Co Investor Team

About Us

Entrepreneurial. Passionate. Exclusive. These are the qualities that can be used to describe the community of successful entrepreneurs and private individuals who have joined together under the umbrella of the Co-Investor Group.
The shareholders’ shared objective is to invest their own private funds directly as equity in medium-sized companies. Selected investors from the Co-Investor network are invited to co-invest
and to oversee the growth of a mandate actively or passively as part of a private placement. It is the passion for entrepreneurial activity, in particular, that unites all co-investors in this respect. Co-Investor therefore sees itself as an expert contact in all matters pertaining to our central topics of entrepreneurship, growth and finance – always on an equal footing with the target companies and the people acting on their behalf.

Who we are

The Co-Investor Group consists of Co-Investor AG, Zurich, and its three wholly owned subsidiaries, Co-Investor Deutschland GmbH, EVP Capital Management AG and Co-Investor Financial Services GmbH. While we look after our investor network in the Swiss holding company, the German subsidiaries, at their head office in Frankfurt am Main, structure and manage exclusive direct investments in selected growth companies and are also responsible for acquiring and looking after investors.
Co Investor Hochhaus
Co-Investor AG
Switzerland
Co-Investor
Deutschland
GmbH
EVP Capital
Management AG
Co-Investor
Financial Services
GmbH

Co-Investor AG Switzerland

Co-Investor AG, founded in the year 2000 and headquartered in Zurich in Switzerland, is the historically developed starting point for the Co-Investor Group and mainly acts as a holding company in the current structure. At the same time, this is the convergence point when it comes to coordinating our network of international investors and wealthy private individuals and maintaining the various contacts. The special feature of the Co-Investor investments is that between 10 and 30 percent of the total amount for each investment is contributed from Co-Investor AG’s shareholder group. This provides clear proof of our high standards for selecting investment companies. Ultimately, we not only broker investments into our network, but also always participate with our own money. Many of our investor contacts thus stem from long-term relationships of trust – be they of a purely business nature or, in particular, based on friendship. The concept of joint entrepreneurial activity unites us all, whether shareholders of Co-Investor AG or investors from the network. Co-Investor AG in Zurich enables us to pool contacts, including those to our numerous Swiss investors and shareholders, and to ensure the best possible links and a lively exchange within our network.

Executive Board

Thilo von Selchow (Chairman)
Management functions with numerous companies, former CEO and main shareholder of the chip designer ZMDI, Dresden

Markus Beck
Founding member and managing director of Independent Financial Services AG
Dr. Dahai Yu
Former member of the Management Board at Evonik Industries, industrial expert for a large international PE fund

Hans-Ewald Reinert
Sole shareholder and managing director of Reinert Wurstfabrik
Dr. Thomas Hoch
Former managing partner of Co-Investor, former CEO of EVP Capital Management AG and co-founder of equinet Bank AG, in the investment business since 1998

Frank Niedecker
Sole owner of poly-clip System, ProcessPack, Quota

Co-Investor Deutschland GmbH

Co-Investor Deutschland GmbH was founded as a wholly owned subsidiary of Co-Investor AG in 2011. Together with EVP Capital Management AG, it manages the Group’s sales activities and administers the investment portfolio from its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main. In addition, its employees assess and select suitable investments, make a targeted approach to investors from the network and carry out regular reporting with regard to the development of the respective investments.
Managing Director
  • Nicolai von Engelhardt
  • André Schouten

