Equity Story

Equity Story

Equity Story

Cherry is a globally operating manufacturer of high-end mechanical keyboard switches and computer input devices for applications in the fields of gaming, e-sports, office, industry, and healthcare. Since it was founded in 1953, Cherry has been synonymous with innovative, high-quality products developed specifically to meet the various needs of its customers.

In 1983, Cherry invented the first mechanical switches for keyboards and is the world’s leading supplier of mechanical keyboard switches. Cherry Europe GmbH is responsible for development, production and sales. Due to its exceptional international brand recognition and quality leadership, leading global peripheral equipment suppliers recommend Cherry’s switch technology to their end customers. The characteristics of the MX Ultra Low Profile switch, which was first developed in 2021 and is only 3.5 mm high, make it possible to integrate mechanical switches in gaming and high-end office notebooks for the first time worldwide.

Cherry also offers various PC gaming peripherals of its own, such as keyboards, mice, and headsets – all precisely tailored to suit the needs of professional users in the fields of gaming and e-sports. Cherry’s gaming keyboards are manufactured using almost fully automated assembly machines at the company’s site in Zhuhai, China, and sold with resounding success, primarily through distributors and online platforms in the major gaming markets of the Asia-Pacific region.

The PC peripherals are specially designed for use in office and industrial applications. The Cherry product range comprises a broad variety of different devices in numerous color and country variants. Sales are mainly conducted by regional and national distributors in Europe, the USA and Asia, and increasingly also online to end users on a direct-to-consumer basis. Cherry also supplies prestigious international corporations as well as public institutions.

Furthermore, Cherry operates with outstanding success as one of only two approved providers of systems for connecting to the German telematics infrastructure (TI) in the healthcare sector. The state-of-the-art ST-1506 e-health terminal is certified by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and sold on the market by specialized systems integrators.

  

Investment Highlights

Global market leader

Global market leader

Established market position as global innovator for mechanical gaming keyboard switches

Innovation and quality leadership

Innovation and quality leadership

Impressive track record since 1953 in developing high-quality product innovations

Brand recognition

Brand recognition

High and positive international brand awareness and brand loyalty in core markets

Blue chip customer base

Blue chip customer base

Prestigious customers place their trust in reliable, high-quality Cherry technology

Global multichannel sales

Global multichannel sales

Comprehensive mix of sales channels (distributors, resellers, systems houses, retailers, e-tailers, DTC)

Scalable production base

Scalable production base

Highly automated assembly machines and warehouse robotics

Objectives

  • Rapid market penetration with MX Ultra Low Profile switches in the high-end gaming and office notebook market segments, and the market launch of an innovative analog switch technology with specific performance benefits for professional gamers
  • Expansion of our market position for gaming devices in the Asian region with a diversified product portfolio and centralized gaming utility software as an ecosystem
  • Targeted expansion of the product portfolio for office peripherals, including creators, with regional market penetration in Europe and North America and the expansion of direct-to-consumer business
  • Rapid market penetration of the German telematics infrastructure in the healthcare sector across all user groups with the ST-1506 e-health terminal and the PP-1516 PIN pad and, from 2025, the exploitation of strategic potential for the market launch of software-based products and applications

Key Figures

€ thousands FY 20191 FY 20201 FY 2021 FY 2022 FY 2023
Revenue 114,723 130,204 168,526 132,514 126.461
Thereof: GAMING 61,379 73,532 82,812
Thereof: PROFESSIONAL 53,358 56,672 85,713
Thereof: GAMING & OFFICE PERIPHERALS* 77,781 92,572
Thereof: DIGITAL HEALTH & SOLUTIONS* 33,094 23,025
Thereof: COMPONENTS* 21,639 10,864
EBITDA (adjusted)2 29,741 37,132 48,885 15,201 2,073
EBITDA margin (adjusted)2 25.9% 28.5% 29.0% 11.5% 1.6%
EBIT (Adjusted)2 20,355 26,848 33,697 (33,505) 13,255
Consolidated net profit/loss 12,515 17,537 9,287 (35,728) -126,900
Free cash flow 12,731 16,438 (6,612) (5,581) (38,700)
1In the 2020 fiscal year, the Cherry AG Group did not yet exist in its current structure. Therefore, unaudited comparative figures for the Cherry Holding Group are presented for the previous year’s corresponding period.
2Adjusted for one-time and/or non-operating items.
*Change of the segmentation from annual report 2023 onward.

