Frankfurt Office Advises Cognetas on Sale of Scholz & Friends Group to WPP

April 19, 2011

Cognetas LLP, the London-based private equity firm, agrees to sell German marketing services network Commarco GmbH (parent company of Scholz & Friends) to global advertising group WPP PLC.

On April 19, Willkie client Cognetas LLP, the London-based private equity firm, agreed to sell German marketing services network Commarco GmbH to global advertising group WPP PLC.  Commarco is the parent company of several agency brands, which include Scholz & Friends, communications agency deepblue networks AG and production agency United Visions.  Cognetas acquired Commarco in 2003, at which time Scholz & Friends Holding was set up to acquire Scholz & Friends AG from Cordiant plc.  Under Cognetas' ownership, revenues almost doubled from €69 million in 2003 to €132.9 million in 2010.  Commarco’s clients include a number of German blue-chip companies such as Siemens AG and Deutsche Bank AG, as well as international companies like American Express Co. and Vodafone PLC.

The Willkie deal team, led by partner Mario Schmidt (Corporate/Private Equity) and national partner Dr. Stefan Joergens (Corporate/Private Equity), included partner Dr. Patrick Meiisel (Tax); national partners Dr. Bettina Bokeloh (Tax), Rolf Hünermann (Antitrust), Dr. Christian Rolf (HR) and Jan Wilms (Finance); and associates Ingo Bednarz (Corporate/Private Equity), Tobias Daubert (Finance), Tobias Dietrich (Antitrust), Dr. Markus Käpplinger (Corporate/Private Equity), Marco Müller (Corporate/Private Equity), Jochen Riechwald (HR), Dr. Stephanie Schmidt-Ehemann (Corporate/Private Equity), Sabine Weber (Tax) and Dr. Matthias Werner (Corporate/Private Equity).