Family business

The cornerstone of our economy

Family business: the cornerstone of our economy

The approximately 270,000 family businesses in our country are often seen as the silent motor of the Dutch economy: they are reliable, think in terms of generations as opposed to quarters and, as an employer, often fulfil an important role within their region. Various studies have shown time and again that family owned and operated businesses do better financially in the long term than non-family businesses.

Succession: always high on the agenda
At the same time, family businesses are distinguished from non-family businesses by their unique ownership structure. It’s no wonder that succession is a theme that is high on the agenda in many family businesses. Sometimes this succession runs smoothly and the talented next generation is already warming up in the wings. In other cases, the next generation prefers to work outside the family business, or there may simply be a lack of quality. Small businesses in particular are less likely to be taken over by the next generation.
Business acquisition: an emotional event
In such cases, the (partial) acquisition of the family business by an external party is often a realistic option. Constructions are also possible whereby the majority shareholders and possibly family members remain within the company, yet under different ownership.

All in all, an emotional affair, in which – in addition to the price – trust and ‘the right feeling’ play important roles. The majority shareholders and the family want a party who respects the legacy of their family business, and who respects the often rich company history.

Why choose VADO as your investor?

Having ourselves emerged from the family business DAF, we at VADO understand better than anyone how difficult the acquisition of a family business can be, as well as the emotions involved. It’s no coincidence that, once we have come in contact with a potential acquisition candidate, we first take extensive time to get to know each other and to discover whether we could be compatible. We ask ourselves things like: to what extent do our vision and our core values match? What are the majority shareholders’ ambitions after the acquisition? Will that person stay on as director, take a step back but remain active, for example, in technology, or will they take on a strategic role? We only continue to the next step when both parties have a good feeling about the business transfer.

From our practical background, we understand the responsibility you have as a company for employees, suppliers and customers. From our own history, we also have a natural bond with the manufacturing industry and with family businesses. It’s no wonder that we like to invest in beautiful, technical (family) companies.

Room to do business

In addition, we offer companies the space and support to do business; by sparring, by thinking about the strategy and through targeted investments. We also have a network of trusted specialists who can provide support on specific topics.

Building solid growth

Like most family businesses, we as an investor have a long-term strategy. Our heads aren’t turned by a short-term profit, but we will definitely look closer at a company that is going to be healthy in the long term. Investors from a fund structure often have a time frame of 5 to 7 years. Not at VADO. We have a long-term time frame and continue to build solid growth together with our companies.

Stand-alone or a group

We look carefully at how the potential company best fits within the VADO portfolio. Some acquisition candidates are well suited for healthy further growth as a stand-alone company. A successful example of this is Verhoeven, a specialist in complex product handling and transport systems. Other companies lend themselves better in a partnership with one or more of the VADO companies, thereby forming a stronger whole.

An example within our own portfolio of this kind of buy-and-build strategy is Anvil Industries, a strong partnership of mechanical processing companies. The companies within Anvil operate independently and reinforce each other where possible. Another example is Lacom. With the acquisition of Kluitmans and TCE at the end of 2019, the activities of both companies were integrated into Lacom Cranes & Services and they jump-started this partnership with the production and sale of their own line of mobile truck cranes.

Like to know more? Contact us today!

Would you like to learn more about the possibilities we offer regarding company acquisitions and investments in family businesses? Please contact us to introduce yourself, or read the cases about Verhoeven, Lacom or Rendon.

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  • “I started with Lacom in 1989 and developed the company into an all-round machine factory where distribution is central. Today, with VADO as shareholder, I can run the company with more financial advice and support. A good example is the start of Lacom Cranes and Supplies in late 2019. Due to rapid action from the Lacom team and with the help of the people at VADO, we set up the production and sales of our own line of truck-mounted cranes in less than 4 months. That is true entrepreneurship, one hundred percent!”

    Driek LammersManaging DirectorLacom
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