Management Board

Oliver Kaltner

(CEO)

Oliver Kaltner

(CEO)

Oliver Kaltner was born in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1968. In 1993, he graduated from the University of Applied Sciences Rhineland-Palatinate, Mainz II, with a degree in Business Administration. Kaltner is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with proven track record in IT, digital, consumer electronics and branded companies, both in large corporations and small/mid caps and start-ups. These include ROOM, Leica Camera AG, Microsoft, Sony, Electronic Arts and NIKE, among others. He is an investor in start-up companies with a focus on cloud-based and IoT services with software-as-a-service (SaaS) business models. His profile is complemented by experience in M&A and investment banking, including the majority acquisition of Kreisel Electric by John Deere Inc. as part of its electrification and sustainability strategy, as well as the acquisition of the leading European provider of cloud-based POS solutions orderbird AG by Nexi S.p.A. and the acquisition of the Berlin-based start-up for haptic virtual reality devices Lofelt by Meta Platforms Inc.

Oliver Kaltner served as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of orderbird AG from 2018 to 2022.

Dr. Mathias Dähn

(CFO)

Dr. Mathias Dähn

(CFO)

Dr. Mathias Dähn was born in Munich in 1967. He graduated in business administration from the University of Bamberg in 1992 and received his doctorate there in 1996. Dähn has extensive management experience in finance functions such as auditing and controlling and has held CFO positions at various listed companies, most recently at Northern Data AG, a technology company focusing on high-performance computing infrastructure and cloud technology. Previously, he held responsible roles at Koenig & Bauer, Zumtobel, MAN, Loyalty Partner, debitel and Bosch, among others.

Dr. Udo Streller

(COO)

Dr. Udo Streller

Dr. Udo Streller

(COO)

Dr. Udo Streller was born on December 1967 in Kleinmachnow, Germany. He holds a master degree in physics and received his PhD in physics in 1997 from Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. Dr. Udo Streller has more than 20 years of management experience spanning the entire range of operational excellence, including constructing and managing factories, research and development, product management, and supply chain management as well as procurement. His most recent position was that of Chief Operations Officer at Enics AG, Zurich.

Shares held by members of the Management Board* (as of June 12, 2024)
Name Number of shares
Oliver Kaltner 65,000
Dr. Mathias Dähn 18,000
Dr. Udo Streller 17,600
* *Including shares held by persons closely associated with them, within the meaning of Article 3, paragraph 1, item 26 of the EU Market Abuse Regulation, e.g. spouses, children entitled to maintenance, juridical persons.

Supervisory Board

Marcel Stolk

Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Member of the Personnel & Compensation Committee

Marcel Stolk

Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Member of the Personnel & Compensation Committee

Marcel Stolk was born in 1967 in Middelburg, The Netherlands. From 1991 until 2005 he worked for Logitech Group, most recently as Senior Vice President Worldwide Sales & Marketing and as member of the senior management of Logitech International S.A. In 1998, he also completed the executive program in international executive management at Stanford Graduate School of Business. He returned as a member of the Board of Directors of Logitech Europe S.A. from 2011 to 2019 and Executive Chairman Logitech Europe and from April 2013 to April 2019 as Senior Vice president Consumer Computing Platform Business group.
Marcel Stolk was elected by the Annual General Meeting on May 17, 2023 for a term of office until the end of the Annual General Meeting that resolves on the discharge for the fiscal year 2025.

