The shareholders of the voice control specialist SemVox have sold their majority stake to the listed automotive supplier paragon. paragon has acquired 82 percent of the shares for 16.4 million Euro and has entered into an option agreement for the remainder of the shares, which the founders will continue to hold for the coming years.
SemVox develops efficient and secure technologies and solutions for voice control, diverse human-machine interaction as well as pro-active assistance systems based on artificial intelligence. The company employs more than 60 people and expects sales in the mid-single-digit million range for the 2018 financial year. The company was founded ten years ago as a spin-off of the DFKI (German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence) and is already profitable. In 2017, the company won the Car HMI Special Jury Award. Numerous vehicle types are already equipped with SemVox technology and the total number of vehicles is expected to rise to more than 13 million over the next five years.
The sellers are the four founders of SemVox GmbH and four financial investors, including the DFKI GmbH, Saarbrücken, and the M. Ladendorf Beteiligung GmbH, Trier. The four founders will continue to hold shares in the company for at least three years and will assume management and executive functions. The transaction is expected to be completed by the beginning of October 2018.
Paragon GmbH & Co. KGaA, which is listed in the regulated market (Prime Standard) of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, develops, produces and distributes forward-looking solutions in the field of automotive electronics, body kinematics and e-mobility. With the acquisition of SemVox, paragon creates a new business division for digital assistance systems. Together, paragon and SemVox intend to significantly expand the range of integrated solutions with paragon developing more and more into a full-range supplier for automotive OEM’s.
Dr. Carsten Lehmann, Nils Keller and Atanas Petkov of IMAP exclusively advised the sellers in all phases of the investor process and helped to successfully complete the transaction within a few months.
Last weekend, IMAP colleagues from all over the world were due to congregate in Denver, Colorado, for a conference planned for many months, where deals, learning, and friendships would be developed and shaped. Even a month ago when the difficult decision was made to cancel the event, none of us could have foreseen the speed and scale of events that have occurred since.
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