Oaklins Netherlands advises VAF Instruments on sale to Aalberts Industries

01 August 2018 Consultancy.eu 4 min. read

Netherlands-based Aalberts Industries has acquired VAF Instruments, a manufacturer of high-tech sensors and measurement systems. Around 85 employees of VAF Instruments will join Aalberts Industries, strengthening the firm’s fluid control activities.

With revenues of over €2.7 billion, Aalberts Industries is one of the globe’s larger manufacturer of so-called ‘mission-critical systems’ for industrial groups – technologies and software that support key processes of companies in, among others, the energy, oil & gas, industry, real estate and automotive sectors.

The company’s latest acquisition – earlier deals include that of Ventrex Automotive, Eloxal-Werk-Burg, the French division of Thomson Genlis and Conbraco Industries – of VAF Instruments adds approximately €20 million to its revenue base. Founded in 1983, in Dordrecht, VAF Instruments supplies products to the power plant, industrial and marine sectors. In particular in the latter industry the company boasts a strong track record – for its product range VAF is a leading supplier to the top-100 shipyards and the vast majority of ship owners worldwide. 

“VAF brings knowledge of high-tech sensors, measurement systems and performance management software engineering to the Aalberts portfolio,” said a spokesperson of Aalberts Industries, adding “the global customer base will strongly improve our position in the marine and power generation end markets.” In addition, the acquirer expects to leverage VAF’s technical expertise to bolster its footprint in other segments. “VAF’s portfolio can be valuable in other applications.”

Oaklins Netherlands advises VAF Instruments on sale to Aalberts Industries

The two parties were brought together by an external M&A consultancy. Following a strategic review last year, VAF’s shareholders concluded that finding a strategic partner would benefit the firm’s growth endeavours. The company hired experts from the Dutch arm of Oaklins, a market M&A advisor with around 700 professionals globally, to lead the process. "We believed that Oaklins would do the best job at positioning our company in the right way to the right group of international buyers,” explained Leo Blankenstein, CEO of VAF Instruments. 

Months down the line, Fokko Poldervaart, a partner at Oaklins, said he is proud to have advised the shareholders of VAF Instruments on the successful deal. He commented; “In a market characterised by increasing levels of (environmental) regulation, a strong drive for fuel cost efficiency and tight budgets, we have been able to clearly demonstrate the exceptional position and potential of VAF Instruments. With a positive long-term outlook for VAF Instruments, both in new build and in retrofit categories, we are convinced the joining of forces will prove a positive story to Aalberts Industries.”

Blankenstein added; “Oaklins’ team proved its value to us throughout the process. They helped identify and structure the right deal with finally the right strategic partner for us, ticking of all the boxes from our wish list.” 

As part of the integration, the management team of VAF will continue to manage the company, while teaming up with Aalberts to drive synergies in growth, operations and innovation. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. 

Other recent deals closed in the Netherlands include that of MAK Aandrijvingen, acquired by Swedish industrial conglomerate Axel Johnson International; software solutions firm Goyello, acquired by Indian IT player Aspire Systems, and; telecom & IT service providers Tritel and Fieber, purchased by Benelux private equity firm Vortex Capital Partners. 

According to an analysis by KPMG, the number of deals in the Netherlands currently stands at its highest point in a decade.