GIMV profits with Essers

Belgian-based GIMV has made a profitable return on its investment in the H Essers Group. GIMV has sold its 40 per cent stake in the business to the Essers family, who now have a 100 per cent holding. GIMV realised a capital gain of E16 million through the transaction, which has had a positive impact of E7.4 million on the net asset value of GIMV.

Founded in 1928, the H Essers Group is an integral logistical service provider, employing a total of 950 people. It owns its own modern rolling stock (400 trucks and 1,000 trailers) and has warehouses in Ghent, Brussels, Courcelles, Tessenderlo and Italy. Over the past 15 years, the group has expanded beyond transport into the fields of distribution, warehousing, polymer handling and assembly. In its 12 years as a shareholder, GIMV has helped to support and expand the group and since 1990 has realised a growth in cash flow of 300 per cent and a turnover increase of 400 per cent. Last year, the group achieved a turnover of over E100 million with a cash flow margin of ten per cent.

Last year GIMV enjoyed returns from two successful exits. It recently sold its 28 per cent stake in broadband company BarcoNet for E47.3 million to US-based Scientific-Atlanta, netting a capital gain in excess of E33.1 million. Earlier in the year GIMV also sold its stake in the cable company Telenet to Callahan Associates. The transaction was valued at E391 million and GIMV realised an estimated capital gain of E282 million, of which E187 million will be taken into account in the companies 2001 figures.

GIMV, which has been listed on Euronext Brussels since 1997, recently listed its shares on Euronext’s Next Prime business segment and expects this to contribute to a higher visibility and liquidity for its shares.