De Jong Hout & Staalhandel
Construction & Maintenance
Successful entrepreneurship De Jong Hout & Staalhandel awarded by the acquisition by TABS
The freedom to do as you please; this was Anton de Jong’s motivation to start his own company De Jong Hout & Staalhandel in 2011. It turned out to be a great success; so great even, that the entrepreneur decided to sell. In Timber and Building Supplies Holland (TABS), backed by investor HAL Investments, Anton de Jong found the perfect partner to safeguard the continuity of his company and his employees.
Anton de Jong did not think twice about his decision to sell his company. “Which might sound strange, but I am the type of person that likes to build something from the ground up. Once other aspects get involved, such as the responsibility for staff, it’s no longer fun for me; it does not match the freedom I like to pursue. More important still, that would do no justice to the people that contributed to De Jong Hout & Staalhandel’s success. In reality, it is a First World problem: good entrepreneurship placed me in this role, but this has never been my goal.”
Making the company ready for sale
Maybe that is why Anton de Jong barely feels any sentiment at the sale of his company. “I’m too level-headed for that”, he says. “At an early stage, I had already discussed a possible sale with my accountant. Together, we took concrete steps to make the company ready for sale. Meanwhile, several parties approached me to find out my plans for the future, but that led nowhere. However, it got me thinking about a professional approach to the whole process, so I called on Marktlink.”
“During the process, I was able to focus on my company’s day-to-day operations while the dealteam worked to bring in the right parties. It was very pleasant to brainstorm with them on various topics.”
– Anton de Jong, De Jong Hout & Staalhandel
It quickly became clear that De Jong Hout & Staalhandel was a sought-after company. Still, Anton de Jong entertained no illusions. “That is not in my nature either. It was nice to see that there was so much interest, but if all interested parties pull out, I will still have to remain involved myself. The M&A specialists from Marktlink had the same approach. Popping the champagne after the deal is closed, not before. During the process, I was able to focus on my company’s day-to-day operations while the dealteam worked to bring in the right parties. It was very pleasant to brainstorm with them on various topics.
In the end, TABS matched Anton de Jong’s personal and commercial wishes the best. “I don’t want to be negative, but it was clear to me that I wanted to step down as soon as possible. I am not cut out for running a business this way. I am convinced that my people are absolutely in better hands with TABS. For the time being, I will remain involved to steer the transfer in the right direction, so I will be around for a while. But with a clear end date, and that gives me peace of mind.”
Looking back on the past few years, Anton de Jong would not have wanted to do it any differently. “While I was employed, I decided to go my own way. I saw opportunities and seized them because I was convinced that this was what I had to do. It fills me with pride to see that, 13 years down the line, this resulted in an acquisition by such a great company. Looking to the future, I have few concrete plans yet. First I want to enjoy some peace and quiet and then I’ll see what exciting new things will come my way.”