Seven Stars continues its growth path after acquisition by Axiom
After 17 years, Seven Stars will operate as part of the Axiom Group. De Axiom Group also comprises other staffing companies, such as Circle8 (formerly “De Staffing Groep”) and FixedToday. The Swiss investment firm had had its eye on this gem in the IT staffing business for some time. With Seven Stars, Axiom acquired a financially healthy player with a proven track record.
Departing CEO and founder Marius Nijland had been noticing that “his” Seven Stars attracted the attention of potential buyers, says dealmaker Jeroen Oldengarm. At the start of 2022, he set the sale process in motion together with Joep van den Enk and Mark Schutte. “Marius and I go back a long time, we spoke frequently and in these conversations, it became increasingly clear that there was targeted interest in Seven Stars. This gave Marius food for thought and it finally resulted in a concrete plan.”
As usual, the Marktlink dealteam compiled a list of potential buyers; which is how Axiom came into the picture. With Seven Stars’ experienced and driven team, located in Zwolle, Utrecht and Groningen, Axiom strengthens its position in the IT staffing market and its Total Talent Workforce position. Axiom’s growth ambitions align flawlessly with Seven Star’s requirements. And for Axiom, which was not yet active in the northeast of the Netherlands, the acquisition means geographic expansion. Also, by acquiring this large player –that is what Seven Stars is, after all – Axiom reinforces its position in the Dutch IT staffing market.
As far as Axiom is concerned, its buy-and-build strategy is far from completed, Jeroen Oldengarm states. “As an actively contributing shareholder, it also wants to become an international player in the staffing industry. Seven Stars is a good fit for Axiom’s strategy, after previously acquiring Circle8 and FixedToday. Good companies with a strong market position and proven track record are rare; these are the very companies with which you can achieve synergies and strengthen your market position. This is an opportunity you have to seize with both hands.”
Next growth phase
Marius Nijland also recognised Axiom as the right partner: “Axiom, with its extensive experience in the staffing industry and its Total Talent Workforce service range, is a great support. From the first contact with Axiom’s team, it felt like a partnership that made me feel good about handing my company over for the next growth phase.” Seven Stars currently placed over 700 IT professionals with private and public clients and, in 17 years, has grown to an expected annual turnover of more than €80 million in 2022.
Mike Verheijen (CFO) and Ronald Raidt (CCO) will continue the management team together with Corianna Geersing, who joins the team as Chief People Officer (CPO). With a safe haven for his company secured, a new day is dawning for Marius Nijland. “I truly am proud of the company as it is today. Working with Marktlink was also very pleasant. As an entrepreneur, you want quick results, but there just are different stages you have to go through. Then it’s reassuring to have a team to fall back on by your side.”