Ciesco Group expands into the dynamic German market – Zoja Paskaljevic heads the new Düsseldorf office.
27 February 2018

Ciesco Group expands into the dynamic German market – Zoja Paskaljevic heads the new Düsseldorf office.

London, UK & Düsseldorf, Germany 27th February

Ciesco Group, a leading independent M&A specialist advisory firm focusing on the digital, media, marketing & technology sectors, has announced the latest step in its expansion strategy with the opening of an office in Germany. The new office, located in Düsseldorf, will enable Ciesco to service the expanding pool of entrepreneurs, corporates and investors focused on high growth opportunities in Germany, Europe’s biggest economic market and fourth largest economy globally, as well as work with the increasing number of investors and businesses from across the globe that see an exciting future for this dynamic European market hub.

Founded in 2011, Ciesco provides M&A, fundraising and other strategic advice to entrepreneurs, fast-growth independent businesses, global corporates and investors, with a focus on the digital, media, marketing & technology sectors. The new German office will be headed up by Ciesco’s newest Partner, Zoja Paskaljevic – with over 30 years of experience in the media and marketing services sector, Zoja has held numerous senior level positions in the industry, his most recent role being Group CEO of Dentsu Aegis Group in Germany.

Zoja Paskaljevic commented:

“The senior team at Ciesco uniquely combines former C-suite executives from within the industry with sector-specialist investment bankers.  Based on our extensive industry knowledge and deep understanding of the sector, combined with solid execution experience, we are ideally placed to serve as a long-term partner to ambitious high growth companies in the German and broader European marketplace.”

Chris Sahota, Chief Executive, added: “The opening of our new German office is in response to the increasing M&A activity we witnessed in the past years in Germany and a growing need for highly-specialised advisory services in this market. This will bring us closer to a wide range of German companies and extend our reach so that we can deliver creative, independent, and high-quality advice tailored to our clients’ needs.”

Sahota continued: ‘’Whilst recent growth across several years in Germany has been very evident, the pace picked up in 2017 and we saw a steep acceleration and growth of 66%. There was almost an even split between domestic and cross-border transactions, with the domestic deals accounting for 46% of all deals in the country. The US and the UK buyers accounted for the largest number of acquisitions in Germany.

Two things are undeniable about the evolving buyer landscape and the types of businesses and skills sets we are seeing being acquired. Firstly, the speed and the continued rate of change is phenomenal; secondly, the impact and use of technology has re-shaped the rules of the game. The once dominating large network holdings are now being forced to compete with a whole spectrum of buyers from a wide variety of industries, such as consultancies, new tech entrants and new emerging buyers (bespoke funds, Asia-based companies, telecoms/IT services).

One of the signature deals in Germany last year was Accenture’s acquisition of SinnerSchrader, a Hamburg-based, 500–employee-strong digital design agency. With disclosed deal value of over €100 million, this was one of the most significant deals both in terms of size and implications for the sectors. The acquisition increases Accenture’s presence, expertise and capabilities in the space and moves to expand Accenture Interactive across Germany.

Matthias Schrader, CEO of SinnerSchrader was one of the Guest Speakers at Ciesco’s Global M&A Review events in the beginning of 2018 (find out more about Ciesco’s 2018 Global M&A Review events).

Given the continued strong interest in the German market from a number of strategic buyers, we expect a high level of activity throughout 2018. We look forward to working with the amazing entrepreneurs and founders within this very dynamic market.”