References and tombstones

Our clients often choose to keep our work confidential when we advise them on governance issues or conflict resolution. However, when we successfully complete a transaction for our clients, they often allow us to publish it. Their experiences with our services during the transaction process can be found on this page.

The video below describes one of our clients’ experience with our guidance during the sale process of his company (video is in Dutch).

A selection of reviews of some of our successful transactions can be found below. All of these transactions were advised by (one of) the partners of Clifton Finance.

The shareholder of De Klok Logistics from Nijmegen takes over subsidiary Van Opzeeland from its neighbor Nabuurs

In addition to De Klok Logistics, the shareholder also owns Van Vliet Transport. As a result of this takeover the parties involved are bundling their nationwide network mainly in the segment of urban distribution of goods to, for example, retailers. The bundling of transported volumes creates a more efficient network. The deal offers Nabuurs the opportunity to bring more strategic focus to its other logistics activities. Clifton Finance has assisted the family business Nabuurs in finding the right buyer, and in the execution and realization of the transaction.

Tombstone Briconord

Christian Guillou, general manager and shareholder of Briconord

“Clifton Finance has helped us to identify Mac-Lean as the ideal add-on candidate for Briconord in the Netherlands and to realize this, for us, important transaction. Briconord is a supplier of home furnishing products and paneling accessories from the French cognac region. With the acquisition of Mac-Lean, Briconord has taken the first step to become a European market leader in home furnishings and accessories. Shareholders Amundi PEF and Société Générale Capital Partenaires support Briconord financially with this acquisition strategy. Mac-Lean, in Moerdijk, specializes in floors, safety and decoration products and is mainly active on the Dutch and Belgian market. “It was pleasant to work with Ruud van Hoek from Clifton Finance. His negotiating skills and positive fundamentals have certainly helped make the transaction a reality”. Continue reading..

Christian Guillou, 2019

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Pieter Vroegop, director of the Earlyop family business

“Clifton Finance guided us in the search and assisted in decision-making within the family business.” In the search of Natudis, Kroon and Hagor in Belgium for a cooperation partner, many discussions have taken place with various parties. Ultimately, the choice fell on Udea. This combination of companies and the resulting economies of scale provide the most benefit to the industry. Of course, such a choice is sensitive in the organization and with the selling parent company VRC. But this brings together the companies that were created at the time from parts of Wessanen.

Robert Bloemers, Shareholder and Member of the Supervisory Board of the company, on behalf of the family
“Clifton Finance has helped us formulating the acquisition strategy for some of our subsidiaries. This mapped our core competences and clearly formulated what we wanted to accomplish with the acquisitions. We now know exactly which acquisitions fit us, cancelling out opportunistic tendencies.”

Philip de Groot, Owner and director of Oogwereld

Oogwereld has found a new partner and shareholder in AAC Capital with the help of Clifton Finance. AAC Capital is an investment company that supports successful entrepreneurs and management teams in the accelerated realization of international growth ambitions.

In addition to AAC Capital, the management of Oogwereld is also involved as a shareholder. The partnership with AAC enables Oogwereld to continue to act as a logical consolidator in the market for independent opticians in the coming years. Furthermore, Oogwereld will continue to distinguish itself through premium eye care, an exclusive range, and excellent service for all its customers.

“Gonneke and Maarten have guided me through this transaction with their experience and market knowledge. A process that you as an entrepreneur do not have to deal with on a daily basis. Through good preparation and focus during the process, we have found the right partner to support Oogwereld in its further growth. For me as an entrepreneur, it was important that careful attention was paid to my preconditions for the transaction and that these wishes were professionally incorporated in the negotiations and the final deal structure. It was important for me to realize a transaction with added value for the company, my people and for me personally. I think Clifton Finance has been very successful in this”.

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Patrick Steenkist, CEO of WeMarket
WeMarket has searched and found investors for the launch of its platform with help of Clifton Finance. Investors were found thanks to the proactive and personal approach of Clifton Finance, while utilizing their extensive network. WeMarket is a sales app on which companies and consumers can set up their own safe online auction with the press of a button. WeMarket is an initiative by the founder of WeTransfer”
Patrick Steenkist, 2018
Arend van de Stadt, Owner and Director of Eagle Vision
“Eagle Vision has found a new partner and and shareholder in Union Park Capital, a Boston (US) based private equity firm, through Clifton Finance. This makes it part of Industrial Physics Inc, an international group of companies active in quality control and vision technology for the food, beverage and packaging industries. Eagle Vision operates worldwide which opens up new markets and technologies.
The sales process, including the dataroom procedure, has been completed in a relatively short time period thanks to good preparation and documentation. Through process management by Clifton Finance we were able to consider which strategic partner / potential buyer could add the most value and with whom the negotiation process could be completed.
Maarten has greatly assisted me and my team with all parts of the sales process, even when it concerned personal reservations and questions. His far reaching experience guided me through the process, making me better prepared. Short and fast communication made it possible to finish the transaction successfully in 5 months. The negotiations with professional American private equity firms were well prepared and skillfully executed.”
Arend van de Stadt, 2017
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Reiny, Sybo and Sjaak Smeding, shareholders of O. Smeding en Zoon B.V.

