7.4 Sustainable Cities
With its Sustainable Cities platform, Gimv focuses on creating an efficient and sustainable society in urban areas, by partnering with companies working on innovative energy and mobility applications. The focus here is on strong performers in HVAC, green energy, water management, waste treatment and recycling. Other sectors include durable building materials, modular construction, chemicals, fire safety and green transportation. Through our shareholdings we can, as an investor, make an important contribution to the cities of the future.
In the past year, the team took a 60% shareholding inAcceo, a French independent player in lift inspection and monitoring services, and in accessibility and energy-efficiency audits of buildings (www.acceo.eu).
The team also undertook 3 divestments: Lampiris, Biodiesel Holding (Bioro) and BMC.
Lampiris (www.lampiris.be), founded in 2003 by Bruno Venanzi and Bruno Vanderschueren, is an independent electricity and gas distributor with approximately 850 000 connections in Belgium. Since 2013, when Gimv became a shareholder, Lampiris has also become active in France, where it has developed into a fast-growing market challenger with around 200 000 connections (June 2016). Over the past few years, Lampiris has grown from outside challenger on the Belgian energy market to professional energy distributor, with a strong market position, solid customer base and an attractive product range. The acquisition by Total in June 2016 offers Lampiris a unique opportunity to grow further.
In the existing portfolio there was also a follow-on investment in Itineris, a Belgian company offering innovative software solutions and services for the utilities industry (www.itineris.be - see highlight). The Dutch company Brakel, active in glass daylight constructions and in ventilation and fire safety solutions, expanded its fire safety division by acquiring Belgian company Argina Technics (www.brakel.com).
Overview Sustainable Cities portfolio
At end-March 2017, the Sustainable Cities team managed 9 companies representing an amount of EUR 186 million.
|Acceo||Inspection and certification services for buildings||France|
|ARS T&TT||Integrated solutions for Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS)||the Netherlands|
|Ecochem||Eco-friendly flame retardant additives||Belgium|
|Brakel||High-end solutions for glass daylight constructions, ventilation & fire safety systems||the Netherlands|
|Hansea||Transport & logistic services||Belgium|
|Itho Daalderop||Provider of complete HVAC solutions in the residential renovation and new build markets||the Netherlands|
|Itineris||Software solution company||Belgium|
|Contraload||Plastic pallet pooling||Belgium|
|Well Services Group||Service provider to oil and gas industry||the Netherlands|
"With the help of a new investment round, Itineris, a European builder of customer information systems, can also intensify the transformation of North American utilities." Edgard Vermeersch, CEO and founder of Itineris
The company, founded in 2003 by Edgard Vermeersch, delivers integrated business solutions that are 100% focused on utilities. Itineris uses its own innovative UMAX™ software solution. This is a leading Customer Information System (CIS) for managing the entire process from metering to payment, and from tendering to invoicing and collection. Today, Itineris posts sales of around USD 40 million with more than 250 employees.
UMAX provides utilities with unique tools to optimise the profitability of their entire customer portfolios. This solution was positioned in the 2013 CIS Magic Quadrant. As a recognized utilities sector specialist, Itineris also offers its customers consulting and other IT services.
In 2012 Itineris, headquartered in Ghent, moved into the North American market, building on its excellent track record in Europe. In just a few years, the company has undertaken an impressive set of successful implementations with a number of major international utilities, including GDF SUEZ, E.ON, AGL Resources, Eneco, De Watergroep and Delta.
Following earlier investments in 2013 and 2015, Gimv and Gimv-managed Gimv Arkiv Tech Fund II made in January 2017 a further EUR 7.8 million investment in Itineris. This financing, which fits into our long-term approach, will be used for further product innovation, capacity expansion and accelerated expansion in the American market.