CEuler Hermes, the worldwide leader in trade credit insurance, and EOS, the international provider of financial services, announced today an agreement signed on Friday, 18 December 2015 with CRIF, a global company providing credit information services, credit and software solutions, headquartered in Bologna, Italy – for the share purchase of Bürgel Group (Bürgel).

100% of the shares will be transferred to CRIF. Currently Euler Hermes holds 50.1% and EOS 49.9% of the joint venture. The share purchase agreement is subject to the standard conditions precedent. The closing of the deal is expected in February 2016.

Bürgel is one of the leading German business information companies with a 130 year track record and currently employs around 500 staff in Germany. CRIF and Bürgel are already business partners in Austria, Switzerland and various other markets.

Established in 1988, CRIF has an important international presence, operating in 50 countries across four continents with more than 2,000 employees. The company pursues a long-term growth and expansion strategy, mainly through the acquisition of companies in various markets in the last years. In 2011, the group purchased the operations of Deltavista in Switzerland and Austria.

The current shareholders will continue their long standing business relationships with Bürgel in the future.

“With CRIF, Bürgel and its employees have found a strategic investor and a new home,” said Ron van het Hof, CEO of Euler Hermes Germany. “CRIF is our ideal candidate and will ensure continuity at Bürgel. The company is one of the leading business information companies with a strong international background. The expertises of CRIF and Bürgel are a perfect match and the new shareholder opens up new growth opportunities to Bürgel. In this way, the company is optimally positioned for the future and all parties benefit from that.”

“EOS will continue its cooperation with Bürgel,” stated Klaus Engberding, Managing Director of EOS Group and responsible for Germany. “This is a clear signal to the market, the customers and the employees.”

“We have been partnering with Bürgel already in the last years in Austria, Switzerland and several other international markets so we are honored to have Bürgel as the newest member of the CRIF family,” said Carlo Gherardi, President and CEO of CRIF. “We already know the quality of Bürgel’s information: the integration of CRIF and Bürgel solutions will provide added-value to the market, through a unique and powerful set of advanced services to support more efficiently and effectively clients’ needs. For this reason it represents a further step in CRIF’s global strategy to strengthen its leading positioning in the global market.”

Source:  Euler Hermes Press Release

Editorial Comment:  CRIF has for some time been eyeing the German market.  Following its entry into Switzerland and Austria in 2011 it was just a matter of time for CEO Carlo Gherardi’s next move.  The entry of CRIF into Germany will certainly inject new dynamics into the competitive landscape of credit information.   CRIF has successfully entered difficult markets before, has the necessary technical and business savvy to boost Bürgel’s market position.  The continued partnership between CRIF and Bürgel’s former shareholders will be an essential component to make this acquisition successful.  Euler Hermes is the largest client of Bürgel.