Group Achiel De Witte (ADW) is a Belgian-based international wholesalers organization. It trades fruit, vegetables, and exotics. In the last little while, no fewer than three Belgian wholesale companies have joined its ranks. They are Keirsmaekers, Groothandel Ludo Van Varenberg, and Gijbels Groenten en Fruit.
"We're never really actively looking to acquire companies. But these opportunities came our way. This will increase sales, especially in our import departments," says the Group's Jurgen De Witte. He points out that all the businesses are healthy with excellent employees.
Achiel and Jurgen De Witte
Group ADW took over Keirsmaekers in April. This collaboration allows the Group to strengthen its position on the [Belgian city of] Mechelen Early Market. "Not much will change within these companies; they'll have to do that at which they're good. The companies can join forces and work more efficiently."
Groothandel Ludo Van Varenberg
Groothandel Ludo Van Varenberg's acquisition followed. This company merged with one of Group ADW's other companies, Lejeune. Lejeune, therefore, employs the staff. "It's currently difficult to find good workers. This take-over means we have access to more staff. Also, the company's additional warehouse space will let us further expand our operations," says Jurgen.
"We're not going to change anything about how Gijbels is run." The Group can actually relieve Gijbels of some of its logistics and IT burden. "They can then focus more on trading, their core task."
"Acquiring a company is no simple task. It has to add real value. And the responsible personnel have to stay on. If they don't want to, we have no interest in the take-over. Each wholesaler has its own specialties, and they should continue on that path. That's how they add value to the group's other companies. We do consider where the companies interface. Then, they can work together optimally," Jurgen concludes.