James Burns

Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Chairman of the Audit Committee

James Burns

Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Chairman of the Audit Committee

James Burns was born in 1964 in San Francisco. California, United States. He studied Accounting at Santa Clara University, California, United States, where he received a bachelor's degree in accounting in 1986. From 2013 to 2016, Mr. Burns was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Silver Spring Networks, Inc., a provider of smart grid products headquartered in San Jose, California, United States. From 2016 to 2017, he was Chief Financial Officer at Accela, Inc., a provider of a cloud-based platform of solutions for governmental customers. Since 2017, he works as an independent consultant at Jim Burns Consulting. In addition, he is an adjunct lecturer at Santa Clara University, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara, California, United States. James Burns also served on the Advisory Board of the Leavey School of Business (2013 to 2020) and on the Advisory Board of the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education, Santa Clara University, California, United States (from 2012 to 2021). Furthermore, since 2020, he is a member of the Advisory Board of Cristo Rey High School Work-Study, San José Jesuit High School, San Jose, California, United States.
James Burns was elected by the Annual General Meeting on May 17, 2023 for a term of office until the end of the Annual General Meeting that resolves on the discharge for the fiscal year 2025.

Heather Faust

Chairwoman of the Personnel & Compensation Committee, Member of the Audit Committee

Heather Faust

Chairwoman of the Personnel & Compensation Committee, Member of the Audit Committee

Heather Faust was born in 1979 in New Jersey, United States. In 2002, she received a bachelor of science in engineering degree from Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, United States. In 2008, she received a master of business administration degree from Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. From 2008 to 2015, she was an investment professional at the private equity firm Castle Harlan, Inc., New York, New York, United States. During her time at Castle Harlan, Inc. she was a member of the Board of Directors of Ames True Temper, Inc., IDQ Holdings, Inc. and Baker & Taylor, Inc. In 2015, she was a Managing Partner of the private equity firm CHI Private Equity, the successor entity to Castle Harlan, Inc. In 2015, she co-founded the private equity firm Argand Partners and is a Managing Partner of Argand Partners, LP, New York, New York, United States.

Heather Faust is a member of the following administrative, management or supervisory bodies or a member in comparable German or foreign supervisory bodies or a partner in the following companies outside the Group: Grosse Point Beacon Acquisition, Inc. (Chairwoman of the Board of Directors), OASE Management GmbH, Hörstel, Germany (Chairwoman of the Advisory Board), Sigma Electric Manufacturing Corporation, Garner, North Carolina, United States (Member of the Board of Directors), Concrete Pumping Holdings, Inc., Thornton, Colorado, United States (Member of the Board of Directors).
Heather Faust was elected by the Annual General Meeting on May 17, 2023 for a term of office until the end of the Annual General Meeting that resolves on the discharge for the fiscal year 2025.

Steven M. Greenberg

Chairman of the Nomination Committee

Steven M. Greenberg

Chairman of the Nomination Committee

Steven M. Greenberg was born in 1970 in Portsmouth, Virginia, United States. He studied economics and electrical engineering at Columbia University in New York, New York, United States, where he received a bachelor's degree in economics in 1992 and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1993. From 1993 to 1994, he worked as a programmer analyst at Datacor, Inc. From 1994 to 1995, he worked at Quantachrome Corporation as a research & development engineer and from 1995 to 1996 as a software engineer at SIRS, Inc. Between 1997 and 2003, he worked at different law firms, and in 1999, he received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States. In 2006, he co-founded the law firm Carey Rodriguez Greenberg O'Keefe, LLP, where he was Partner and Head of Intellectual Property Transactions until 2013. From 2014 to 2018, he was Partner and Head of Intellectual Property Transactions at CRGO Greenberg, LLC, the successor firm formed from Carey Rodriguez Greenberg O'Keefe.

