Bregal Freshstream has acquired a majority stake in Rotterdam-based Verwater, an industrial and petrochemical group specialised in storage tank maintenance.
The GP is acquiring the group from Infestos, a Dutch private equity firm that focuses on the turnaround of Netherlands-based companies. It marks Bregal Freshstream's first deal in the Netherlands.
Following the transaction, Bregal Freshstream will hold a majority stake in the business alongside Infestos, Verwater's management team, the Verwater family and company executives.
The new investor takes over from Infestos in the role of controlling shareholder. However, Infestos will remain partly invested in the group, and will keep working on the group's expansion alongside the new GP.
Bregal Freshstream's backing will help the business increase its range of products and grow into adjacent markets, and to continue its international rollout. Further external acquisitions might soon follow, after that of bankrupt technical services provider Imtech last year.
In 2014, Infestos acquired a 65% stake in Verwater. The investment, including a mezzanine debt package provided by Delta Lloyd Mezzanine Fund, was said to total €25m. The company was encountering great difficulties at the time, with a turnover that had been steadily declining over the years. Having hit €243m in 2011, revenues were halved between 2012 and 2015. The company started registering profits again last year, according to Dutch financial website fd.nl.
Founded in 1922 and headquartered in Rotterdam, Verwater is an industrial and petrochemical group that provides storage tank maintenance. It operates via two subsidiaries: Verwater, specialised in mechanical maintenance, piping, civil works, jacking of storage tanks and blasting and coating operations; and Verwater Industrial Services, which provides electrical instrumentation, engineering, automation, mechanical services, panel construction and revision of valves.
The group, which currently has a 600-strong workforce, primarily operates in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp, with extra offices in Oman, the US and Singapore. It services clients in the oil, gas, petrochemical and process industries, which include large international groups such as ExxonMobil, Shell, Total, Vopak, Odfjell, Shin Etsu and Dupont.
Verwater expects to achieve a €150m turnover this year.
Bregal Freshstream – Pascal Keutgens (partner).
Verwater – Filip De Wilde (CEO).
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