By entering into a long-term partnership with Invale and BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity, the largest independent producer of tomatoes in Belgium attracts the necessary knowledge and means for a new expansion phase.
During the last twenty years, Stoffels Tomaten has become Belgium’s greatest independent producer and trader of tomatoes. The company’s motivated team grows, packages and trades all types of excellent-quality specialty tomatoes, produced with respect for nature and in line with the current trend for social awareness and healthy and convenient food. The company currently has more than 200 employees, together generating a turnover of 30 million euro with sales in 15, mainly European, countries.
In order to realise further international growth and professionalization of the business, the company looked into various options in the past year. The company was looking for a partner for a long-term commitment, that has the financial means as well as the necessary M&A knowledge the company needed to become a player in the process of European consolidation. The company decided to opt for a partnership with two long-term investors.
The Antwerp investment company Invale teamed up with BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity. On 12 January 2018, they jointly became a minority shareholder in the company. In doing so, Invale and BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity are supporting the future investment and expansion plans of the Kempish tomato producer and supplier of, for example, Colruyt, Carrefour, Albert Heijn, Makro and Metro… and that gradually seems to be conquering Europe.
Invale was retained as an investor due to the fund’s long-term vision, affinity with the sector and active involvement in realising the growth plans of the businesses in which it has participated.
Bart Deckers, Investment Director, Invale: “We have a lot of admiration for the growth Stoffels has been able to achieve in recent years. The company is market leader in the specialty tomatoes segment and is a pioneer when it comes to innovation and new developments. We strongly believe in the future potential of the business and look forward to working with the Stoffels family in order to realise further growth for the company.”
The relationship between Stoffels and BNP Paribas Fortis dates back to 1994, when the bank, as the family’s principle banker, supported the expansion of its activities. Thomas Ternest, Investment Director, BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity: “This investment perfectly illustrates our strategy of long-term partnerships with entrepreneurs as well as other investment companies.”
Paul Stoffels: “The shared vision behind this decision will allow us to expand the company’s activities and, in doing so, focus on the inevitable consolidation processes within the horticultural sector. The operational aspects will not change and the continuity to all our customers is guaranteed.”