April 6, 2021

Milbank Advises ECM on Acquisition of Majority Stake in ACADEMY Group


Milbank advised German Equity Partners V GmbH & Co. KG (“GEP V”), a private equity fund managed by ECM Equity Capital Management GmbH (“ECM”), on its acquisition of a majority stake in Ludwigsburg-based ACADEMY group, the leading provider of invoicing, factoring, driving instructor training and franchise services in the German driving school market. GEP V acquired the shares from a long-standing private investor.

As a leading specialist in invoicing services and factoring for driving schools with an annual factoring volume of approximately €170 million, DATAPART forms the core of the ACADEMY group. Around this offering, ACADEMY group has established a number of other services along the value chain of driving schools. The subsidiary DVPI operates facilities for driving instructor training in Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg. In addition, the ACADEMY group operates the largest franchise system for driving schools in Germany at more than 300 locations.

ECM is an independent, growth-oriented investment company based in Frankfurt am Main. The company acts as a manager and consultant for the equity fund German Equity Partners I-V and focuses on the acquisition of established medium-sized companies in the DACH region. ECM is currently investing €325 million from its fifth fund GEP V with external capital commitments.

A Milbank team, which comprehensively advised ECM on corporate, tax and financing aspects of the transaction, was led by partner Michael Bernhardt (Corporate/M&A, Frankfurt) and included partner Matthias Schell (Tax, Munich) as well as associates Sebastian Dexheimer, Sarah-Maria Resch, Andreas Rief (all Corporate/M&A, Frankfurt); Odilo Wallner, Thomas Möller (both Finance, Frankfurt); Moritz Philipp and Arne Hammerich (both Tax, Munich).