Deloitte, OC&C and PwC advise on Aegon's acquisition of Robidus

07 August 2018 Authored by Consultancy.eu

Aegon, a Netherlands-based insurance company, has acquired professional services firm Robidus from private equity firm Avedon Capital Partners. Deloitte, PwC and OC&C Strategy Consultants were among the consultancies that advised on the deal rumoured to be worth just under €100 million.

Founded in 2003, Robidus is a specialist consultancy that helps Dutch employers execute their tasks and responsibilities regarding employee absence and disability – the majority of these activities focus on compliance with regulations set by regulatory bodies. The company helps its clients with executing HR-processes for social security legislation and regulation and manage the associated financial risk and cost, as well as with minimising the costs of re-integration, burn-out and long-term sickness. At the other end of the talent spectrum, Robidus also crafts programmes that aim to unlock talent potential in order to increase productivity and employee engagement.

In the past three years, Robidus has booked steep growth. Under the wings of Avedon Capital Partners, an investor active mainly in the Benelux which stepped in in September 2015, Robidus almost doubled its revenues through organic growth (up to €36.5 million) and the workforce increased from 200 to 350 professionals. The development coincided with a strong financial improvement: the net profit rose from €5 million in 2016 to almost €6 million in 2017, according to the company’s most recent annual accounts.

“Over the past years, Robidus has developed into a tech-enabled company with deep knowledge of the market and a full service offering. We are proud that we were able to support the required investments in the company. We are convinced that with Aegon, Robidus has found a strategic partner to support a bright future for the company,” said Alfred Tulp and Ronald Kolk of Avedon Capital Partners.

Deloitte, OC&C and PwC advise on Aegon's acquisition of Robidus

The sale to Aegon was orchestrated by Avedon, which believed the time was right to exit. “We noticed growing interest in the company. Various parties, both strategists and financial parties, had declared their interest,” said Tulp to Dutch newspaper FD. Building on the interest, Avedon launched a controlled auction, a process which provides a select group the opportunity to bid for a target. Aegon came out of the process as the clear winner, said Tulp, on the back of its ability to recover much of the purchase price through synergies. “Aegon paid a higher price.” For Aegon, Robidus' activities are complementary to existing services in the field of pensions and income protection. Moreover, the insurer expects to leverage the expertise of Robidus to bolster its claim handling of insurance policies. 

Maarten Edixhoven, CEO of Aegon in the Netherlands, said that following the integration, Robidus will maintain its position as an independent operating company. “While we will be able to benefit from the knowledge and expertise within Aegon to further develop our company, it is important to us that we retain our independent role in advising employers on social security topics,” remarked Sven Kelder, the CEO of Robidus. 

Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed – but insiders to the matter estimate that the deal value lies between €50 million and just under €100 million. Aegon, which has 4,300 employees in the Netherlands, acquired a stake of 95% in Robidus in the deal, while the remaining 5% is held by the company’s management. 

Dealmakers

The transaction was brought to a successful close by M&A advisors from seven external consultancies. Transaction services were provided by teams from Deloitte (Siebe Groenveld, Steef van Kuijen, Robin Suidgeest, Sven Vloedgraven, Pim Postma, Joost van Eijk) and PwC (Wilbert van den Heuvel, Robbert Sturm, Alexandra Tudor), while OC&C Strategy Consultants provided commercial due diligence support. Deloitte further supported tax advisory and IT advisory work (Elwin Makkus, Michiel van de Velde, Helmi Snoek, Kurt de Wijer).

M&A consultancy services was provided by Quore Capital (Chris Franken, Remco van der Pol, Bas Vermeulen) and international corporate finance firm Houlihan Lokey (Rob Oudman, Tim Shortland, Paul Tracey, Mark Fisher, Vicki Sun, Louis Vercruysse). For legal support, Aegon, Robidus and Avedon tapped the support of the Dutch arms of law firms Allen & Overy (Gijs Linse, Nina Gans) and Simmons & Simmons (Pieter van Uchelen, Pieter de Visser). 

Robidus works for several hundred Dutch organisations, including multinationals and insurance companies, with its new parent Aegon one of its clients.

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