In issue 01/18, private wealth reported on the investment idea of "search funds". In this model, outstanding university graduates try to find an established medium-sized company with a succession problem that they can buy - in order to continue running it themselves. Investors support this process, securing a stake in interesting companies if the search is successful.
The only reason this brilliant idea hasn't really taken off so far is because there's been a lack of graduates with guts. Now two searchers - Alexander Hansen and Christopher King - are giving it a go. "To be entrepreneurial.To be able to do what we are convinced of without rigid structures and to take responsibility for it - that's how we imagine the future." SMEs are therefore something of a natural target, he says: "The long-term orientation, the special bond with the employees, the deep roots in the community - all that has always excited us."
There are more than enough potential target companies in Germany. According to a study by KfW, 62 percent of owners in the SME sector are older than 50. "We offer everyone who doesn't have children of their own a second-best option for passing on their business because we take a similar approach to a successor within the family. We want to continue the life's work for the long term and according to the founder's principles. We offer a fair price. And we are very flexible. The entrepreneur can leave.Or work with us even longer. We would actually be very happy about that," Hansen and King list the advantages of their model.
The conditions for them to succeed with it are good. The two have digital know-how. They have complementary skills - Hansen brings expertise in finance and accounting, King has gained operational experience in an international corporate environment. And they have been able to attract the "who's who" of the European search funds scene as investors and advisory board members. Now all that is missing is the right company.
Since 2010, private wealth has been watching Harpreet Singh, founder of the biotech company Immatics, pursue his goal of beating cancer. The method: he looks for structures on the surface of cancer cells by which the body's own immune cells recognize it, so that they can then fight it.
After a few setbacks, Singh now seems to be back on track. In the summer of 2020, the company went public via a SPAC.With more than 250 million dollars in cash, Immatics now has enough capital to push ahead with its developments.
And they look promising. In February 2021, the company published very good clinical data. It seems Singh can now more accurately distinguish tumor tissue from normal tissue. If most T cells then actually turn against tumors, that would be a breakthrough. Investors should not lose sight of the stock.