Fast-growing Amsterdam trading firm ACT Commodities (ACT), with branches in Amsterdam, New York and Shanghai, has sold a minority share to London investment company Three Hills Capital Partners (THCP). The exact details of the deal will not be published, however, founders Bram Bastiaansen and Jaap Janssen indicate an investment of ‘at least 60 million euros’.
ACT was established in 2009 as a trade firm and market maker in environmental products such as CO2 emission credits and green certificates. The business is the connecting link between buyers and sellers of these transferable products. ACT has experienced explosive growth. Today the company trades in approximately 40 products in a large number of markets in Europe and the US. This year, ACT projects a turnover of over one billion euros, four times the 2015 turnover.
The founders of ACT have called in Marktlink as their M&A adviser in the search for a substantial financial partner. After meetings with various European and Anglo-Saxon private equity firms, the founders ultimately opted for the sale of a minority share to THCP, a private equity firm with over 1 billion euros under management. In THCP, Bastiaansen and Janssen welcome a substantial partner, with young, entrepreneurial people at the helm. According to the founders, THCP’s mentality and ambition are a good fit with ACT’s company culture and vision for the future. The addition of nine managers as shareholders highlights the prevailing confidence within the company.
The founders are no strangers in the private equity world and are old hands at this game. In 2011 ACT sold a minority share to another, smaller investment company, supported by Marktlink. Now, almost three years after the buy-out of this investor in 2015, ACT gets an internationally oriented private equity firm on board.
The objective is to jointly bring the business to the next level. With the addition of the London partner and the management, it is ACT’s ambition to expand to 350 employees and one or two additional offices within a few years.
Jaap Janssen (founder of ACT): ‘This is the second time that Marktlink’s team supported us in attracting an investor, to our complete satisfaction. Not only do the guys at Marktlink know their trade, they also know how to render an important and exciting process such as this enjoyable as well.’