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 Smart Equity

Direct investments in our network of mature, family businesses, supported by industry experts

We invest in mature Belgian firms with long-term profitability and a clear growth model

  • We help reignite growth, by upgrading processes and facilities, expanding into new product areas and opening new markets.
  • Succession : We can help business owners looking to sell and management teams and industry veterans looking to buy.

Smart Equity
Mature, family-owned businesses

Belgian or with connections to Belgium

Investment Criteria

Buysse & Partners invests in mature Belgian companies with long-term profitability and a clear growth model.

Because of our flexibility, we can provide both growth and replacement capital. Replacement capital is typically injected into companies facing family succession issues or companies that are experiencing a buy-out by the management team. Buysse & Partners frequently meets with managers in search of a family-owned business to lead and invest in.

Numerous Belgian companies are looking for an experienced partner, that supports them in pursuit of an international growth strategy.

By attracting external capital, family businesses can diversify their financial risk and gain complementary expertise. Growth capital is attractive when targeting sector consolidation or launching of a new product or service.

Critically, these companies always have a proven track record of long-term profitability.

Seed or early stage capital and restructuring or turnaround transactions have a different risk profile and fall therefore outside our investment scope. Buysse & Partners has no specific sector focus. On the contrary it lacks affinity with sectors such as Biotech and IT.

When preparing for a long term investment, mutual trust is key. As such, it is difficult to participate in aggressive bid processes (auctions). The four investments were all proprietary deals, realised in a discrete and disciplined way through our own network to safeguard the values and existing stakeholders of the family business and investor.

Summary
  • Mature Belgian companies
  • Long-term profitability and a clear growth business model
  • Growth and/or replacement capital
  • Solutions for succession problems
  • Support for international growth and entry into new product markets
  • No venture capital or turn-around management
“Buysse & Partners has given me the opportunity to take up the challenge of leading this company, supported me all the way in my new role as CEO and helped turn around the company.”

Thanks to their support and expertise on both financial, legal and operational levels our international expansion plans are evolving very rapidly.  Buysse & Partners showed commitment and perseverance in overcoming several challenges side by side with local management. We are confident that, with a partner such as Buysse & Partners by our side, our projects can only turn out to be successful.

Dimitri Bettoni, Manager and investor

CEO, Bio Pharma Logistics

Our Investments

Our best ambassadors are the teams and companies we have invested in.

Here is a link to the story and the facts and figures behind our investments.

Acceleration Capital

Within our portfolio companies, we feel the power of disruption. We live in a rapidly changing environment and can’t afford to miss the boat. In June 2015 the retiring Cisco CEO delivered the dire prediction that 40% of companies will be dead in 10 years due to a lack of innovation.

We made it is our continuous mission to support innovation and globalisation within our portfolio companies.

Globalisation brought us to emerging consumer markets, indirectly through international sales and directly through our Latin American Growth Fund and our investments in Ecuador. But also the innovation angle triggered us to direct investments complimentary to our Smart Equity portfolio.

We meet (serial) entrepreneurs with strong visions and often with a proven track record.

We want to support them in the development of their disruptive products or services. This requires a different investment mindset. The concept of the product/service is proven, but to acquire the market remains fragile. The roll out can be very quick and deep pockets are required to support the growth. Hence, the upside can be huge, but the risks entailed cannot be neglected and are of a different nature than mature companies.

Nonetheless we believe that with diligence to our investment principles of thorough research, full alignment and a hands on approach, there are opportunities in co-building the companies of the future.

Acceleration Capital

It is not Seed Capital, it is not Venture Capital, we don’t want to be the next Business Angel, but for the acceleration of a powerful roll-out, we want to partner with solid entrepreneurs and provide them with Acceleration Capital.

Our Investments

Our best ambassadors are the teams and companies we have invested in.

Here is a link to the story and the facts and figures behind our investments.

Direct Investments

Buysse & Partners Smart Equity is not a fund. A select group of investors are brought together for each investment.
This ensures that investors retain full governance of their capital. Investors have a direct stake in the company.

The direct investment structure also means that investors can participate in the governance of the company. Most investors with relevant expertise, who choose to be active have a seat in the Board of Directors. An annual information meeting or informal contacts with management allow for great transparency.

Buysse & Partners is always the first point of contact and buffer between management and shareholders.

Standard relations between shareholders and corporate governance rules are regulated in a shareholder agreement. The short and medium-term company strategy is formalised together with the management team (active shareholders) in a strategic governance document, guiding all parties in terms of the company’s growth and means to reach its objectives. Capital contributions range from EUR 5m to EUR 15m depending on the transaction and the capital needed.

Summary
  • Hands-on investor and sounding board
  • Operational and financial experience
  • Capital is pooled for each individual investment
  • Investors have a direct interest in companies
  • Investors with added value can participate in the governance of the company
  • Relations between shareholders are regulated in a shareholder agreement
  • Strategy is summarised in a governance document at entry
“I have found Buysse & Partners to be a dynamic professional team that looks for the right match in these turbulent times.”

Together with Frank and Guy I have studied a number of acquisitions closely. This intimate transparent partnership has paid dividends. So I am obviously delighted to have been able to get involved as a shareholder and director in a fine business with great growth potential as ‘discovered’ by Buysse & Partners.
In recent months I have been able to experience the power of Buysse & Partners: bringing together healthy businesses and ambitious investors who combine entrepreneurship and further professionalization of the organisation – with a lot of attention for the fast-evolving market, which is becoming increasingly globalised.

Johan Milliau, Buysse & Partners investor

CEO, Belspeed

Investors

Buysse & Partners is in regular contact with investors from different backgrounds and expertise.

The ultimate objective for each investment is to introduce Smart Equity – investors and families who understand the dynamics of the sector, market, product or service – based on their situation as a proprietor (active or passive) or manager (CEO/COO) of a large business. They contribute accordingly to continued growth.

Owners clearly have the best insight into their business. By reinvesting, they can diversify their assets while remaining involved in their business and reap the rewards of future growth. The relevant input from the former owners lies outside daily management and more in strategic discussions at the Board of Directors.

Investors are not tied to a strict investment horizon, so they continue to support the business for as long as there are clear achievable growth plans.

Buysse & Partners aligns the interests of family shareholders and management.

Buysse & Partners is responsible for governance within the syndicate of shareholders. Buysse & Partners safeguards the existing company culture and family capital values. Discretion, a long-term vision and discipline are the key.

Summary
  • Family owned capital
  • Entrepreneurs or managers (CEO/COO) active in multinational companies
  • Possibility for existing shareholders to re-invest in the new structure
  • No rigid exit horizon
  • Each party involved (management and Buysse & Partners as well) has a stake in the equity
  • Buysse & Partners is responsible for active follow-up in the company and governance within the syndicate of shareholders
  • Discretion, a long-term vision and discipline
“Buysse & Partners has the experience needed to distinguish growth fluctuations and makes a world of difference with its open outlook and spirit.”

Curiosity, candour and commitment to trust and other strong values have resulted in an exceptional partnership with the human interest at its core.

Lode De Bock, Manager and investor

CEO, Global Port Trading