5 August 2016

WLW acquires Europages

Collaboration underscores the internationalization strategy of “Wer liefert was”.

Paragon, parent company of “Wer liefert was” (which is the leading B2B marketplace in Germany), is acquiring the French company Europages SA, headquartered in Paris. In the future, a further collaboration between “Wer liefert was” (wlw) and Europages is planned to gain European market share. Paragon has purchased Europages from the Italian company Italiaonline on 4th of August 2016. Confidentiality has been stipulated with regard to the purchasing price.

“Wer liefert was” is the leading B2B marketplace in Germany and, as the most popular online platform for professional purchases, provides access to millions of products and services in the B2B segment. Europages is the most significant European B2B business directory and the leading supplier of marketing solutions for SMEs with nearly 30 million unique visitors per year. Both companies have already been working together closely since April 2014. Since then, Europages has been one of the cooperative partners for the “wlw Europe” product, through which wlw customers can get in touch with European procurement managers. This collaboration is intended to be expanded in future.

“As a result of the acquisition of Europages through Paragon, we can advance our wlw internationalization strategy with even more speed and strength. Through the synergy effect, exciting potentials will arise in our customer business thanks to the Europages collaboration. At the same time, the autonomy of both companies will be maintained; this provides all sides with the greatest possible flexibility for reaching their growth targets”, says Peter F. Schmid, CEO of “Wer liefert was”.

“For Europages, the collaboration with ‘Wer liefert was’ gives us the chance to focus on our core competencies. In doing so, we’ll both profit from the ‘Wer liefert was’ expertise and be able to actively implement our experience in the French- and Italian-speaking world in this cooperation”, explains Paolo Giuri, CEO of Europages.

With the acquisition of Europages, Paragon comes close to its strategic goals of digitizing the European B2B market as well as internationalizing the business of “Wer liefert was” beyond the German-speaking countries.

About wlw

“Wer liefert was” is the leading online B2B marketplace in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Being the most-visited website for professional purchases wlw provides millions of products and services in the B2B section. About 540,000 suppliers, producers, distributors and service providers get in touch with 1.3 million genuine buyers every month on wlw.de, wlw.at and wlw.ch. The precise and easy search provides buyers with reliable information on companies and their product portfolios – including current contact data – every month. The range of wlw services is free of charge for buyers and as a basic profile for advertisers.“Wer liefert was” has its headquarters in Hamburg and 200 employees. The company was founded in 1932 and was the first publisher of printed reference material for commercial buyers. Since 1995 wlw has been offering its services online.

EUROPAGES is an European B2B platform in 26 linguistic versions, with a database of over of 2.5 million companies, namely manufacturers, service providers, wholesalers and distributors. The platform provides for multilingual search functionalities and content management tools. Companies can apply for a free listing or more advanced visibility and lead generation paying packages. Every month more than 2 million unique visitors from all over the world use the platform to search for products, services a suppliers. The company has 60 employees was founded in 1982 and started offering its services online in 1995.

About Paragon
Paragon is one of the leading independent private equity firms in Europe with approx. €650 million of equity under management. Paragon works closely with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth and operational excellence. The investment portfolio covers various industries and currently comprises 6 companies. Paragon was founded in 2004 and is based in Munich, Germany. For further information please refer to www.paragon.de.