PBS - Holding ag

PBS Holding acquires Kugelmann – OPI Press release

PBS Deutschland, the German wholesaling subsidiary of Austria-based parent PBS Holding, on Wednesday finalised negotiations and bought the “sales and distributions structures” of fellow German wholesaler Georg Kugelmann. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Kugelmann is one of many OP wholesalers in the country, but it’s certainly one of the bigger operators, with about 120 employees and 2013 sales of €23 million ($38 million), as well as one of the oldest – it was founded in 1840. The wholesaler has been servicing the whole of the German market, but with a strong focus on stationery retailers. Integrating it into the PBS Deutschland fold should strengthen both companies’ positions, with a more comprehensive B2B and B2C coverage.

PBS Holding CEO Richard Scharmann confirmed that the deal will become effective on 1 December, and it will take five to six months to fully integrate Kugelmann’s staff and all the company’s structures into PBS Deutschland. Incumbent Kugelmann Managing Director Klaus Danne will become a member of the board at PBS Deutschland.

Combining both businesses, Scharmann added, will further push the market presence of PBS Deutschland in the country while providing comprehensive IT and logistics solutions to a growing customer base. As a result of the acquisition, PBS Deutschland’s market value will also increase considerably, with Scharmann forecasting total sales approaching €100 million.

He said: “This is a major landmark within the German wholesale market which is seeing more and more signs of consolidation. PBS Deutschland is strongly committed to further developing its position in Germany and making sure that continuous investments in logistics and IT systems will provide added value to our German customer base.”

This latest acquisition comes only a few months after Biella’s wholesale operations in Poland were signed over and integrated into PBS Holding’s PBS Connect Polska, making it one of the leading wholesalers in the country.

In Germany meanwhile, PBS Deutschland’s activities have remained largely under the radar over the past couple of years. There has only been one small acquisition of a regional wholesaler since PBS Holding’s spending spree several years ago when it bought regional wholesalers Kanzenel & Beisenherz, R&S, Hermann & Meyding and Alka and then last, in 2008, Schreyer.

Now is clearly the time to change that again, with several industry peers agreeing that the need for consolidation in Germany, particularly in the wholesale sector, is ever increasing.

One of them is Thomas Apelrath, Managing Director of fellow wholesaler and major competitor ADVEO. He said: “I believe this is just the beginning of wholesale consolidation in Germany. It will be interesting to see the effect this consolidation will have on purchasing groups like InterES of which Kugelmann is a member. It’s high time the wholesale scene in Germany was newly defined. And if consolidation results in stronger players in the market, everybody will benefit.”

quelle: opi/heike dieckmann