Corporate Finance

Corporate Finance

Due Diligence

Our forward-looking due diligences (“strategic DD”, “commercial DD” and “tech DD”) cover all 10 aspects of a target: market and competition, strategy, business model, team, products and services, marketing and sales, partnerships, technology, finance, and future planning, or merely selected areas of the above as the client's wish.

What our clients from the US, Asia, and Europe specifically appreciate when teaming up with Skillnet is the greater likeliness of positioning themselves as the preferred investor or buyer for a target. With our specific What’s Next DNA, we proactively produce highly valuable recommendations and solutions to the identified challenges of the target. The target sizes of our more than 400 DDs differ between very young, innovative, fast growing companies and established assets with revenues of more than USD 1 billion.

Case Studies


150 Due Diligences for British 3i group and counting

The British 3i Group engaged us between 1997 and 2015 to perform the first due diligence of an internet company. It would be the first of 150 more performed for the client. We typically worked closely with 3i when performing commercial, strategic and/or technical due diligences for its projects in the US, Europe and Asia. This close collaboration led to Skillnet being named an “Official Due Diligence Partner” of 3i and winning numerous other consulting and M&A projects in the 3i portfolio. It also reflects the typical Skillnet customer relationship, one that has spanned nearly two decades.


Franklin Templeton Goes East

One of the largest funds in the world, Franklin Templeton, manages about USD 700 billion in assets and therefore constantly seeks leveraged investments into a wide range of industries and regions. Skillnet supported it with due diligences for investment opportunities in Eastern Europe. Thanks to its long-term international TIMES experience, Skillnet empowered Franklin Templeton to decide on and secure beneficial investments.

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Corporate Finance

Private Placement

Are you looking for a sufficient growth investment? Then you’ve found the right place. Our specialty is developing value creating, above-peer-group equity stories and managing the entire capital acquisition process. After more than 100 capital raises, we have access to more than 1,000 US, Asian and European investors we know personally, covering the early stage, growth, midcap and large buyout assets classes. We don’t work for hyped companies we can’t believe in and wouldn’t invest our own money in. The exceptionally high closing rate of our transactions speaks for itself.

Case Studies


Growth Capital for davdian powered by Steamboat, the Corporate VC of Disney Corp.

Steamboat focuses on the media, kids and mothers segment, the “(HER) economy”, in the Chinese market. Our Chinese client,, is a mobile e-commerce services platform that helps social media users open their individual mobile shops within minutes. It was founded in October 2014. Users can easily sell products such as books and kid’s clothes via their own shop using a curated shopping approach. The company grew its monthly revenue by 10x in 12 months. We helped it raise around USD 20 million from Steamboat and Lightspeed Ventures. The company already reaches triple-digit-million revenue on a monthly basis.


Funding Wenba - an innovative K12 Education Platform using mobile OCR-Technology

The company was founded in Shanghai in 2013. Have problems solving your homework questions; take a photo of your mathematics, physics, English or Chinese homework and send it via your mobile to Wenba. Within five seconds, you’ll receive the answers or solutions to your homework back via mobile based on Wenba’s database. If you don’t understand it and need a teacher to explain the solution, Wenba will connect you to one online. We helped the company raise a combined USD 23 million in several rounds. Two years after foundation Wenba topped the 1.5 million daily active user mark.

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Corporate Finance

Buy Side

Besides identifying and profiling more than 1,000 companies each year for our corporate clients and PEs before a purchase, our key USP is negotiation management before the closing. After accessing the right targets, we’ve more often than not become a trusted partner in jointly developing win-win concepts, strategies and, if relevant, integration plans for involved parties based on the initial deal ratios. These are usually operationalized in joint business cases and become an integral part of the deal making and beyond. Transaction volumes on the buy side have run from USD 10 million up to USD 200 million.

Case Studies


DoubleClick expands in Europe

This Google subsidiary is the leading US provider of adtech. It engaged us to identify select European software companies that would round out its product and service range. This sort of interdisciplinary cross border project is right up our alley. We collaborated with four DoubleClick teams to identify several well-fitting acquisitions and supported the company from pre-negotiations until the contracts were signed.


Creating the European Content Marketing Leader C3

Burda, one of the leading European media groups, boasts digital revenues in excess of 50%. It engaged us to identify attractive targets in select market segments and to persuade them of the benefits of selling to Burda. Over an intense period of 18 months, we managed to convince the Burda Creative Group and Kircher&Burkhardt, two companies that complement each other very well but quite different in terms of company culture, to merge to become the largest content marketing provider on the European market, laying the foundation for more growth through acquisition.

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Corporate Finance

Sell Side

Our sell side clients mainly originate from corporates divesting selected assets and financial investors divesting portfolio companies, and sometimes from founders selling their companies. Again, our What’s Next experience is the key driver to leveraging our clients' achievements into compelling equity stories.

We’ve successfully managed more than 100 sell side processes, including developing the executive summary, pitch deck, information memorandum, long list, and short list to approaching interested buyers, as well as setting up the data room, preparing customized management presentations, and leading negotiation management also with respect to the lawyers and auditors involved until successful closing. Our sweet spot currently lies around USD 50 million with exceptions ranging from fire sales of portfolio companies for our long-term clients to transactions of more than USD 600 million.

Case Studies


Sale of the online matchmaking market leader in Germany

When it came time to dispose of Elitepartner, which was then the German market leader, the shareholder and founders decided to have Skillnet approach a very small set of select parties. The process was quick and intensive, leading up to the decision that a listed company, would take over EliteMedianet.


Sale of Chinese Yoho Group

After holding onto its investment for several years, BAI (Bertelsmann Asia Investment) chose to sell its shares in the Yoho Group, a leading media and fashion e-commerce company for young people in China. Skillnet helped Yoho raise capital and sold the shares held by BAI to a large private equity firm at a much higher price than expected.

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Corporate Finance


Skillnet has supported 16 IPOs as a “Listing Partner Deutsche Börse” for German and Chinese Companies and transaction volumes between USD 100 million and USD 1 billion. Our main expertise is in the pre-IPO phase, especially preparing compelling equity stories and bank fact books for the selection of suitable investment banks. We manage the beauty contest and support clients in negotiating the IPO deals with the banks. After the IPO, we help them implement and realize their equity stories based on select consulting projects.

Case Studies


E-Commerce Software Provider’s Sales Multiple Reaches x300 on Listing Day

The British private equity fund 3i brought us in to help with its investee Openshop. After we conducted our What’s Next assessment, the fund hired us to create a fact book and help with the pre-IPO beauty contest for the investment bank. Openshop was given a relatively high valuation in Germany on the day it went public in the new market. Our contribution certainly helped, though the very positive market hype at the time didn’t hurt either.


ProSiebenSat.1 - the First German Free TV Broadcaster Goes Public

ProSiebenSat.1 was planning its IPO and wanted to rework its entire corporate strategy beforehand, so it engaged Skillnet. Working together, we conceived numerous new business models - especially related to the adjacent digital business - that become integral parts of the equity story and the bank fact books.

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