Gate Invest has sold AB&C Groep to EPSA

AB&C Groep

AB&C Groep is a fast-growing professional services platform offering a range of complementary specialist services to the governmental, education, semi-public, healthcare and private end markets through seven offices in the Netherlands. AB&C has a decentralized go-to-market strategy through nine established brands focused on the mission-critical themes of cost optimization, business transformation and operational control. AB&C’s complementary service offering spans consultancy and transformation, digital transformation, outsourcing, executive search, interim management and secondment services, which are sold along customer journeys by the brands. The company has a market-leading position in procurement and has strong positions in the operations and finance and technology verticals.

The Deal

AB&C was owned by Dutch family office Gate Invest (majority shareholder), the founder / Chief Executive Officer and other (former) management. Over the years, AB&C had realized strong organic growth, further accelerated through a successful buy-and-build strategy, including most recently the acquisition of NewDawn, Boer & Croon and proQure. With significant scale achieved, the shareholders jointly decided to attract a new growth-oriented partner to support management to take the business to the next level including international expansion. Lincoln International’s focused process targeted the most likely trade buyers and experienced human capital investors and unlocked strong initial appetite. This allowed to parallel track multiple transaction alternatives (including stand alone private equity, structured equity and managed buyout), maximizing competitive pressure and optionality for the shareholders. A combination with EPSA ultimately proved to fit best with the stakeholders objectives and represents an outlier outcome for a professional services platform in today’s market, further extending Lincoln’s track record in human capital transactions.

Our Perspective

Martijn Koops, Lincoln International Managing Director who led the transaction, commented, “The combination with EPSA truly is a best-of-both-worlds outcome. With EPSA, AB&C has found an international private equity-backed partner with a similar decentral operating model focused on mission-critical themes, whilst maintaining a relative high degree of strategic independence. It has been a pleasure to work with the entrepreneurial teams at AB&C and Gate Invest to make this landmark transaction happen.”

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