EVP Capital Management AG

EVP Capital Management AG is a private equity company founded in 1998, which, as a subsidiary of Co-Investor AG, has been investing in medium-sized technology companies in the growth phase since 2008. This has enabled the EVP team to build up extensive transaction experience, ranging from entering into investments to disposing of them. Through the six funds with a volume of around EUR 100 million that have been launched to date and together with associated private investors, investments have been made in fast-growing technology companies in the German-speaking region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), to which not only capital, but also valuable business support has been provided, but whose entrepreneurial autonomy has always been preserved. EVP Capital Management AG was formed from the management buy-out, in 2008, of equinet Venture Partners AG, the venture capital arm of the Frankfurt investment bank equinet AG. With its Management Board members and employees, the company has well-founded entrepreneurial, financial and consultancy expertise as well as extensive knowledge and experience in structuring portfolios. EVP Capital Management AG has overseen four initial public offerings from the investment portfolio as well as numerous trade sales and provides access to institutional investors and intermediaries.
Executive Board
  • Dr. Farsin Yadegardjam
  • Moritz Ohlenschlager
Board of Directors
  • Nicolai von Engelhardt (Vorsitzender)
  • André Schouten
  • Moritz Ohlenschlager

Co-Investor Financial Services GmbH

Co-Investor Financial Services GmbH, founded in February 2016, undertakes, as a wholly owned subsidiary of Co-Investor AG, the negotiation of bonds, qualified subordinated loans, investments in stock companies and other financial instruments between capital providers as well as between capital providers and capital-seeking companies in the non-listed area. Co-Investor Financial Services GmbH performs the above activities relating to the placement and negotiation of financial instruments in accordance with section 1 of the Kreditwesengesetz (Banking Act - KWG) solely as a contractually bound broker under the liability umbrella of the securities trading company Capital Management GmbH, Dreieich.
Managing Director
  • Nicolai von Engelhardt
History

History

2000
Founding of Co-Investor AG, Switzerland as an investment platform for direct business investments
2008
Acquisition of EVP Capital Management AG and broadening of the expertise to fund investments and structured portfolios.
2011
Founding of Co-Investor Deutschland GmbH as an operational handling platform (BaFin-registered since July 2014)
2016
Founding of Co-Investor Financial Services GmbH to undertake financial service transactions in accordance with section 1 of KWG under an external liability umbrella
Philosophy

Philosophy

Co-Investor arranges and structures exclusive direct investments in medium-sized companies in German-speaking countries. When working together both with a company’s owners, entrepreneur and management personnel and within our network, we attach the utmost importance to mutual trust, the basis of shared success.

As a team, we bear the business risk with you, because we offer companies exclusively private funds as equity for financing purposes. Over and above that, we and our co-investors generally seek qualified minority interests as, in our view, it is the entrepreneur himself or herself that is, ultimately, the greatest capital of a company, because he or she knows his or her own company inside out.
Business model

Business modell

Co-Investor is an exclusive investment platform, established by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs who want to invest equity in medium-sized businesses in German-speaking countries.

The management and shareholders of Co-Investor make the investment decision, leading the way with private funds (10-30%) in any direct investment.

The investments are then offered, in a second step, to an exclusive group of successful entrepreneurs and top managers (co-investors) in the form of private placements (70-90%).

In the Co-Investor Group, we combine various investment styles, which differ in terms of target companies, in particular, but also in the manner in which an investment is entered into.

The classic Co-Investor business model forms the core: qualified minority interests in medium-sized businesses in German-speaking countries via special-purpose, separate holding companies. For us, these investments are our company’s historically developed leitmotif.

The Co-Investor Group broadened this classic model by acquiring EVP Capital Management AG in 2008. The fund specialists not only changed the nature of possible investments, but also extended the target companies to occasional “early-stage” finance projects for the first time. In the meantime, such investments are also being offered to investors from the Co-Investor network under “special opportunities”.

Co-Investor...

