Pentahold invests

20 July 2017 - De Tijd

The Pentahold entrepreneurial fund, together with several partners, is investing in the Dutch sorting specialist Concept Engineers. It is a copy of their investment in Leuven’s BEST ten years ago.

About ten years ago, several Flemish captains of industry invested in the sorting company BEST (Belgian Electronic Sorting Technology) via the investment company Pentahold. Pentahold acquired half of the shares, the rest was divided equally between the four engineers, including CEO Paul Berghmans.
Four years later, Pentahold and the BEST founders uncorked the champagne. They originally had their biggest takeover ever in mind, but the tables were turned and the Norwegian Tomrakocht BEST for a hefty 138 million euros.

Once again in the Netherlands

The partners of yesteryear – Pentahold, Paul Berghmans and Steve Raskin (ex-sales director BEST) – now reunite for a similar deal and provide growth capital to Concept Engineers. The former owners of the Dutch sorting company will participate in the new construction. The financial details are unknown.

10 million Concept Engineers realizes almost 10 million euros in turnover.
Concept Engineers, like BEST, produces optical sorting machines. These are used for sorting food (potatoes, chips, carrots, sweets, crustaceans and shellfish), but also tobacco or plastic. The machines are built in the Netherlands and are based on camera technology that is being developed in Eindhoven. Concept Engineers has more than 400 installations running worldwide and realizes a turnover of around 10 million euros.

BEST grew strongly when Pentahold was on board. The year before the entry of the fund, it realized a turnover of 51 million euros and an operating cash flow of 11 million. With the sale of BEST in 2012, this had risen to 88 million and 13 million euros.

Market leader

The new owners have great ambitions with Concept Engineers. They want to grow it into the global market leader in the sorting business. To achieve this, it will invest heavily in the development of new machines and technologies.

Behind Pentahold are the entrepreneurs Filip Balcaen (ex-Balta), Paul Thiers (ex-Unilin), Philippe Vlerick (KBC, UCO), the Luxembourger Edmond Müller (Les Moulins de Kleinbettingen) and Theo Roussis (Ravago, KBC). Roussis replaced Marc Saverys (CMB) as shareholder a while ago.

Pentahold has stakes in Vergokan (cable support systems), Oh! Green (garden centers), Devan (specialty chemicals) and Vigo (orthopedic solutions). The investment company is managed by Geert Vanderstappen and Karel Gielen (ex-Buy Out Fund).

Source: De Tijd