After successfully building Deutsche Messe Interactive, Catagonia sells its share to Deutsche Messe AG

sg-logoCatagonia Capital GmbH sold its shares of Deutsche Messe Interactive (DMI) to Deutsche Messe AG. Catagonia, the Berlin-based Consulting and Investment Company was significantly involved in establishing DMI and now withdraws from DMI as planned at the onset of the joint venture. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Since its foundation in late 2009, DMI has established itself as a major player in the field of B2B lead generation, as well as in supplying trade show services. DMI has generated many thousands of highly-qualified leads for blue chip companies such as Google, IBM, Cisco and Citrix and is responsible for the online exhibitor and product directory of trade shows such as HANNOVER MESSE, CeBIT, LIGNA, DOMOTEX and BIOTECHNICA.

Co-founder and Investor Catagonia was instrumental in planning and establishing the company: Catagonia´s consulting division developed the business strategy, selected the initial management team and was in charge of designing the employee stock ownership plan and implementing the corporate governance. Dr. Ralph Eric Kunz, founder and partner of Catagonia, is chairman of DMI´s advisory board. In 2013 he also served as DMI´s interims-CEO.

Dr. Wolfram von Fritsch, chairman of Deutsche Messe AG´s management board: “With the support of Catagonia and Dr. Kunz, we successfully managed to enter the B2B lead generation market. Within a few years, DMI has established itself as a major player, whose innovative product portfolio provides us with access to new customer groups. Our Joint Venture with Catagonia, which was designed to be of temporary nature from the onset, now comes to an end in accordance with the terms agreed initially. Catagonia receives its share of the created company value as purchase price. Deutsche Messe AG will now manage the company by itself and is able to optimize synergies with other company units even further”.

Dr. Kunz further states: “I am proud to have built a company in close cooperation with Deutsche Messe that has already brought significant innovation to the market of B2B lead management. This creates the foundation for Deutsche Messe’s strong and sustainable market position in the field of digital lead generation”.

Eric Berger, who had been heading DMI since November 2013, added: “We will expand the strong market position of DMI even further and thus continue to play a significant role in the market for B2B lead generation. Deutsche Messe’s 100% ownership of DMI also illustrates the sustainable and strategic integration of digital businesses into its value chain, which in its intensity is unique among German trade show companies”.

The transaction is effective immediately.

“Expanding Entrepreneurship: Capitalizing on German-American Synergy” @ ESMT Berlin

sg-logoLast Monday, the John F. Kennedy Atlantic Forum invited entrepreneurs as well as political and business leaders from the U.S. and Germany to a panel discussion and a networking event with the aim to promote transatlantic ties. After introductory remarks by Senator Cornelia Yzer (Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research), Amb. John Kornblum (Chairman, The JFK Atlantic Forum) and Prof. Jorg Rocholl (President and EY Chair in Governance and Compliance, ESMT), the U.S. Amabassador to Germany, John B. Emerson, gave a keynote speech. The subsequent panel discussion was concerned with the question, in what ways the entrepreneurial communities in both countries can benefit from stronger transatlantic links.

Catagonia was sponsor of the event – in line with companies and organizations, such as KPMG, UPS, NOERR, Bohnen Kallmorgen & Partner, Handelsblatt and the American Council on Germany.



Eric Berger leads Deutsche Messe Interactive

The German Messe Interactive GmbH in Hanover gets a prominent new Chief Executive: The new CEO as of November 1st is Eric Berger, 45 (photo). The personnel decision has been made by the two shareholders, the German Messe AG and Catagonia Capital GmbH. Berger succeeds Dr. Ralph Eric Kunz, who has held this position since late last year on an interim basis. Dr.Kunz, who is the Managing Director of Catagonia Capital GmbH, remains Chairman DMI´s advisory board.

After his university education in business administration, Berger joined freenet AG as a software developer and consultant. During the 11 years he spent with freenet AG, he held several positions, among them Director of online services and online sales, marketing and mobile internet.

He resigned from freenet´s Board of Directors on September 30th 2009.