  • identifies medium-sized businesses in German-speaking countries
  • assesses investments
  • generally takes qualified minority interests
  • organizes the entire investment process
  • works closely together with experienced industry specialists
  • arranges equity investments in the form of private placements for selected investors and shareholders
  • defines the exit strategy together with the entrepreneur at the very beginning
  • generally structures each direct investment via a separate, preferably tax-transparent GmbH & Co. KG (“SPV” = special purpose vehicle)
  • carries out the operational and legal handling of the investment process for the investors
  • oversees mandates and reports to investors on a half-yearly basis
  • assists target companies with development and growth steps
  • provides the entrepreneur with network contacts who have experienced all the challenges posed by entrepreneurship
  • organizes the process of selling the portfolio companies
Investment criteria

Investment criteria

Co-Investor selects suitable investment companies based on a clearly defined set of criteria. Only if these basic requirements have been met does the team start the process of thorough due diligence on the candidate:

  • Medium-sized companies in German-speaking countries
  • Qualified and convincing founders and entrepreneurs
  • Clearly definable growth and upside potential
  • Comprehensible, resilient business model
  • Portfolio focus to date: food & beverage, healthcare & life science and IT & technologies, but other industries are also of interest
  • Minimum requirements: positive cash flow and revenues in the mid-seven-figure range
  • Investment volume: EUR 5-25 million
Requirements on target companies

Requirements on target companies

Each investment must successfully pass through a number of knock-out criteria, the most important of which are outlined below.

Company and market

  • Is there a sound business and revenue model that enables recurrent sales revenue and an exceptional operating return?
  • Is the market that the company addresses growing strongly and not too small?
  • Does the company have a positive cash flow or is it about to have one and has the revenue threshold of EUR 5 million been exceeded?

Competitive advantage

  • Is the company able to build a lasting competitive advantage?
  • Are the corporate strategy and its operational implementation convincing?
  • Does the company have patents, or has it filed patent applications, in respect of the relevant technology?
  • Does the company have partnership agreements with renowned industrial companies in respect of development and sales?

Team

  • Is there an experienced and highly motivated management team that is connected to important players in the respective industry?
  • Are the team members also prepared to take a personal risk?
  • Are the team members’ skill profiles complementary?
  • Have the individual team members proved in the past that they can successfully perform the task set?

Return for the investor

  • Is an appropriate return possible for our investors?
  • Is it possible for EVP Capital Management to exit in the medium term?
  • Collaboration
  • Is the personal "chemistry" between the acting persons right?
  • Are both sides pursuing the same objectives and can they be fulfilled in concert?
Investment process

Investment process

Professional structures and clear processes ensure that Co-Investor has the highest levels of transparency and trust.

Selection

  • Identification and selection of exclusive investment opportunities from the deal flow specific to Co-Investor
  • Initial assessment on an in-house basis and by consulting industry experts from the network
  • Definition of the framework conditions of the planned transaction through to agreement of the exit strategy with the entrepreneur

Investment

  • Implementation of the investments in the form of private placements
  • Structuring of the investment via asset-managing holding companies
  • Due diligence coordination
  • Ensuring that regulatory requirements are met

Support

  • Assisting the investment companies with development and growth with a view to sustained increase in value
  • Industry-specific expertise and contacts from the network
  • Representation of shareholder interests in executive bodies
  • Provision, where required, of office holders for Supervisory Board, Advisory Board etc. through network
  • Half-yearly reporting to the investors

Exit

  • Early identification of suitable buyers
  • Structured sales process in consultation with the entrepreneur
  • Identifying suitable exit times
Investment structure

Investment structure

In every investment to which investors are exclusively invited, Co-Investor shareholders themselves invest their own capital, i.e. between a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 30 percent of the entire volume in each case. This ensures that the co-investors also always have an opportunity of involvement in the selected and exclusively offered direct investments.

As a rule, about 10 to 15 financially strong individuals invest in a single investment asset of Co-Investor. Investments are generally made via German holding companies in the legal form of a GmbH & Co. KG ("SPV") that take a qualified minority interest in the target company in most cases.




A strong network with expertise and personal commitment

What we want

We want our portfolio companies to grow – that is the shared objective of the entrepreneurs in whom we invest and the co-investors. To achieve this, we need to take many steps together, with our sights always set firmly on the desired level of success. Co-Investor enables wealthy private investors to meet successful companies, with each investor being free to choose whether he or she “only” lets his or her money work for him or her or whether he or she also contributes his or her business expertise and actively assists the portfolio company with its future growth. Together with the entrepreneur, we and our co-investors bear the risk involved in the company’s further growth in order to realize new ideas for further development. For this reason, we make a very careful selection and actively oversee every investment. Are you looking for like-minded partners, either to invest or because your company needs finance? Below, we have compiled some further information about our approach, both for interested investors and for capital-seeking entrepreneurs.

