Authentic Models Inc. / Authentic Models B.V. finds growth partner for the future in Think2Act

Authentic Models Inc. (hereinafter AM) is a wholesaler of luxury themed accessories and furniture. The items are inspired by the theme of ‘classic travels’ and the associated feeling of adventure of the time. AM was founded as an antiques business in Amsterdam 45 years ago, and has grown into a global wholesaler of authentic replicas of antique objects.

Over the years, AM has developed into a stable organisation, that sells its products in more than 50 countries across the world. The head office is split over two locations: one in Eugene, Oregon in the United States, which also houses a joint design department, and one in Zeewolde in the Netherlands, where central purchasing is located. Sales, finance, and logistics are all carried out in house.

AM’s objective is to keep innovating and developing new objects and designs, each with a unique story and history, to inspire its customers. Since its establishment, AM has grown into a wholesale business with more than 500 products, divided over seven different product groups in the catalogue, which is updated every year. Every year, 25 to 50 new products are designed, including the bespoke objects made specifically for the customer.

AM products are made with attention to quality and details. As such, the products are in a higher price segment. The products are made in relatively small series. AM distinguishes itself from its competitors through quality, attention to detail, and inspiring and unique objects.

After 50 of years of building a company with a global presence, AM founder and owner Haring Piebenga wanted to hand over the result of his work to a new owner. Together with Marktlink Fusies & Overnames, a plan was drawn up to find a party that would respect what was achieved, and would also support the current management’s mission: to turn AM into a more market-oriented company. His passion for history and historical objects sees Haring remain active within the company as a creative director.

Marktlink’s role
Marktlink Fusies & Overnames guided and structured the entire sales process from beginning to end on behalf of Haring Piebenga. To move to the next level independently, management found the right strategic partner in Belgian investor Think2Act. Fredrik Jonker from Marktlink: “With his strong entrepreneurial spirit Haring has built an amazing company. So there was a lot of interest, especially because of the global presence and the direct access to the American market. From a financial, cultural, and legal standpoint, it was an inspiring and challenging deal, but we were able to overcome every challenge thanks to the right mindset from everyone involved.”