Authentic models inc. / Authentic models B.V.

Authentic models inc. / Authentic models B.V.

Company in luxury, vintage themed home accessories and furniture, Authentic Models, sold to Belgian investor and management

Client

Authentic Models Inc. (hereafter: AM) is a wholesaler of luxury, themed accessories and furniture. The products are inspired by the theme ‘classic journeys’ and the associated atmosphere of vintage adventures. AM was established over 45 years ago in Amsterdam as an antiques store and has grown to become a global wholesaler of high-quality replicas of antique objects.

Over the years AM developed into a stable organisation, selling its products to more than 50 countries worldwide. Its head office is split over two locations: one in Eugene, Oregon in the US, where the premises also house a joint design department, and one in Zeewolde, the Netherlands, where central purchasing is located. Sales, finance and logistics are executed by the company itself.

AM’s objective is to keep innovating and developing new objects and designs, each with a unique story and history, to inspire customers. Since its establishment, AM has grown to become a wholesaler of over 500 products, split into seven different product groups in its catalogue, which is updated yearly. Every year, between 25 and 50 new products are designed, including customer-specific ‘designed to order’ products.

AM’s products are made with attention to quality and detail, positioning them in the upper price segment. Products are made in relatively small batches. AM distinguishes itself from its competitors through quality, attention to detail and inspiring and unique products.

Objective

After building and energising a company with a worldwide footprint for almost 50 years, founder and owner of AM, Haring Piebenga wanted to leave his legacy to a new owner. Together with Marktlink Mergers & Acquisitions a plan was made to find a new owner who would respect the legacy and support the current management’s mission to make AM a more market oriented company. Because of his passion for history and historical products, Haring will continue to work with the company as a creative director.

Marktlink’s role

Marktlink Mergers & Acquisitions advised and engineered the entire selling process from start to finish, on behalf of Haring Piebenga. In Belgian investor Think2Act, the management has found the right strategic partner to independently grow the company to the next level. Fredrik Jonker of Marktlink: “With a great deal of entrepreneurial spirit Haring has built up an amazing company. Therefore there was a lot of interest, mainly because of the worldwide footprint and direct market access to the USA. From a financial, cultural and legal point of view it was an inspiring and challenging deal. But with the right attitude from all parties, every challenge could be handled successfully“.

Results

In Think2Act, AM’s management found a long term strategic partner to further build on the long and rich history of the company and to grow the company and the brand in existing and new markets.

Quote

“We had set high standards for ourselves, when we started the sales process. The most important criteria for an acquisition candidate were recognition of our carefully built reputation and a strong belief in the necessity of a niche brand, that had been built with love and passion. Since we were not going to make any concessions with regard to these criteria, and because of our strongly internationally oriented business, finding a suitable partner would not be easy. Far from regarding this as an obstacle, Marktlink considered this to be an interesting challenge. Enthusiastically, they accepted the mandate, and an intensive and interesting period began. During the process it became clear to us that selling a company requires highly specialised knowledge. Marktlink proved to be a skillful partner, steering us through the entire process in a professional, pleasant and successful manner.”

Marktlink