Waterland Private Equity acquires Majority Stake in
Leading German River Cruise Provider A-ROSA
Düsseldorf (Germany), 20 April 2009 – Waterland Private Equity (Waterland) announced today
that it acquired a majority stake by supporting a management buy-out of A-ROSA Flussschiff
GmbH (A-ROSA), the leading German river cruise operator. Together with the management,
Waterland intends to implement a buy & build strategy to reinforce A-ROSA’s leading position
in this highly fragmented market.
A-ROSA is the leading brand in the German river cruise market. The company operates currently six
vessels and plans to enter two new vessels into service in the course of 2009 and 2010. Its high-end
river cruise offer comprises 10 different routes on the Danube and further 5 routes on the
and is now being expanded to the river Rhine. The company was owned by Deutsche Seereederei
GmbH Rostock (DSR).
Waterland supported a management buy-out by Mr Lars M. Clasen, Managing Director , and Mr
Markus Zoepke, Chief Operating Officer of A-ROSA.
Industry experts estimate that the river cruise market on the European river systems has continuous
growth potential, driven by the ageing population, increasing spends on leisure and luxury, high
retention rates as well as expanding operating seasons of operators. A-ROSA is in the best position
to capture an increasing share of that growth.
The ageing population and leisure & luxury are two of Waterland’s core investment areas. With the
acquisition of A-ROSA Waterland continues its investment in outstanding travel companies.
Waterland already acquired a majority stake in Windrose Fernreisen, earlier last year. Windrose, the
leading German high-end luxury tour operator, is also active in marketing river cruises and thus
provides further synergies for A-ROSA.
Jörg Dreisow, Principal of Waterland in Germany, commented: “the European river cruise market is
highly fragmented, and consolidation is bound to come in the next years. With the help of A-ROSA’s
management team, one of the best in the industry, we intend to implement our proven buy & build
strategy to reinforce A-ROSA’s leading position in Europe and achieve significant synergies.
Lars M. Clasen commented: “we will work to further the development of A-ROSA in the river cruise
market. We are excited to be partnering with Waterland who, next to their financial resources, can
also offer us their extensive management experience”.
The transaction is awaiting approval from the German Cartel (Anti-Trust?) authorities. The parties
agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction.
A-ROSA Flussschiff GmbH (Rostock – Germany), is the market leader for river cruises on the Danube and
Rhône/Saône). A-ROSA (www.a-rosa.de) operates six vessels and expects to enter two new vessels into service
in the course of 2009 and 2010. The company has offices in Rostock (Germany) and Switzerland, employing
approx. 350 people, and generated a turnover of €45 million in 2008.
About Waterland Private Equity Investments
Waterland Private Equity Investments (www.waterland.de) is an independent private equity firm active in
Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium with € 1.4 billion funds under management. Waterland focuses on
consolidation strategies, investing in fragmented growth markets in the services sector that are undergoing
transformation as a consequence of one or more of the following trends: outsourcing & efficiency, aging
population, leisure & luxury and sustainability. Waterland’s portfolio includes a.o. Windrose (market leader for
luxury and adventure travel in Germany), Fa-Med (market leader in medical A/R management in The
Netherlands) and Senior Living Group (market leader for private retirement and nursing homes in Belgium).
Waterland operates from offices in Düsseldorf (Germany), Bussum (The Netherlands) and Antwerp (Belgium).