Atrium Agri continues its acquisition path with a series of impressive acquisitions

Atrium Agri is making progress and has acquired all interests in Havecon, VB Group and PB tec. At the same time, the partnership has reached an agreement with the co-shareholders of its existing participating interests in Bom Group, CambridgeHOK and JB Hydroponics. These acquisitions make Atrium Agri the largest and most complete horticultural supply cluster in the history of Dutch greenhouse horticulture.

In a very short time, Atrium Agri has made a number of huge steps. The financing form chosen by Atrium Agri is bank financing, which is made possible by a combined facility of Rabobank and ING. This financing facility has enabled Atrium Agri to bring all companies together, including the companies of founders Henk Verbakel, Koen Brabander and Edward Verbakel. Throughout the acquisition and financing process, the management of Atrium Agri was advised and assisted by the Maasdael Corporate Finance team.

Firstly, the majority of the interest in PB tec was acquired from Victus Participations and that of the other minority shareholders in PB tec. This means the company is fully owned by Atrium Agri. PB tec’s foreign interests in North America and Australia will also be transferred. On the same day, Atrium Agri took the entire stake in all Havecon companies. Havecon works closely with its strategic partner Voorwinden Group, which has also acquired an interest in Atrium Agri. In the same transaction, Atrium Agri reached an agreement for the acquisition of VB Group. Among other things, VB helps to make the horticultural sector more sustainable by making geothermal energy available as a future source of energy.

This harmonisation creates the largest horticultural supply cluster to date with more than 400 employees and several branches in the Netherlands and abroad. Group turnover for 2021 is approaching Euro 400 million with a very healthy result.

Strategic growth
The list of companies acquired by Atrium Agri is now beginning to take on impressive forms. It started at the end of 2019 with a majority stake in turnkey provider Bom Group. In less than two years, majority interests were also taken in successively VEK Adviesgroep, CambridgeHOK and JB Hydroponics. In addition, an exclusivity was agreed on with BaOpt for operating its climate system in horticulture and an interest was recently taken in ADI (Agri Data Innovations). This start-up company collects, analyses and visualises data from the greenhouse and converts this into cultivation areas for improvement.

Due to the enormous growth, Atrium Agri has appointed a new management consisting of Richard Schmit (CEO), Joffrey Bouman (CFO) and Ruben Peeters (COO). They will further shape the group’s strategy and operational activities in the coming years.

Koen Brabander of PB tec:
‘It's great to see that one vision and one goal of three entrepreneurs can be realised in such a short time. I don’t think there’s a comparable company in our industry right now, and we’re just getting started. Now that it’s there, it all makes sense, but why wasn’t it there yet? There’s a really cynical statement: I wish you a lot of staff. Surely, this has come about through the unbridled commitment, passion and energy of our teams, our true capital. I look forward to the developments that we’ll experience with our partners and customers in the near future.’

Henk Verbakel of Havecon:
‘By consolidating these forces within the group, we’re in an even better position to meet the increasing demand in the market. We will also pay a lot of attention to bundling knowledge and thus be able to provide the market with more high-tech solutions faster, solutions that are becoming more and more common. I also believe that we’re in an even better position to efficiently realise increasingly larger and more complex projects, since we can streamline a lot from one team.’

Edward Verbakel of VB:
‘I’m extremely proud to be a part of this. After being in the hands of the Verbakel family for 55 years, our company is now merging into the Atrium Agri group of companies. A powerful platform of progressive horticultural suppliers, where the ambitions are high and progressive. We've already achieved a lot but together, we can go even further. We are confidently working together on the future of international greenhouse horticulture!’

Rick Voet of Maasdael:
‘I have great respect for the way in which all shareholders involved have subordinated their individual interests to create a global leader in greenhouse horticulture based on mutual trust and a shared vision. The acquisitions of Atrium Agri are fully in line with market trends such as globalisation, turnkey delivery, making the food chain more sustainable and increasing demand for high-tech solutions, which are so characteristic of greenhouse horticulture. The Netherlands can be proud of this newly formed Horti Powerhouse.’