q.beyond sells colocation subsidiary IP Exchange for € 44 million

  • Full takeover marks successful completion of sales process for all colocation activities
  • Further raising of EBITDA and free cash flow forecast
  • Transaction boosts M&A potential

Cologne, 17 September 2021 – q.beyond AG is selling IP Exchange GmbH, its wholly-owned subsidiary, for around € 44 million (enterprise value) to NorthC Group Deutschland GmbH, a company of the Dutch data centre operator NorthC Group. By making this acquisition, NorthC Group is expanding into the German market. q.beyond is in turn definitively exiting its colocation business in Munich and Nuremberg. IP Colocation GmbH was successfully sold at the end of July 2021 already.

Colocation, an investment-intensive business, has not formed part of q.beyond’s strategic focus for some time now. In view of this, the company has been compiling and reviewing various options for this field since spring 2021. Jürgen Hermann, q.beyond’s CEO, explains the decision now taken: “This sale represents the ideal solution for all involved.” q.beyond can focus entirely on its core business of Cloud, SAP and IoT while, together with NorthC Group, the team at IP Exchange can make optimal use of its strengths in the colocation market. Adds Hermann: “This successful sale will enable us to reduce complexity, widen our scope for action and hone our positioning.” The data centres at the Hamburg location, where q.beyond pools its business with managed services and provides private cloud solutions to its SME customers, will remain part of the core business.

Free cash flow of at least € 33 million expected for 2021

Having successfully sold its colocation business, which generated quarterly revenues of around € 5 million, q.beyond has updated its full-year forecast for the 2021 financial year. Based on figures adjusted to account for the transaction, the company now expects revenues of between € 155 million and € 165 million (previously: between € 160 million and € 170 million). Following an initial assessment of the deconsolidation effects, it now expects to achieve EBITDA of at least € 27 million in the 2021 financial year (previously: between € 8 million and € 13 million). Taking due account of transaction costs and taxes, the company is also raising its free cash flow forecast for the 2021 financial year, as already after the IP Colocation sale, in this case to at least € 33 million (previously: between € -2 million and € +3 million).

Post colocation sale, 2022 revenue target now at € 180 million

The sale of the entire colocation business, which generated annual revenues of around € 20 million, will inevitably impact on the 2022 revenue target communicated within the “2020plus” growth strategy. q.beyond now intends to generate revenues of € 180 million in the coming year and, on this basis, still plans to achieve an EBITDA margin of more than 10% and a sustainably positive free cash flow. Stresses CEO Jürgen Hermann: “Our targets are just as ambitious as before. I also expect we can offset the impact of this transaction by making strategically suitable acquisitions.”

The high inflow of funds will enable q.beyond to step up its M&A activities. In the months ahead, q.beyond chiefly aims to acquire suitable technology companies with annual revenues of up to € 30 million and sustainably profitable business models.

Growth set to accelerate in 2022

The colocation sale now executed marks a further milestone in q.beyond’s implementation of its “2020plus” growth strategy. One major component of this strategy involves targeted acquisitions, with which the company is sharpening its sector focus, extending its product portfolio and supplementing its existing technological expertise. It most recently took over the modern workplace specialist datac in June 2021 and, just a few weeks later, acquired a stake in Snabble, a pioneer of innovative scan-&-go solutions for retailers. Pointing to the success already achieved with the “2020plus” growth strategy, Jürgen Hermann drew a positive balance: “q.beyond has the necessary expertise, a highly motivated team and the financial strength needed to accelerate its profitable growth in the year ahead.”

About q.beyond AG

q.beyond AG is the key to successful digitalisation. We help our customers find the best digital solutions for their business and then put them into practice. Our strong team of 1,000 people accompanies SME customers securely and reliably throughout their digital journey. We are experts in Cloud, SAP and IoT.

q.beyond AG resulted from the rebranding of QSC AG in September 2020. With nationwide locations and its own certified data centres, it is one of Germany’s leading IT service providers.

q.beyond AG
Jan Erlinghagen
Corporate Communications
Mathias-Brüggen-Str. 55
50829 Cologne
T +49 221 669-8119

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Jan Erlinghagen
Jan Erlinghagen
Corporate Communications
T +49 221 669-8000