Grant Thornton advises Denmark’s Ancotrans on first Dutch acquisition

18 October 2022 2 min. read

Denmark-headquartered Ancotrans has expanded its presence in the Dutch container logistics market with the acquisition of Transport Rien Boom. The Danes were advised by dealmakers from Grant Thornton.

A family-owned company whose history goes back to 1882 in a harbour in Copenhagen, Ancotrans today is one of Europe’s larger container transportation companies. Every day, the company has around 900 trucks and 2,000 chassis driving on and off from logistical hubs in Denmark (Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus, Aalborg), Sweden (Gothenburg, Helsingborg), Germany (Hamburg, Cologne), and the Netherlands (Rotterdam).

“We’ve been looking for expansion in Rotterdam (Europe’s largest port) for a while, and with the family history and values of Rien Boom, we’re convinced we have secured the right partner,” said Anne Kathrine Steenbjerge, CEO and a 5th generation member of Ancotrans’ founding Steenbjerge family.

Grant Thornton advises Denmark's Ancotrans on first Dutch acquisition

Founded in 1975, Transport Rien Boom has around 40 own trucks and gensets and 60 chassis. The company – which specialises in the reefer segment [cooled and temperature-controlled transport] – has close to 50 employees operating from a base in Schelluinenin, a village just outside of Rotterdam.

Following closing, Ancotrans will have more than 100 trucks in the Netherlands. “We will move the team in our Moerdijk office to the nice facilities of Transport Rien Boom in Schelluinenin at the beginning of 2023,” said Steenbjerge.

Guiding the Danes through their transaction was a team from Grant Thornton’s Dutch practice. The firm provided the full suite of M&A services, spanning M&A advisory (team: Wouter Wolzak), financial due diligence (Wilfred van der Lee, Kevin van den Berg, Thom Jenster), tax advisory (Jurgen van Hattum, Henk Brinks, Kimberley van Tilburg, Daisy Ho), and legal support (Jan van Ederen, Harmke de Hoop - Willems).

Commenting on the deal, Wolzak said: “The container road transport market is still a highly fragmented market. It has been an honour to work with one oldest Danish family owned companies and very impressive management team on their first acquisition in the Netherlands.”

Meanwhile, for Transport Rien Boom, it was the right time to pass on “our family business to a new family,” said Martin and Marja Boom, former owners of the Dutch company.

“After a thorough and careful introduction period with a lot of common meetings and relations building, it became clear to us that the match with Ancotrans extends beyond being active in a common industry and sharing a similar way of working. The DNA of both companies is based on family-owned businesses, and we have an equal set of values,” said Martin and Marja Boom.