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Investment boost for Van Aalst’s growth ambitions

The Van Aalst Group offers innovative cargo handling systems, as well as in-house engineering that enables it to provide tailor-made solutions to customers around the world. Headquartered in Dordrecht, the family-owned company’s roots date back to 1954. It is currently controlled by third-generation family member Wijnand van Aalst.

In 2016, the company decided to raise the bar and make an innovative move by expanding its services offering and launching a so-called motion-compensated gangway system called Safeway – an innovative bridge system that enables vessels to connect to a range of onshore installations up to a wave height of 3.5 metres. Recognising that Safeway would be a big financial investment for its clients, the Van Aalst Group also introduced lease options for this leading-edge system.

The assignment

Prompted by the success of its first experiences with Safeway, the Van Aalst Group started looking for ways to grow the system to meet market demand. It selected NIBC and the Rotterdam Port Fund together as its preferred equity partner to achieve these growth ambitions, and the two parties acquired a shared minority stake.

For NIBC, this decision to invest was inspired not only by the innovative nature of the Van Aalst Group’s new system, but also by the clear direction and ambition of the company’s management team.

Adding value

The transaction with the Van Aalst Group follows a close relationship between NIBC and the marine solutions provider built up in recent years. Van Aalst chose us because of our entrepreneurial spirit, sector knowledge and financial solutions.

The Rotterdam Port Fund, in which NIBC is a cornerstone investor, brings its valuable expertise and an extremely relevant network of port-related parties to the table.

Delivering results

By acquiring a shared minority stake together with the Rotterdam Port Fund, NIBC has been able to facilitate the growth ambitions of the Van Aalst Group. The company will now use the proceeds from this transaction to expand its Safeway services across the globe.

Wijnand van Aalst: "The added value of this partnership, besides the financing we are receiving, is the possibility for us to continue as entrepreneurs, managing our own business. This turned out to be an excellent combination, made possible by the minority stake which NIBC had taken in the business."

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