Stolze reaches agreement with investment company HAL as new shareholder

3 November 2020

Maasdijk-based company Stolze, a global player providing technical systems for horticultural greenhouses, has reached an agreement with investment firm HAL to take a majority stake in the family business. In joining forces with HAL, the company, founded in 1969, has secured a stable shareholder that can help them continue to grow internationally over the long term, the company reports.

Shareholders Niels van den Ende (MT member and Benelux Commercial Manager), Theo Stolze (Export Manager) and Carel van Ruijven (Operations Manager) will continue to operate as shareholders within Stolze.

‘Our new shareholder has a strong strategic vision for future developments in the international horticultural sector. And that vision is in line with ours, especially around what we need to achieve our growth goals and international expansion in the coming years,’ says Jilles Goedknegt, Stolze CEO.

Part of that vision is using targeted participations to form a group of leading horticultural companies to complement each other in the supply chain for horticultural projects. ‘That could include a wide range of companies, from greenhouse builders and automation companies to service providers. Together, these companies can respond to the growing demand from investors for turnkey solutions in America, Asia, the Middle East and Russia. These are horticultural projects that are becoming larger and more complex and require greater collaboration between specialist suppliers,’ says Goedknegt.

Theo Stolze says that in the Netherlands, the grower is usually the one buying systems for their own greenhouses, while abroad it is often investors who are looking for complete cultivation solutions. ‘The importance of system quality and integration is growing every day. Systems are becoming more complex and increasingly critical for crop controllability and yield. HAL has a keen eye for these developments, too, and their plans to procure an interest in greenhouse builder Prins Group are proof of that. If we don’t head down this road now, in just a few short years, we’ll be falling behind.’

‘HAL Investments will bring us significant added value to managing the growth we want to achieve in the coming years,’ adds Niels van den Ende. ‘In addition to being a stable, financially strong shareholder, we will be gaining a partner with expertise and clout that can help us professionalise our business processes, attract new talent, and expand our range of services nationally and internationally. At the same time, we want to continue being the family business we have always been, a company with short and accessible lines of communication. HAL’s own story makes them very sensitive to that aspect of the business.’

Stolze posted a net sales of €95 million in 2019 with approximately 121 FTEs. The company has offices in Maasdijk and Aalsmeer in the Netherlands. Abroad, Stolze maintains a network of dealers and has service points in multiple countries that provide service to local customers.

Stolze was advised on the transaction by Triple Group, the knowledge and network centre for greenhouse farming chains.

The proposed transaction is subject to standard conditions for transactions of this nature, including approval by competition authorities, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021. Further financial details of the transaction will not be disclosed.

Stolze provides complete lighting systems. Hybrid lighting systems on horticultural farms deliver significant energy savings and the right light spectrum for every crop. It supports food production with minimum impact on people and the environment and maximum production with minimal resources and Stolze provides complete water systems for horticultural greenhouses, from irrigation to disinfection of return water for reuse.

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