7.1 Connected Consumer
The life expectancy of the population is increasing with, in emerging countries, a growing middle class with specific needs. Almost everyone is permanently reachable by mobile media, social media are in, and on-line purchasing is widely practised. In short, a growing number of selective and knowledgeable consumers are out looking for ever better and more sophisticated products and services, using multimedia in a multi-channel distribution model. The considerations that led to the creation of the consumer platform are more than ever relevant today.
Last year, the Connected Consumer team invested in 2 new companies, with a 40% shareholding in Joolz, a Dutch brand of premium pushchairs (www.my-joolz.com), more info in highlight and in Real Impact Analytics, a Belgian innovative start-up in big data applications (www.realimpactanalytics.com).
Also in the past financial year, Vandemoortele, Teads and Hecht were fully divested.
In May 2016, Gimv sold its 23.58% holding in Vandemoortele, a family-controlled Belgian food group with a European dimension, to Safinco (www.vandemoortele.com). Vandemoortele was the first investment of the Gimv-XL fund. In 2009, Gimv came in with a subordinated loan with warrants to strengthen the company's financial structure in a challenging period. The purpose of the cooperation was to enable Vandemoortele to play a leading role in the large and growing European market for frozen bakery products, while maintaining its strong presence in margarine, culinary oils and fats. With Gimv's support, Vandemoortele launched an ambitious investment programme to improve operational performance and increase revenue, through both internal growth and acquisitions.
In this way Vandemoortele grew from sales of EUR 970 million and a REBITDA of EUR 79 million in 2007 (the year Vandemoortele decided to expand into frozen bakery products) to sales of EUR 1.4 billion and a REBITDA of EUR 126 million. Today, the group, which comprises two business units (bakery products and margarines, culinary oils and fats), is one of Europe's leading food producers, with a soundly structured balance sheet and good prospects for further profitable growth. The return over the entire 7-year investment period was significantly higher than Gimv's long-term return.
In March 2017, Gimv sold its shareholding in French company Teads (www.teads.tv), the inventor of outstream video advertising and the largest video advertising platform in the world, to listed company Altice. Gimv's investment in 2011 had enabled Teads to accelerate its growth in Europe, through both internal growth and acquisitions, with sales rising from USD 15 million (2010) to nearly USD 200 million (2016), and with a positive EBITDA during the past four years. During this period Teads also expanded around the world, first in Europe and then in Latin America and the United States. Today, Teads operates from 27 facilities in 21 countries with a team of over 500 employees, of whom 100 in the innovation team. This investment too yielded an attractive added value with a return that exceeds Gimv's long-term average.
Overview Connected Consumer portfolio
At end-March 2017, the Connected Consumer team managed 14 companies representing an amount of EUR 224 million.
|Greenyard||Development, production and sale of deep-frozen food products||Belgium|
|Impression International||Posters and point of sales campaigns||Belgium|
|Joolz||Premium baby strollers||the Netherlands|
|Made in Design||Online store for design furniture||France|
|Marco Vasco||Online tailor-made tour operator and travel agency||France|
|Melijoe||Children’s multi-brand fashion e-tailer||France|
|PowerInbox||Provider of interactive email solutions||Israël|
|Real Impact Analytics||Telecom big-data applications||Belgium|
|Studiekring||Tutoring and student coaching||the Netherlands|
|UDB||Independent beer group||the Netherlands|
|Walkro||Production of substrate for the cultivation of mushrooms||the Netherlands|
|Wolf||Design, manufacturing and distribution of women's underwear||France|
"We are convinced that Gimv is the ideal partner to help us become a world-known, top level luxury pushchair brand." Emile Kuenen & Stan Vermeulen - Joolz
Dutch company Joolz, set up in 2000, designs stylish and distinctive premium pushchairs. The company is distinguished by the quality of its products, its modern brand and unique corporate culture. At present, Joolz sells its products through distributors (children's shops, boutiques) in around 25 countries and already has a leading position in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. At the end of 2016, Joolz was also successfully launched in the US.
Joolz's ambition is to inspire young families to adopt a sustainable and healthy lifestyle, against the current social trend of urbanization and sustainability. This goal is expressed in ergonomic products, reusable packaging materials, the Joolz 'Birth Forest', the partners with whom the company works and the sustainability initiatives in the company itself, including energy.
At the end of April 2016, Gimv acquired a 40% stake in Joolz. We want to support Joolz, as an active sparring partner, in realizing its ambition of becoming a top luxury pushchair brand worldwide, through geographic expansion in Europe and beyond and with the launch of new products. Both the fit between the Gimv and Joolz brands, corporate cultures and ambitions, and the Gimv team's accumulated experience with other consumer companies in the high-end baby and children's sector, add further value to this partnership.