Dutch mergers and acquisitions news archive
Funeral Insurers Plan to Merge
THE HAGUE, 28/02 - Funeral insurance companies Monuta and Yarden are planning to merge, Het Financieele Dagblad reports. They are the second and third biggest players on the Dutch market.
It is custom in the Netherlands to take out insurance to cover the cost of a funeral, either paid for in instalments or as a lump sum. Monuta has more than one million policyholders and a workforce of 900. It turned over 226 million euros in 2011. Yarden insures almost one million people and turned over 168 million euros in 2011 with a workforce of 1,000.
Current market leader Dela turned over 463 million euros in 2011 and had almost 3.25 million policyholders. Yarden and Monuta say they do not expect the competition authority NMa to object to the merger because Dela will remain the biggest. The two companies will, however, have a stronger position in terms of crematoria ownership.
Ornamental Plant Grower Agribio Merges with German Dummen
THE HAGUE, 22/02 - Dutch ornamental plants cultivator Agribio Group is to merge with German counterpart Dümmen. The new combination will have combined sales of 175 million euros with 6,000 employees.
Three parties will participate in the new combine, namely Amsterdam investment company H2, which is the owner of Agribio; the German Dummen family and the management of the plant breeders. By joining forces, the merger partners will be in a stronger position vis-a-vis large international supermarkets which have a dominant position in the sales of flowers and plants.
Agrobio was taken over by H2 in March 2010 and has since then grown rapidly via acquisitions. For example, it took over Ecke Ranch in California last year. The Dutch group is active in 56 countries and trades over one billion young plants and seeds a year.
Robeco in Hands of Japan’s Orix
AMSTERDAM, 20/02 - Orix is acquiring Robeco Group. The Japanese financial concern is paying 1.94 billion euros for Rabobank’s asset manager.
The Japanese are taking a 90 percent stake in Rabobank, around 4 billion shares. Rabobank will retain a stake of 9.9 percent and says it will stay in it for Robeco’s corporate activities. The bank will also become a shareholder in Orix. Further, Robeco’s banking activities will be transferred to Rabobank.
Some four or five months are expected to be needed to obtain the permission of the relevant supervisory authorities. According to Orix, permission will in any case be required from the authorities in the Netherlands, Dubai, France, Hong Kong, India, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the US.
Robeco is Rabobank’s asset manager. Originally established in 1929, its head office is in Rotterdam, and it had global assets under management of around 189 billion euros in 2012, up 26 percent from 2011.
Robeco reported net profit of 197 million euros last year, up from 134 million in 2011. It employs over 1,600 people in 14 countries. The division has been up for sale for some time. Rabobank can use the proceeds for bolstering its equity.
Hans Anders Buys Swedish Opticians Chain
THE HAGUE, 12/02 - The Dutch spectacles chain Hans anders is taking over its Swedish counterpart Direkt Optik. The takeover price-tag was not disclosed.
The Swedish optician chain of 35 shops, including one in Spain, was set up in 1992 by the UK’s Crown Eyeglass. Direkt Optiek will continue to operate under its own brand name.
Patrick Herman, the CEO of Hans Anders, says Direkt Optik is a small company with an enormous growth potential. He sees opportunities for substantially expanding the number of shops in the coming years.
The takeover fits in with the growth plans of Hans Anders, under which the company will concentrate on a single opticians chain per country. This single-brand strategy has led in the Netherlands to the divestment of the shop formulas Van Boxtel and recently, Het Huis Opticiens.
Ahold Sells Its Stake in Scandinavian ICA
ZAANDAM, 12/02 - Supermarket concern Ahold is selling its 60 percent stake in its Scandinavian counterpart ICA to Sweden’s Hakon Invest. The company will receive 21.2 billion Swedish crowns (2.5 billion euros) in cash.
Hakon Invest is the investment company of the ICA retailers, which also already holds the remaining 40 percent stake. The transaction is expected to be completed by mid-2013; it still has to be approved by the supervisory authorities.
Ahold launched a survey of strategic options for its stake in ICA last September. Investors reacted positively to the sale deal yesterday. Ahold’s share price advanced by 5.75 percent.
Pharmaceuticals Company MSD Sells Dutch Unit
AMSTERDAM, 06/02 - Pharmaceuticals company MSD wants to sell Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, a Dutch production unit, to South African drugs company Aspen Pharmacare.
Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients produces raw materials for medicines in Oss. It employs 950, nearly one-third of MSD’s total workforce in Oss. But MSD stresses that the production will remain in Oss after the takeover.
"Aspen Pharmacare is interested in the production company and the knowhow in Oss,” said a spokesman for MSD. “The work will remain in Oss and the labour conditions will be maintained. It will jus be a different name on the building.” MSD refused to give details of the takeover, such as its price-tag.
Takeovers in Oss are a sensitive matter, after it looked in summer 2010 as though the entire research department of Organon, part of MSD, would go abroad. Eventually, the works council managed to limit the dismissals and research is still carried out in the MSD Development Center Oss.
There are two other production facilities in Oss: Biotech and Pharmaceutial Operations. But MSD says there are no talks underway for these companies.
State Sells Rest of Connexxion
THE HAGUE, 05/02 - French transport company Transdev has bought the remaining 33.3 percent of Connexxion from the Dutch State. The sale raised 132 million euros, Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem reported in a letter to parliament.
Transdev bought 66.67 percent of the shares in 2007, when it agreed with the Dutch state to take a put option for the remaining stake. “The sale price is the same as this minimum price and is based on the price paid by Transdev in 2007 for the first 66.67 percent of the Connexxion shares, plus interest,” the minister says in the letter.
In March 2011, French transport companies Veolia Transport and Transdev decided to merge their companies and the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) approved the merger in the Netherlands at end-2011. Connexion provides public transport in the Netherlands including buses, trains, boats and trams. It operates bus and train connections among others.
Aegon Pulls out Partnership with Spain’s
Arcadis Acquires Chile Firm
AMSTERDAM, 01/02 - Arcadis announced yesterday it has acquired the Chilean company Geohidrologia Consultores.
Arcadis says Geohidrologia is one of the biggest hydro consulting companies in Chile and has 55 staff. The company carries out projects both for private and public clients, such as mining companies and utilities. Arcades gave no financial details.