Argand Partners, LP (“Argand”), the New York- and San Francisco Bay Area-based private equity firm, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Cherry GmbH (“Cherry”). Argand acquires market-leading specialty manufacturing and business services companies with sustainable competitive advantages and strong growth potential.
Cherry is the world’s leading global designer and manufacturer of high precision keyboard switch technology for PC gaming and professional use computing peripheral products. The company designs and manufactures premium key switches for mechanical keyboards, branded gaming peripherals, computer input devices (including mice and headsets), and products for security, point of sale and e-Health applications. Headquartered in Germany, Cherry operates across a global footprint of state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and corporate offices in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. Cherry has a reputation for “Made-in-Germany” quality, performance and reliability and enjoys significant brand equity with customers.
Argand’s investment in Cherry is supported by long-term growth in the global PC gaming market and the on-going digitalization of healthcare. Cherry has experienced a boost from ‘stay-at-home’ social policies and ‘work from home’ corporate trends that are accelerating the adoption of PC gaming and home-based office computer peripherals.
In addition, Cherry is the leading provider of secure telematics infrastructure for the German healthcare market. Germany is the world’s second largest healthcare market and is at the forefront of the e-Health transformation. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the process of digitalizing the country’s healthcare infrastructure. Argand plans to support Cherry’s efforts to expand its e-Health offering across Europe and North America.
Founded in the U.S. in 1953, Cherry pioneered the mechanical keyboard switch. The company’s CHERRY MX switches are considered the industry gold standard in keyboard switch technology. Cherry’s products are engineered to maximize performance, ergonomics, durability and precision. The Cherry brand is used by a diverse customer base worldwide, including gaming professionals and enthusiasts, and corporates and governments in the defense, healthcare, finance and retail sectors. Cherry retains the Blue Angel ecolabel for environmentally friendly product design.
Tariq Osman, Partner and Co-Founder at Argand, commented, “Cherry is a great fit for our firm and investment strategy. The company has a clear leadership position and significant brand equity, and is an innovator in its industry. We look forward to partnering with Cherry’s management team to pursue an accelerated global growth strategy, including strengthening Cherry’s U.S. presence, capitalizing on the e-Health business opportunity, and prioritizing highly strategic M&A on a global basis.”
Rolf Unterberger, Cherry’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “We have found a partner that is as excited by Cherry’s pioneering product innovation, customer loyalty, and growth potential as we are. We have been impressed by the energy, creativity and strategic vision that Argand has already brought to the partnership, and we look forward to working together to maximize our strong momentum in gaming and e-Health.”
The acquisition is supported by a loan facility provided by Hayfin Capital Management. Hengeler Mueller acted as lead legal counsel to Argand, supported by Winston & Strawn LLP for the USA, Jun He LLP for China, and Gide Loyrette Nouel AARPI for France.