Steven M. Greenberg is a member of the following administrative, management or supervisory bodies or a member in comparable German or foreign supervisory bodies or a partner in the following companies outside the Group: Shutts & Bowen LLP (Contract partner), Ardent Medical Corporation (President).
Steven M. Greenberg was elected by the Annual General Meeting on May 17, 2023 for a term of office until the end of the Annual General Meeting that resolves on the discharge for the fiscal year 2023.

Harald von Heynitz

Harald von Heynitz

Mr. von Heynitz is a senior accountant and auditor with extensive experience in accounting, auditing, financial, and business advisory. He is a member of the management of WTS Advisory GmbH, Munich, since February 2020. Mr. von Heynitz worked for KPMG in Munich and New York for thirty-three years. He became a partner in 1999 and has served as Audit Lead Partner and/or Global Client Lead Partner at large publicly listed industrial companies. During the last fifteen years, he held different leadership positions within KPMG, including serving Partner in charge of the Audit function for Southern Germany from 2004 to 2007 and member of the KPMG Europe LLP Board from 2007 until 2012. Mr. von Heynitz currently serves as Chairman of the Audit Committee and Member of the Compensation and HR Committee and the Nominating and Governance Committee for the Fluence Energy Inc. board of directors.

Charlotte Hovmand Johs

Member of the Personnel & Compensation Committee

Charlotte Hovmand Johs

Charlotte Hovmand Johs

Member of the Personnel & Compensation Committee

Charlotte Hovmand Johs was born in 1964 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her academic career includes a Master of Science of International Business from the Syddansk Universitet (University of Southern Denmark), Odense, Denmark and a Certified board member from Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen, Denmark. Charlotte Johs has extensive international experience from having worked in consumer electronics and consumer goods for multiple large corporations and having lived in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France, Switzerland and Denmark. Her outstanding competence in business transformation and strategy was acquired from her various roles as Vice Manager and General Manager at Logitech from 2010 through 2023, most recently as Corporate General Manager and member of the Executive Team. Further, Charlotte Johs has long standing experience working within the field of consumer centric innovation and branding. Alongside her operational experience, Charlotte Johs has served on boards and advisory boards of start-up companies within technology and art.
Charlotte Johs was elected by the Annual General Meeting on May 17, 2023 for a term of office until the end of the Annual General Meeting that resolves on the discharge for the fiscal year 2024.

Dino Sawaya

Member of the Audit Committee, Member of the Nomination Committee

Dino Sawaya

Member of the Audit Committee, Member of the Nomination Committee

Dino Sawaya was born in 1983 in Sydney, Australia. He received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, in 2004. In 2007, he received Bachelor of Laws degree from The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. He started his professional career in 2008 as an analyst in investment banking at Deutsche Bank (Deutsche Australia Limited), Sydney, Australia. In 2011, he moved to Australian private equity firm CHAMP Private Equity where he worked for CHAMP Group Services Pty Ltd as an Associate until 2014. In 2015 he joined New York based private equity firm Argand Partners, where between 2015 and 2018 he was a Vice President and from 2019 onwards a Principal of Argand Partners, LP, New York, New York, United States. From August 2013 to July 2018, he was a member of the Board of Directors of Paddington Bay Pty Ltd, and from October 2014 to November 2018 a member of the Board of Directors of Paddington Bay Partners Pty Ltd.

Dino Sawaya is a member of the following administrative, management or supervisory bodies or a member in comparable German or foreign supervisory bodies or a partner in the following companies outside the Group: TeleGeography Corporation, Washington D.C., United States (member of the board of directors), Seybert’s Billiards Corporation, Coldwater, United States (member of the board of directors), Apartment Guardian Inc., Los Angeles, United States (member of the board of directors), OASE Management GmbH, Hörstel (member of the advisory board).

Dino Sawaya was elected by the Annual General Meeting on May 17, 2023 for a term of office until the end of the Annual General Meeting that resolves on the discharge for the fiscal year 2023.