GCA becomes part of Houlihan Lokey


Transaction Details

March 8, 2021


Digital Media, Digital Media and Media, Software, Technology

Deal Type

Mergers and Acquisitions

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GCA Advises EMH Partners and the Founding Shareholders on the Majority Sale of Native Instruments to Francisco Partners

GCA acted as exclusive financial advisor to EMH Partners and the founding shareholders on their sale of a majority stake in Native Instruments, the Berlin-based global leader in digital music creation software and hardware, to Francisco Partners.

Native Instruments was founded in 1996 in Berlin and employs more than 400 employees worldwide. It operates seven global offices and is active in more than 180 countries. Native Instruments is regarded as one of the spearheads of the democratization of music production, as it enables creatives to produce their music without the large set-up costs associated with traditional music studios. Music professionals all around the globe have been relying on the company’s comprehensive music instrument library and high-quality software tools to support their music creation process, with an estimated 8 out of 10 tracks in the Billboard top 10 using Native Instruments technology.

In 2017, EMH Partners invested 50 million Euros ($60M) in Native Instruments, followed by a further investment in 2020 to achieve majority ownership in the company. The management and board of Native Instruments, together with EMH, have developed the company significantly and expanded its position in the industry.

With Francisco Partners, Native Instruments is planning to further enhance its product leadership, drive consolidation in the growing and fragmented market for digital music creation and extend its already leading position in the industry.

“As an innovator in digital music creation, with a supreme brand recognition and outstanding software technology, Native Instruments is a perfect platform and partner for Francisco Partners. We look forward to working together with the management team and the existing shareholder group, utilizing our broad operational and strategic experience and M&A capabilities to help the company accelerate its growth trajectory,” said Matt Spetzler, Co-Head Europe and Partner at Francisco Partners. Spetzler will join the Native Instruments board of directors. “We are very excited to join forces with the Native Instruments team and the existing shareholders, and firmly believe they are the platform to back in the exciting space of music creation,” added Mario Razzini, Principal at Francisco Partners, who will also join the board.

Dominik Schwarz, Partner at EMH Partners said: “Our partnership with Native Instruments underlines our strength as a leading partner for technology entrepreneurs in German-speaking Europe. We invest in technology-driven mid-sized companies and support these companies with capital, digitalization know-how, and international access. Over the last weeks Francisco Partners have recognized Native Instruments’ excellent international position, strong leadership team and significant future potential. Due to their deep expertise in developing technology companies on a global scale we welcome Francisco Partners and look forward to continuing our partnership with Native Instruments.”

Constantin Koehncke, CEO of Native Instruments, said: “There’s never been a more exciting time in music, with more creators producing more high-quality music all around the world. We’re thrilled to team up with Francisco Partners to enter the next phase of our journey, combining their global resources and expertise with our passionate team, deep relationships within music and proven track record of technical innovation. Together we can realize our mission to empower and inspire the global community of music creators and help them unlock their creative potential through more seamless experiences. Thanks to the support of EMH Partners over the past years we were able to further reinforce and expand our position as the leading digital music creation company, and we now look forward to working with Francisco Partners, EMH Partners and the founding shareholders to continue on this amazing journey.“

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