Good afternoon, Mr. Weidlich, congratulations again on the successful sale to Valley IT Group. How did the first 18 months after the transaction go? To what extent has the post-merger integration had an impact on PKN?

Thank you very much! As you can imagine, the workload does not go to zero even after a transaction of this type. Immediately after the transaction was completed, operational matters had to be clarified and adapted to the new structure. However, the integration into the Valley IT Group went smoothly, and it is difficult to believe that so much time has passed in the meantime. The consolidation of the financial statements, especially due to the different business financial years of the units involved, took a few months, but in the end an efficient way was found for the group. As so often in life, it is all about overcoming challenges together and finding good solutions for everyone involved.

In the new company structure, you have decided to continue to take an active role in the company. What was the background to this?

That is right! Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs forget to take this step and address the issue of succession early enough. It was always very important to me to hand over the company that I had built up over 25 years into safe hands. To guarantee exactly that, I decided to remain available to the company as a consultant after the transaction.
For me it was very positive that the buyers of PKN are very loyal and have always kept their word. Moreover, I was treated properly and can now proudly say that the overall result is more than satisfying for all parties involved.
One major advantage was that the new PKN management was young, dynamic, and familiar with PKN’s business processes, which meant that it still had good development potential. This has provided the right impact and enabled seamless business development. I was also always there as an advisor to support the new Managing Directors.

Since its foundation in 1995, PKN has written a continuous growth story. What was the initial idea behind its formation, and how were you able to implement it optimally?

Shortly after completing my degree in information technology in the GDR, the Berlin Wall fell. After a short period of orientation in a new world for me, I decided to start working for a West Berlin installation company. To my astonishment, the qualifications I had gained in the GDR were sufficient for me to be able to carry out this function as a technical manager and with all the necessary register entries. In this job, I learned many new practical things and, above all, economic relationships. I learned what taxes are, how to use investments correctly or incorrectly and that you must always be at the forefront of technology in order to be successful. After three years of good cooperation in this company, differences arose in the company management, which resulted in the loss of my job. I had now experienced the last building block of the social market economy for myself. From this new situation, I summoned up all my courage and founded my first company, PKN. I wanted to show that it is possible to be successful without significant capital but with a good education, smart investments, and innovative products. By using the latest technologies in the field of fiber optics, the first successes came quickly. Everything else was hard work and solid business management. But you can only become truly successful with great employees, fun at work and always a smile.
I believe that entrepreneurs often make mistakes when they are doing well, not when they are performing badly. Personally, I strived to avoid this mistake and always tried to meet the demands of the times in terms of the technologies needed. Therefore, I continuously invested in new technologies.

PKN has developed into an established player in the Berlin metropolitan area. How were you able to take advantage of this positioning during the M&A process?

As we were a healthy and growing company, I did not have to sell my company and was able to go through the process carefully and without any pressure. At the same time, I always took enough time to think about the right timing to sell.
My conviction is based on the principle that it is always helpful to take an extra day before making important decisions.
The client base of PKN is made up of public institutions, among others, a connection that results from the geographical proximity to Berlin. Such long-term customer relationships are of course extremely supporting to ensure the sustainability of business. After all, the focus is ultimately on the project business, and such consistency is essential.

Why did you choose ox8 Corporate Finance as your M&A / Corporate Finance advisor? How do you evaluate the cooperation?

When selecting M&A advisors, it is important to gain trust in the individuals responsible and to obtain expertise and references. These points were very important to me as I had already made a bad experience with another M&A advisory.

The reasons why I chose ox8 Corporate Finance are that, firstly, I had a recommendation from an M&A lawyer and, secondly, ox8 had taken a lot of direct initiative. I quickly realized that the ox8 team has a high level of expertise and held sovereignty over the entire process. This quickly gave me a feeling of trust, which was the basis for all discussions in the course of the cooperation. Furthermore, I can highly praise the personal commitment of the consultants. ox8 did an impressive job, polished the raw diamond and was always there for me during the process.

M&A processes are usually very intensive phases in a founder’s entrepreneurial career. How did you experience the process?

The consulting of ox8 made me realize that not only do many different parties have to be involved in the process and that not everything can be done at one table, but that you can significantly reduce the burden with the support of competent consultants – after all, you still have to run your company full-time. The time required to exchange ideas with interested parties was enormous, and the task of bringing the financial and operational figures together was also highly demanding.

Without a good management, the process can be very demanding and, in my opinion, can hardly be carried out properly. Therefore, I am very happy that ox8 stood by my side and immediately understood the information I provided and they used it efficiently.

What plans do you and your new partner have for the future?

What I can say very clearly is that I do not want to retire completely. Going on vacation every now and then is nice, but having a small task in life is not bad. Everyone likes the feeling of being needed. I do not want to overload myself with work in the future but I will continue to be active in the business because I simply really enjoy it. Accordingly, I still have enough tasks that I can organize freely. In my opinion, you have to stay mentally fit and not switch off completely.

Thank you very much, Mr. Weidlich. We wish you continued success!
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We, the ox8 Corporate Finance GmbH (Registered business address: Germany), would like to process personal information with external services. This is not necessary for the use of the website, but allows us to interact even more closely with them. If desired, please make a choice: