Berlin - SMP has advised the provider of Identity Verification-as-a-service-solutions IDnow GmbH on the acquisition of the business operations of Wirecard Communication Services GmbH. In the course of the insolvency of the group's parent company (Wirecard AG) and other group companies, the consulting and information services provider experienced financial difficulties and has been acquired by IDnow by way of an asset sale out of insolvency. Prior to the acquisition, IDnow and Wirecard Communication Services had already been cooperating for a number of years. The acquisition by the Munich-based FinTech is aimed at expanding its products and improving its service quality to meet the rise in demand for digital identification processes caused by the Covid19 pandemic. The office in Leipzig and the vast majority of jobs are to be retained. Comprehensive legal and tax advice was provided to IDnow by an SMP team led by (distressed) M&A/VC expert Benjamin Ullrich and restructuring and distressed M&A expert Matthias Kresser. SMP had already advised FinTech in the financing round with the private equity investor Corsair Capital in November 2019.
"Strategic M&A transactions play an increasing role in the growth strategy of young companies; an acquisition out of insolvency offers not only opportunities for the buyer, but also a sustainable perspective for the staff retained", Benjamin Ullrich explains. "An acquisition out of or in the onset of insolvency gives rise to a variety of specific questions for growth companies, which require a combination of VC/M&A knowledge on the one hand and restructuring experience, judgement and pragmatism on the other", Matthias Kresser adds.
IDnow is a Munich-based company specializing in Identity Verification-as-a-Service (IVaaS). Founded in 2014 by Felix Haas, Armin Bauer, Sebastian Bärhold and Dennis von Ferenczy, it offers companies the possibility of digital identity verification. IDnow technology uses artificial intelligence to ensure that all security features are present on an ID document and can therefore reliably recognize forged documents.
SMP is a boutique law firm for tax and business law which is active in the core fields of Tax, Funds, Corporate, Litigation and Transactions. The attorneys and tax specialists at SMP represent a broad client base, which ranges from emerging technology companies and family-run SMEs to large corporations as well as private equity and venture capital funds. Founded in 2017, SMP has become one of the leading players for venture capital, private equity and fund structuring in Germany. The firm and its partners have been recognized nationally and internationally by JUVE, Best Lawyers, Legal 500, Focus and Chambers and Partners. Today, SMP has more than 50 experienced lawyers and tax specialists in three Offices in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne.
Advisor IDnow: Inhouse
Melanie Jungbluth, General Counsel
Advisors IDnow (Restructuring/ Distressed M&A): SMP
Dr. Benjamin Ullrich (Lead), Partner
Dr. Malte Bergmann, Partner
Matthias Enge, Associated Partner
Ann-Kristin Lochmann, Senior Associate
Matthias Kresser (Lead), Senior Associate
Advisors IDnow (Labour Law): PWWL
Thomas Wahlig, Partner
Dr. Eva Trost, Counsel
Insolvency administrator Wirecard Communication Services: Tiefenbacher
Dr. Nils Freudenberg, Partner