Hilverda De Boer
“The merger reinforces both companies”
The match between Hilverda De Boer and FM Group was like a match made in heaven. The merger between both companies is in effect as of 30 September 2022. They will continue under the name FM Group and together the company has become the no. 2 in the global flower trade, with a turnover of almost €800 million worldwide.
Gert-Jan Schoneveld and Ron Bos, owners of Hilverda De Boer, came to Marktlink for help in their search for a successor. Marktlink’s Jelle Rutgers and Koen Been guided the sale process, together with Tom Beltman. “The first contact happened even before Covid”, Koen remembers. “Gert-Jan and Ron realised it was time to make certain choices and they decided they needed a new partner to maximise the potential of their business in an ever-changing market. A partial sale of the shares seemed the most reasonable option at first, but it turned out to be a merger with FM Group, also based in De Kwakel.”
Finding the right partner just around the corner was by no means the obvious choice for the dealmakers. Jelle: “We had made a wide selection and put together a solid list of potential buyers. Only later did FM Group enter the picture. Things moved quickly after that: the negotiations went well and rapid decisions were made, so we quickly arrived at the due diligence phase.”
Platform for continuous growth
FM Group aims to be a platform for continuous growth in the global horticulture industry. “Achieving this is somewhat challenging because this industry is currently struggling”, says Koen. “A current topic is, of course, the impact of higher energy prices but there ’s also the reduction in the supply of merchandise and developments at the auction, which askfor a flexible attitude. The merger left both companies much stronger.
The companies were already acquainted but this merger allows for further expansion in the coming years. For now, not much will change in the management of both companies, but potential synergies are already being explored. “They will make the most of each other’s knowledge and experience, which offers good opportunities for the future,” Jelle concludes.