For entrepreneurs

Attractive financing model for companies

  • Capital injection in the form of equity (EUR 5-25 million)
  • Qualified minority interests as a rule
  • Investment time horizon of around 3-6 years in consultation with the entrepreneur/founder
  • Exclusive group of investors
  • Access to the network: expertise and office holders, where applicable
  • Close monitoring of the company
  • As a rule, only one contact person and only one new shareholder
  • Jointly defined exit perspective
mehr Informationen

For investors

Attractive investment opportunities in the form of private placements

  • Direct investments: no funds, no blind pool
  • Lasting increase in value through careful selection of the companies and active support
  • Freedom of choice on whether and how much to invest
  • Formation of investment companies with half-yearly reporting
  • Operating efficiency through complete coordination of the investments
mehr Informationen

For entrepreneurs

Businessman, entrepreneur, managing director, manager – there are many terms for describing an individual whose objective is to manage a company’s fate independently and on his or her own responsibility. Ever new tasks requiring flexibility and inventiveness as well as the power of persuasion arise in the process. We, the shareholders of Co-Investor and our co-investors, are familiar with the challenges that you face. We will therefore provide support in respect of strategic issues; after all, we ourselves have been entrepreneurs for many years. Furthermore, we will also make our extensive network available to you to facilitate access to know-how that delivers profits. Our passion is in actively overseeing the further growth of your company or in increasing its success. It is for this reason that we make our private funds and those of our co-investors available to you as equity in the context of a qualified minority interest. Shareholder loans or mezzanine finance are, however, also possible – we match this flexibly to your needs in each individual case. We are prepared to bear the business risk with you. Moreover, we define the possible exit strategy at the very beginning of our collaboration, which gives you the time and the opportunity to develop your company in line with the objectives set. Regard us therefore as temporary helpers who, together with you, would like to create added value for your company.
Concept
We at Co-Investor see ourselves as expert discussion partners in all matters pertaining to your company – after all, nothing is more important to us than finding exactly the right solution for your company’s further development together with you. As we ourselves are entrepreneurs, we work with you on an equal footing and arrive at the best possible result together with you. During our collaboration, we attach particular importance to you – it is your personality that turns a company into a success story. Our collaboration is informed by the view that the entrepreneur must have the scope to implement his or her vision in operational terms. We therefore prefer to take qualified minority interests of at least 25.1% and mostly pursue a time horizon of between three and six years.
Sufficient time to create solid, enduring growth. We are sparring partners for management. We have overseen the entrepreneur’s first-time experience on dozens of occasions. We contribute this experience via, say, a seat on the Advisory Board or Supervisory Board. We are convinced that we can increase our investors’ stake only if we make an active contribution to supporting the company. We subscribe to the philosophy that success for both parties is possible only if they have a cooperative and trusting relationship. That does not mean that there can be no serious clashes on key issues. It means only that, in the end, there must always be a solution for the company that has been worked out on the basis of better arguments, not as a result of the putative authority of money.
Your company
Mutual trust is a central element of your collaboration with Co-Investor. Only when all facts are on the table can we assess together what steps will have a significant influence on the future and growth of your company. We therefore have a number of basic requirements on entrepreneurs who wish to collaborate with us:

  • Medium-sized company in a German-speaking country
  • Strong entrepreneur with convincing and qualified management, who, where possible, has a stake in the company and is prepared to keep this in future
  • Understandable business model
  • Clearly identifiable growth and upside potential
  • Positive cash flow
  • Equity requirement of between EUR 5 million and 25 million

