‘The pandemic triggered me to digitalise’
Philippe Rooseleer, Managing Partner of Belgian advisory firm Fibiz-Partners, insists that nothing beats meeting people face to face. As an advisor, Rooseleer specialises in M&A, restructuring, seed- and growth funding, international expansion and strategic advice. Before the corona pandemic made public meetings impossible, he regularly visited M&A and other networking events in Belgium and abroad. ‘Often, these offer the opportunity to meet new and valuable contacts’, explains Rooseleer. Over the years, he built an extensive network in the Belgian business community. ‘We have a database with investors, advisors and corporates that on more than one occasion, helped us find deal candidates.’
Wanted: experienced MBI candidate
Though Rooseleer had considered using online M&A platforms before, it was the pandemic that triggered him to take action and become a member of Dealsuite. The first deal that he shared was D!nk, a Belgian SAAS-tech company that develops user-friendly software to improve efficiency in business processes and reduce time wasters such as paperwork, administration and time-consuming reporting. It has a strong focus on the sales process. Its platform Salesmatik offers built-in interactive applications to enable multinationals like Nutricia and Pierre Fabre to build data-driven sales tools. In its 11-year existence, D!nk-founder Jan Dheedene had grown D!nk from a start-up into a successful business with a loyal client base and a revenue of 2 million euro. He believed a capital injection and new leadership was needed to take the company to a next phase, aimed at international expansion. At the same time, he wanted to sell a portion of his shares. An experienced management buy-in candidate, someone who has experience in leading a scale-up, would be the ideal solution. A less ideal alternative would be a 100% take-over by a strategic buyer.
A lot of interest
When Rooseleer shared the deal on Dealsuite in March 2020, there was no lack of interest. The recurring revenue of D!nk makes the company an attractive acquisition target. But no investor fit the bill as perfectly as Peter Hermans. ‘We could not have hoped for a better candidate,’ says Rooseleer. Previously, Hermans made waves in the Belgian business community with the highly successful turnaround of Enhesa, a data supplier specialising in environmental, health and safety regulations compliance management. As CEO, Hermans turned this struggling company into a profitable business with double-digit growth figures in both sales and profitability for five consecutive years, resulting in a 80 million euro management buy-out by private equity fund Waterland in 2019.
In November 2020, Hermans joined D!nk as shareholder and CEO. Besides taking over existing shares, he will increase the capital of the company by at least 1 million euro. Founder Dheedene, who will stay on as minority shareholder, is excited with the new leadership, says Rooseleer. In turn, he is happy to have found an ideal candidate for his client. ‘Actually, Hermans and I have been acquainted for two decades, but I had no idea that he would be interested in D!nk. And when he responded to the deal on Dealsuite, he didn’t know that I was representing D!nk. It was a very happy coincidence.’