NIBC’s Mezzanine & Equity Solutions team financed Noordlease management buy-out

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Client

Car leasing firm Noordlease was founded in 1982 and is based in the northern city of Groningen. Noordlease has approximately 50 employees and a fleet of 10,000 cars. The company is an innovative and customer focused operational car leasing company providing business-to-business lease and private leasing services.

Noordlease is market leader in the Dutch private leasing market and is an overall top-10 player in the Netherlands with a leading market position in the northern regional market. The Company has a well-organised business model (the “House of Mobility” concept) and benefits from considerable investments made in its IT infrastructure under its previous owners. Furthermore the professional and strategic guidance of its dedicated management team ensures that Noordlease is well regarded in the leasing industry.

Case

When Noordlease’s management, consisting of Robert Nienhuis and Gert Veenstra, learnt earlier this year that their shareholder, German car producer BMW was planning to divest Noordlease, they decided to explore the possibility of a management buy-out. “Compared to Alphabet [the international multi–brand fleet management division of BMW], we are a completely different kind of organisation.” Nienhuis said in July. "We have a different business model, different clients, a different corporate identity and we use different systems. These companies couldn’t be more different.” he continued. He and Gert Veenstra have been running the company and making all strategic decisions for the past 20 years. “This was the final step to [our] complete independence.”


Solution

Robert Nienhuis: “Noordlease has booked strong growth in recent years, especially since we set up our Privé Lease (private leasing) business, which was a major step in a new direction for us. We want to continue this growth in the years ahead, not to be the biggest, but to be recognised as the most innovative and transparant car leasing company in the Netherlands”. "The Dutch private leasing sector is still quite young, but offers opportunities for strong growth as it matures. So we’ll definitely be looking to grow in private leasing.” Nienhuis said. His partner Gert Veenstra is convinced that the company will be able to continue its successful growth strategy. “The management buy-out gives us an excellent opportunity to further expand our business.” Veenstra says.

“Very importantly, the management buy-out safeguards all 50 existing jobs at Noordlease, not to mention the opportunity it creates for new jobs in the future.” said Robert Nienhuis and Gert Veenstra.
The solution offered by the financial investor combination of NIBC and NOM, the investment and development agency for the Northern Netherlands, provided management the opportunity to fulfil their greatest wish. And despite the summer period, the management team, NOM and NIBC’s Mezzanine & Equity Solutions team were able to announce the completion of the management buy-out end of August. The Noordlease investment opportunity was a landmark transaction for NIBC, as it combined all of NIBC’s sector, structuring and product expertise, plus it broadens and enhances the bank’s client franchise.

“It also delivers on NIBC’s vision to develop long-term relationships, by providing Noordlease with risk bearing capital to safeguard the company’s continuity, as well as the company to bolster its position in the regional economy and community,” said Robert Ian Oei, Head of NIBC’s Mezzanine & Equity Solutions team. “Our mission is to be the bank of choice for decisive financial moments and this was one of those moments. We were able to help the management to achieve their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to complete their management buy-out of a company they had been building for more than 20 years.” added Investment Director Elisabeth Storm de Grave.

The Mezzanine & Equity Solutions team of NIBC will hold an observer seat on the Noordlease Supervisory Board. “Given our knowledge of this core subsector, we expect to see ample follow-on transactions that Noordlease will be able to benefit from” Investment Director Harry van Adrichem commented. The observer seat underlines the partnership mentality the team and management have to help guide the company to achieve its targets and future growth ambitions.

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