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ACTA* goes to the next stage with NPM Capital


8 July 2011

Almost five years after ABN AMRO Participaties took over Kiwa from the Dutch water companies through the ACTA* investment company, it is about to step down as major shareholder in favour of a secondary management buyout supported by NPM Capital. The documents for the intended transaction will be signed on 8 July 2011. It is expected that the new ownership structure will be effected early September, after a few issues, including the consent of the Netherlands Competition Authority NMa, have been dealt with. Shield Group Nederland is also an independent organisation that belongs to ACTA* and is entering a new stage as a consortium of quality, inspection and testing companies.

During the recent period, Kiwa has become an internationally operating Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC) company with the support of ABN AMRO Participaties. The portfolio was increased considerably, from quality assurance and certification for the traditional working areas in construction and utilities (water, gas/energy), to agriculture and food, education, care, safety & security and CSR. From a solid Dutch company Kiwa became a medium-sized European player with operations in more than 50 countries and is the only remaining Dutch certification company of this size.

Shield Group Nederland deals with safety and security in living and working surroundings and the environment. It inspects, analyses and monitors hazardous substances such as Legionella pneumophila and asbestos in the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain through the companies Fibrecount, Bioconsult and Oesterbaai.

Those involved want to use the intended change of shareholder to ensure that Kiwa can continue to exist as an autonomous TIC company and certification mark and has opportunities for further development. The same goes for Shield. NPM Capital has stated that it wants to support this ambition.

Kiwa’s CEO Paul Hesselink: “In recent years, Kiwa has proved through autonomous growth and an active acquisition policy that it can grow rapidly and, at the same time, keep up the reliability and quality of its services. We have also become less dependent on the traditional Dutch territories by going global and expanding our portfolio to include certification for the agricultural and food sector, the care sector through Kiwa Prisman, education, safety and prevention and sustainable business practices. Furthermore, we now also perform some duties on behalf of the government, for the transport sector for example, in a slightly different and more efficient manner. This means that we have almost reached the critical volume for international independence in strongly competitive markets. In the next five years, Kiwa will focus on doubling its turnover and network. NPM Capital endorses and supports this strategy completely.”

NPM is pleased to be able to join Kiwa. Director Johan Terpstra of NPM: “NPM has always had an interest in helping strong Dutch companies expand internationally. Kiwa is such a solid company with great potential. We have confidence in this development and support it because the management of Kiwa does not only show that it has vision, but also entrepreneurship to realise this vision. Our investment will allow the current strategy to be continued in full, in order to let Kiwa become an independent, robust and versatile European high-quality company.”

Bob Kramer, director of ABN AMRO Participaties is pleased to report: “When we got to know Kiwa five years ago, we already saw the drive for further development. That went even faster than we had expected. What organisation can double its size in the current economic situation, while maintaining its own quality and principles? Late 2009, Shield also joined ACTA* as independent organisation. Now it is time for us as an investor to pass the torch. NPM is a sound successor as investor for the next stage. We have confidence in the combination and wish them lots of success!”
About Kiwa
Kiwa is a certification company with related inspection and lab operations, complemented with training, technology and data services. Incorporated in 1948 by the Dutch water companies and merged in 2005 with sister organisation Gastec, nowadays the working areas include construction, water and energy, transport, agriculture and food, safety and sustainability. With around 1,150 employees in 9 countries, the company realised a turnover of more than EUR 110 million in 2010, which is a doubling compared to 2006. The organisation is characterised by a very flat structure with a large degree of independence for the mainly technical professionals that it employs. The head office is located in Rijswijk.

About Shield Group Nederland
From the head office in Rotterdam, Shield Group Nederland works with 140 employees on the protection against hazardous substances through inspections, laboratory analyses and independent supervision during the removal of hazardous substances such as asbestos and Legionella pneumophila. With operations in the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain, it is one of the few international players in Europe. The group is known, among other things, for its support in the ‘Asbestos in school’ campaign and incidents such as the asbestos boat Otapan and the fire at Delft University of Technology.

About NPM Capital
NPM Capital has offices in Amsterdam and Brussels and invests in medium to large-sized companies. NPM Capital is a leading financial partner with more than 60 years’ experience in financing buyouts and the provision of growth capital in the Benelux.  NPM Capital manages a portfolio of more than 25 investments.