VINCI Energies acquires AVT Group

VINCI Energies acquires AVT Group, a leading provider of industrial automation and heavy load solutions

 Common Ground is happy to share the successful acquisition of AVT Group by VINCI Energies, the VINCI subsidiary (Euronext Paris: DG) specializing in energy, and information and communication technology. With this acquisition, VINCI Energies further strengthens its strategic position in the Belgian market. VINCIEnergies has a strong local presence and agile organisational structure with a revenue of €10.8 billion (2017) and 69,400 employees in 53 countries.

AVT Group is specialized in industrial automation (from robotic integration projects over factory automation to custom made machinery), in heavy load handling and logistic solutions for internal transport (from free moveable platforms to automatic guided vehicles on wheel, rail or air cushions) and in industrial electrical works (including the design, installation and commissioning of medium and high voltage cubicles).

The Group has headquarters in Essen near Antwerp, subsidiaries in Germany, China, France and The Netherlands and employs 65 employees.

CommonGround acted as the exclusive advisor to AVT Group.

“Common Ground listened to our specific needs and understood our unique positioning. Their broad experience and expertise in M&A deal structuring was very instrumental in finding a balanced and satisfying result. The network structure of VINCI Energies will enable AVT to accelerate growth ambitions both in Belgium and abroad”, says Luc Van Thillo, CEO and previous shareholder of AVT Group.


ForFarmers acquires Voeders Algoet

ForFarmers strengthens position in Belgium by acquiring Voeders Algoet

Common Ground Corporate Finance is happy to share the successful acquisition of the Belgian feed company Voeders Algoet by ForFarmers (Euronext Amsterdam: FFARM). As a result, ForFarmers strengthens its position as feed company in Belgium with the offer of Total Feed solutions.

‘ForFarmers’ from Lochem in the Netherlands is an internationally operating feed group that offers total feed solutions for conventional and organic livestock farming. With sales of approximately 9.6 million tonnes of feed annually, ForFarmers is market leader in Europe. ForFarmers has approximately 2,300 employees and production facilities in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. In 2017, revenues amounted to over €2.2 billion.

Voeders Algoet is a Belgian feed company that sells around 150,000 tonnes of compound feed to swine and ruminant farmers. In the split financial year (1 July to 30 June) 2016/2017 the company generated sales of around €40 million with an EBITDA of approximately €2 million. Voeders Algoet will be integrated into ForFarmers Belgium.

Common Ground acted as the corporate finance advisor to ForFarmers.

“Common Ground’s knowledge and wide network in the animal feed sector helped a lot in finding the target and in positioning ForFarmers as the right buyer for their business”. This acquisition fits into the consolidation that is needed for a healthy agricultural sector in Belgium in the long-term. This new combination becomes the second largest feed group in Belgium.” said Adrie van der Ven, COO, and responsible for the ForFarmers Belgium/Germany cluster and new regions.

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ILD raises 9,5 Million Euro for a Real Estate Project in Poland

Common Ground Corporate Finance is pleased to announce the successful raising of a 9,5 Million Euro bank debt financing for the Polish Real Estate affiliate of ILD.

Common Ground acted as the exclusive Corporate Finance advisor for ILD and its Polish Real Estate affiliate, Obild Sp. zoo. “Common Ground’s knowledge and experience of the international banking landscape was very instrumental to position Pekao Bank as the most suited banking partner in relation to this project and to set up a 9,5 Million Euro long term Construction and Investment Loan for this Real Estate Project of ILD in Poland, ” says Filip Vanelstraete, CFO of the ILD Group.

ILD Group (www.ild.eu) is a Belgium based industrial real estate developer with a significant expertise and experience in industrial development, more specifically in Central Europe and Poland. Although its recent development activities have been located more in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia, it also has developed industrial facilities in Poland in 2010 for Greenyard Logistics (Univeg) in Buk (Poznan area) and for Teutonia in 2012 in Włocławek.

In 2017, ILD Group got a real estate development mandate from the Oschmann Group (Germany) to build a production plant and warehouse in Sulęcin (Poland) for the manufacturing of comfort beds and box spring mattresses. The 9,5 Million Euro Construction and Investment bank Loan will be used to finance the construction of these facilities .


The Invineo Project successfully increases its capital.

Common Ground Corporate Finance is pleased to announce the successful capital increase for the Invineo Project (as part of Bibmatic SA).

Common Ground acted as the corporate finance advisor for Bibmatic SA. “Common Ground’s knowledge and experience in the investor’s landscape was instrumental in helping us finding the right financial and industrial partners to support the extension of the Invineo / Bibmatic project and strategy, and to position Cinoco, SRIW and Namur Invest as the most suited equity investors to enhance the further development of the Invineo project” says Thierry Tacheny, CEO of Bibmatic SA, newly named “Invineo SA”.

The Invineo Project has developed an innovative (patented) and integrated wine-by-the-glass solution with a dedicated wine list, a smart wine dispenser and an exclusive packaging. Its aim is to meet the needs of the professionals in the hospitality business with a service that increases wine revenues and enhances customer experience when drinking wine on premises. (www.invineo.com)

With the proceeds of this capital increase, Invineo has the necessary means to test its service among selected markets and to develop the industrialization phase of its project. “We look forward to confirming our business model and preparing for the third stage of our financing: the one that will allow us to prepare for the commercial launch of our project” according to Thierry Tacheny.

Cinoco is a leading player in the Benelux market for the qualitative distribution in the wine and spirits sector.

SRIW and Namur Invest are key public players in the Walloon region to support the local economic development and employment and to take selective value added participations in established, start up or growing companies.

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Nikon transfers its CMM business to ASF

Common Ground Corporate Finance is happy to announce the successful transfer of the coordinate measuring machine (CMM) business from Nikon Metrology to ASF Metrology. Common Ground acted as the exclusive advisor to Nikon Metrology.

Nikon Metrology, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nikon Corporation, has its headquarters in Leuven (B), and is active in the field of metrology solutions for applications ranging from miniature electronics to the largest aircrafts. CMM is a one of the specific product lines that enables customers in the automotive and aerospace industries to optimize their inspection processes and improve product quality.
As a part of a strategic product review, Nikon has decided to focus on optical 3D Metrology and X-ray/CT technology and to divest the CMM business.

ASF Metrology is an Italian company with a long-term experience in the CMM market and this focus will enable the business to expand the existing solid customer base.

“Common Ground helped us in approaching a limited number of strategic and financial buyers and was able to negotiate a well balanced and attractive transaction in line with our strategy to also maintain a close relationship between both entities, each from their own strength”, says Hajime Kosawa-san, CEO of Nikon Metrology. “Also in the execution of the transaction, Common Ground ensured a swift and efficient process of this sophisticated asset deal.”