The Belgian private equity firm Ergon Capital intends to take over Gilde Buy Out Partners’ controlling stake in TMC, the Eindhoven-based employment and secondment agency for high tech engineers. On 20 May, the Dutch Authority for Consumers & Markets received a permission request for the deal, which it’s now looking into. TMC’s works council has yet to grant its approval as well.
Ending TMC’s NYSE Alternext listing after six years, Gilde acquired the majority of the stock in 2012 (link in Dutch). Under the wings of the Dutch private equity investor, the employment and secondment agency doubled in size, from over 500 employees and 50 million euros in revenue at the time of the delisting to an expected 1,100 people and 115-120 million turnover this year. The company also expanded internationally, opening offices all over Europe, as well as in Dubai, Canada and the United States.
As private equity firms have a typical investment horizon between four and seven years, the time for Gilde to exit has come. TMC founder Thijs Manders said to Eindhovens Dagblad that he will keep his minority share, as will co-founder Jan van Rijt and co-director Emmanuel Mottrie. Together, they hold over 30 percent of the company’s stock.
Ergon Capital calls itself “a lower mid-market private equity partner to families, entrepreneurs and management teams”. It was founded in 2005 with the backing of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, a renowned Belgian listed family-controlled holding company with approximately 20 billion euros of net assets. From offices in Brussels, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Munich and Paris, Ergon invests across Continental Europe, focusing on the Benelux, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. It has successfully managed four investment programs and raised 1.6 billion euros. Its current portfolio does over 700 million euros in sales, with more than 5,500 employees.