFO AG team."
2011 guidance reiterated
QSC is financing this acquisition from both liquid assets as well as from its current free cash flow. Moreover, the company additionally has at its disposal a credit line in the amount of € 50 million, which has not been fully utilized.
Upon takeover of the majority shareholding in INFO AG, QSC will fully consolidate INFO AG. Even following this acquisition, QSC anticipates stronger profitability and net worth for the full 2011 fiscal year, as well as a concrete rise in free cash flow to between € 35 and € 45 million. During the current fiscal year, the new subsidiary's positive free cash flow will be offset by additional expenditures for the INFO AG transaction. The company's stronger financial position and profitability will serve as the foundation for QSC's continued plans to distribute its first dividend for the current fiscal year.
QSC - ICT solutions for small and mid-size enterprises
QSC AG, Cologne, is a service provider for voice and data communication, as well as the ICT services that build upon them. Established in 1997, the company has been focusing on small and mid-size business customers. QSC is the first provider to operate an Open Access platform, which unites a wide range of broadband technologies to offer national and international site networking, including Managed Services. QSC additionally supplies its customers and distribution partners with a comprehensive product portfolio that can be modularly adapted to every need. QSC was the first provider in Germany to build its own Next Generation Network (NGN), and therefore enjoys long years of experience in connection with IP-based telephony solutions, in particular. QSC employs a workforce of approximately 700 people and has been listed on the TecDAX index since 2004.