If these prerequisites have been met, we pool investors from our network, who usually invest directly in your company via a qualified minority interest of at least 25.1%. We, as shareholders of the Co-Investor Group, are likewise always included in this minority interest through investment of our own private funds. At the very beginning of the partnership, possible exit strategies are also defined together, and in close consultation, with you. This ensures that all framework conditions are defined from the very beginning of the collaboration, thereby providing a reliable and trusting basis for all parties involved.
Collaboration
As an equity financer and passionate entrepreneur, Co-Investor is, for example, able to assist you with the following entrepreneurial steps:

  • Internationalization and market development
  • Acquisitions
  • Change of owner structure such as successor arrangements or spin-offs of parts of the company
  • Links to an international network with extensive know-how
If you are in this situation or know an entrepreneur who requires capital to grow his or her company further, we will be pleased for you to contact us.

For investors

Co-Investor is commitment to medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurial thinking, a vital network of financially strong private investors and the close oversight of mandates – always on an equal footing with the entrepreneurs. We arrange investments in the context of private placements and invite you to invest directly in the exclusively selected target companies that are usually accessible only via Co-Investor. In the case of these direct investments, we usually take qualified minority interests and provide private funds as equity together with our co-investors from our network – completely without leveraging or financial engineering. Our stated aim is to support the company in its future growth! What deserves particular emphasis in our kind of joint investing is that anyone who becomes involved with us is free to choose whether to make an investment and how much to invest. This gives you more flexibility with your investments and enables you to influence the use of your private capital directly.
Commitment through conviction
Co-Investor demonstrates how much it believes personally in the success of these hand-picked companies through the commitment of its own shareholders: we shareholders invest our own capital in any investment to which investors are exclusively invited
– always a minimum of 10 percent and a maximum of 30 percent of the total volume. This enables us to ensure that our co-investors also always have an opportunity of involvement in the direct investments selected and exclusively offered by us.
Your company
Medium-sized businesses employ by far the most people in Europe. In German-speaking countries, they symbolize reliability, progress, quality, innovation and performance. The vast majority of companies in Germany, Switzerland and Austria belong in this segment. It is here that entrepreneurs with vision who seek innovative solutions and are hence the driving force behind the economy are found. Co-In¬ves¬tor enables wealthy private investors to meet these entrepreneurs, with each investor being free to choose whether he or she “only” lets his or her money work for him or her or whether he or she also contributes his or her business expertise and actively assists the portfolio company with its future growth. Together with the entrepreneur, we and our co-investors bear the risk involved in the company’s further growth in order to realize new ideas for further development. For this reason, we make a very careful selection and actively oversee every investment. As a rule, about 10 to 15 financially strong individuals invest in a single investment asset of Co-Investor.
Investments are generally made via holding companies (German GmbH & Co. KG), which take a qualified minority interest in the target company in most cases. Following consultation with the company and the entrepreneur, we welcome and encourage the investor group to become involved in the investment company at a personal level, bringing in private contacts, for example, to speed up growth. However, the Co-Investor network is also available to provide know-how and to establish contacts. Possible direct participation of our investors might look like this: co-investors take seats on the investment committee, the Supervisory Board and/or Advisory Boards. To facilitate the best possible growth, we can – naturally in consultation with the entrepreneur – involve individuals from the Co-Investor network in management positions in the company. The focus here is on active co-operation between all the parties involved and on the aim of operating on an equal footing with the entrepreneurs.
Network of investors
Co-Investor would like to cultivate and extend the exclusive network in which wealthy private individuals have joined together as solvent investors of their own funds.
As a rule, interesting individuals are introduced to this special group through connections to our co-investors. However, we will also be pleased to have you contact us directly.

Seeking partners

In the interests of continually expanding our network, we will be pleased to receive enquiries from interested equity providers with an entrepreneurial background as well as from capital-seeking medium-sized businesses looking for an expert investment partner in line with the motto: by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs
Handschlag
Offering selected private investors direct business investments is, to our way of thinking, an investment model that has great potential.