Marktlink Fusies & Overnames

Esschert Design strengthens market position with Danish Garden Life ApS acquisition

Esschert Design is a dynamic and fast-growing company that specialises the design and sale of garden and nature products. The company develops its own concepts and products aimed at wild bird and animals, outdoor fireplaces, and gardening for children and adults.

Esschert Design products are sold in more than 65 countries through a wide range of retailers, from garden centres to web shops. The company employs more than 120 people and achieves an annual turnover of around EUR 40 million.

Brothers Arend and Gerard have grown the company from a small specialised wholesaler into an internationally leading player in this sector. The company operates from offices in Enschede, Thurmond (Maryland) and Guangzhou City (China). The location in China looks after purchasing for the Dutch and American locations, but also has an independent sales function and delivers containers FOB (Free On Board) all across the globe.

Esschert Design’s wish
The Esschert Design growth strategy is aimed at autonomous growth and growth via acquisition. The company can see lots of acquisition opportunities in the market, which is experiencing a consolidation trend. These acquisitions help to create the right scale needed for making the right investments to stay ahead of the market. To travel this growth path, there was a desire for a strong sparring partner who would share the company’s vision.

Marktlink’s role
On behalf of Esschert Design, Marktlink Fusies en Overnames B.V. searched for suitable (international) acquisition candidates. The process picked up pace after an initial exploratory dialogue with the owner of Garden Life. After agreeing the main points of the transaction, the company was audited by a Danish specialist, and the deal was worked out in more detail in the contract documentation with the help of a Danish lawyer (under supervision of a Marktlink lawyer). Marktlink also arranged local financing.

The search for a solid sparring partner started with a market and business analysis. After the plan was finalised, it didn’t take long before several parties were approached to share the vision. Several selection rounds followed before the choice was made for a party who was given the opportunity of an audit. Then, Marktlink lawyers assisted the entrepreneurs in reaching an agreement on the correct wording of the agreements, and supervised further settlement at the notary’s office (Including the shares in China and the USA).
Fredrik Jonker from Marktlink: “With these steps, Esschert has shown leadership and decisiveness in a consolidating market where company size will be essential to keep up.”

Result
With their product range and distribution channels, Garden Life ApS in Denmark was an ideal match. This acquisition means Esschert Design has added Scandinavia to its home markets. The Danish entrepreneur will remain involved in the company for a number of years. What’s more, it turned out that Bolster shared the entrepreneurs’ vision, and its long-term horizon made it the best sparring partner for supporting the realisation of Esschert Design’s growth ambitions.

Arend and Gerard Mosterd about how they experienced the process: “As entrepreneurs, our daily task is being involved in our business, so this type of process (and how much it costs) is new to us. Despite the process taking up a lot of our time, both personally and as an organisation, we are all convinced we have taken the right steps towards achieving our vision. The collaboration with Marktlink was very pleasant. There was continual dialogue during both processes, about what would be best for us and the company, and everyone was very committed to secure the best deal for us.”