IK recuperates value at Fortex

Industri Kapital stands to recuperate around 1.5 times its money, with the sale of Dutch textile services company Fortex in a secondary buyout to ABN AMRO Capital. IK acquired the company in March 2000 for €32m from family shareholders. Its return has been diminished from three times, however, because Fortex required additional funding after a fire destroyed some of the company’s premises.

Immediately after the event, IK wrote down the investment to 15%. It subsequently pursued a transformation of the business through the acquisition and integration of three Belgian and one Dutch company. The moves help to boost the IRR to an “acceptable level”, Industri Kapital’s Kristiaan Nieuwenburg said.

ABN AMRO plans to merge Fortex with Clean Lease Randstad, the Netherlands-based textiles services company, which it acquired in June 2004. The combined turnover of the group will amount to €115m. ABN AMRO Capital will hold a majority stake in the merged entity.

“The merged business will be well positioned to focus on growth in the Benelux region, and on the development of new products and services to existing client bases,” said Marc Staal, managing director of ABN AMRO Capital in the Netherlands,

CEO Albert Hartog will remain the second largest shareholder, and Fortex CEO Rob van den Akker will own the remaining shares. The directors said the merger gave the company critical mass to accelerate the transformation process of traditional industrial laundries into full service logistics providers.

Fortex provides textile rental and laundry services to the healthcare and industrial sectors in the Benelux countries. It has nine plants, employs 1,100 people and reported sales of €63m in 2004.