Construction & Maintenance
Aquafix Milieu acquired by global market leader ACO Group
Michel Pieke, founder of Aquafix Milieu, came to Marktlink to find a strategic buyer for his company, the largest manufacturer of oil and grease traps in the Netherlands. The globally-operating ACO Group was the perfect candidate, not least because of its ambitions to expand in the Netherlands.
Founded in 1995 in the attic of the Pieke family home, Aquafix Milieu has grown into a unique business, with more than 40 employees and a manufacturing site of over 22,000m2. It has just two serious competitors in the Netherlands, but that was a minor factor in the selection of potential candidates, according to Niek Derks and Max Kaagman, who led the Marktlink team that guided the transaction. “We approached those two companies of course, but our search quickly shifted to companies looking to expand their service range. There was considerable international interest.”
“We carefully selected the parties we wanted to approach,” says Niek Derks. “Michel made every decision with great care and insight, and we all came to the same conclusion. ACO was the front runner, without a doubt. As a global market leader based in Germany, buying Aquafix is an opportunity for them to achieve long-held growth ambitions.”
For the time being, the two companies will operate side by side in the market and support each other’s activities. Their product range and customer base have limited overlap, making joint growth an obviously productive strategy. Michel Pieke will step down as the company’s owner but remain involved as an advisor. “We’re delighted to be taken under the wing of a global player” he says, “ I can’t imagine joining forces with a better partner. I’m confident that both Aquafix and ACO will further expand their market positions.”
To Niek Derks, this latest transaction confirms an ongoing trend in the acquisitions market. “Michel had a strong preference for a strategic buyer. For us dealmakers, placing sales mandates with international buyers is now more rule rather than the exception. With offices in five European countries, Marktlink has the local market knowledge that’s essential for this new wave of cross-border transactions.”