100% share buyback for Koninklijke Van den Boer GroupCorporate News -
The family-owned Koninklijke Van den Boer Group (KVDBG) was founded in 1906 and is a leading, up-market event and catering company in the Netherlands and Germany, operating under the trademarks “Maison van den Boer” and “Oseven”. The company is market leader in the Netherlands and has good growth potential in the German market. KVDBG’s strong brand names and reputation in the market is owed to the company’s platform of high quality hospitality and catering services and its solid and diversified client base built up over the years. The company generates annual sales in the region of EUR 55 million.
The economic recession had substantial impact on KVDBG, which saw the Dutch event and party catering market drop by 30-35%. In 2011, friendly investors injected much needed capital in the family–owned group in exchange for a package of priority shares. And Louis Frankenhuis was appointed as interim director with two main tasks: 1) ensuring that the company would withstand market economic fluctuations and 2) providing the company with a strategic vision for the medium term. Three years on, the group is far leaner and more cost efficient. As a result the Van den Boer family were given the opportunity to buy back the priority shares and regain full control of the company they founded over 100 years ago. The opportunity however came with two conditions for the family which were to attract a sustainable financing package as well as find a new dedicated CEO such that the company would be able to realise the future growth ambitions.
The opportunity to regain full control of the company was of utmost importance to the Van den Boer family given that family culture is very much part of the company’s business model. Furthermore “Customers tend to contract with us based on goodwill, or in Dutch “gun factor”. The “gun factor” comes as a result of our long lasting tradition of class, culinary creativity and perfection, but is certainly also based on personal interaction and our family relationships.” Noud van den Boer explained. Attracting a new CEO to pursue upon future growth was another essential aspect of the transaction opportunity. “For family run businesses it is important to realise when it is time to align your governance with your future growth ambitions. We were of the opinion that bringing in Henk Kivits as the new CEO of our company would enable us to bring the company to its next level.” Henk Kivits added, ”We have exciting times ahead of us, which will be demanding both operationally and commercially. Serious team effort will however enable us to deliver on attractive performance going forward.”
The family approached NIBC’s Mezzanine & Equity Solutions team to support them with their share buyback and provide liquidity for future growth ambitions. However due to conflicts with commercial banks product offering and timeline restrictions NIBC eventually provided the family and company with a “one stop shop” solution to ensure timelines and financing conditions set by the Supervisory Board and friendly investors were met.
“To sum up in one word, NIBC was agile.” Noud continued “The team was very diverse in their expertise, with each individual contributing towards coming to the final product offering. Their process was both content and people orientated and they were open to reflect on new complexities to ensure a successful closing could be completed and a sustainable future for KVDBG could be guaranteed.”
The investment in KVDBG was a triple play opportunity for NIBC, combining product and sector expertise for the family, company and exiting shareholders, through providing a complete financing solution in the form of both risk bearing capital and senior facilities and M&A advice. “Understanding the need of a potential prospect is crucial in finding the right solution to complex financial challenges.”, commented Investment Director Harry van Adrichem. “Thanks to our continuous interaction with the various stakeholders we were able to achieve a result that fit all parties involved.” said Robert Ian Oei, Head of NIBC’s Mezzanine & Equity Solutions team.
The Mezzanine & Equity Solutions team will hold an observer seat in the KVDBG Supervisory Board. According to Investment Director Elisabeth Storm the Grave, “This will enable NIBC to truly act upon our partnership philosophy, whereby we can develop long term relationships through providing support and add value where possible.”