“Maarten helped us with the transfer of our Frisian family business and handled the necessary steps both professionally and personally. He bridged the gap between the family and the external shareholder Sligro, where some of the interests diverged. He created support in the company and all the shareholders, and has a knack for relations between the different bodies. Next to guiding the process he provided a good financial value-analysis and a method for transferring shares between family members. Eventually establishing a ‘future proof’ governance with room for the family and next generations.”

Reiny, Sybo and Sjaak Smeding, 2017

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Wijnand van den Haak, CEO Abama

Clifton Finance has assisted us excellently with this international transaction. I came across many new situations during the transaction where I lacked the necessary experience. Maarten Vijverberg’s personal advise gave me peace of mind and the ability to set aside my impatience, which is often part of being an entrepreneur. This transaction would have never happened without his efforts. Maarten explained and included our family in a correct manner. He kept close contact with the buyer, regardless of the processes in the transaction.”

Wijnand van den Haak, 2016

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Marco de Wit, Sector Director Imbema mobility

Imbema Rhiwa has acquired SBS Security & Safety Products. Clifton Finance has assisted Imbema in the acquisition process. An acquisition strategy has been developed for the Imbema Rhiwa unit, whereby the markets in which Imbema Rhiwa operates have been mapped. On the basis of this analysis, a choice was made for the best acquisition direction and an extensive list of takeover candidates was drawn up.

SBS from Zoetermeer is the market leader in the field of mechanical and electronic security solutions for commercial vehicles. The acquisition of SBS perfectly embodies the acquisition strategy in order to position Imbema Rhiwa more widely as a supplier of transport solutions aimed at higher efficiency and a higher degree of safety.

“Clifton Finance has helped us in a detailed way in defining our acquisition strategy. This made it easy to substantiate the choice for SBS and the acquisition process could be completed quickly.”

Marco de Wit, 2016

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Stefan Heeger & Bart-Jan van Til, Shareholders Geschenkbezorgen

“For us as entrepreneurs, selling a company is not a daily occurrence. We had not realized beforehand that the sale of our company would involve so many aspects. Gonneke helped us through this process professionally, so that during the process we remained confident that the sale would be realized at the right price and conditions. It was very pleasant that Gonneke also had an eye for our personal interests and positions in this process, and that this was taken into account in addition to the financial aspects”.

Stefan Heeger & Bart-Jan van Til, October 30, 2015

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Guido Raaijmakers, shareholder 4launch

4Launch has been an official part of Infotheek Groep BV since 10 October 2015. As advisor to the seller, Gonneke van der Lee was involved in the process whereby Infotheek took over the shares of 4launch in full.

“I founded 4Launch in 2003 as a web store for (computer) electronics, Guido Raaijmakers explains. In a short time, my company grew into one of the larger webshops in the Netherlands (top 30 listing in Twinkle). When the sale of my company came into the picture, I needed an expert and reliable advisor. I certainly found this in Gonneke. Especially when you sell to a larger company, as a DGA you need a sounding board, someone who has a lot of transaction experience and can translate financial knowledge to your personal situation. In Gonneke I found a high-level sparring partner who guided me through the entire process with great dedication, knowledge and enthusiasm. During the sales process, many new things come at you. Gonneke managed this process for me, which gave me as an entrepreneur certainty and confidence in a positive outcome of the transaction. Thanks to Infotheek’s investments in 4Launch after the takeover, 4launch is now growing at an accelerated pace. So the sale was successful both for me personally and for the company”.

Guido Raaijmakers, 2015

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Theo Dorresteijn and Jan Dorresteijn, Shareholders Realworks

Clifton Finance was involved in the process whereby the NVM fully took over the shares of Realworks.

“Maarten guided me and my brother, both Realworks DGA’s, in this complex process. He characterized himself as a bridge builder to the negotiating parties throughout the entire process, not losing sight of the end goal. With a small and agile team it was possible to switch quickly and with short lines. We thank Maarten for the guidance in the process where many consultants on the side of the buyer were involved. Especially if we consider that the takeover was much more complex for an organization of our size, because of the shareholder structure. Maarten guided us towards the intended goal and was even able to make better agreements here and there”.

Theo Dorresteijn, June 1, 2015

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Peter S. Breuer, CEO of Royal Capi lux

“I got to know Maarten during the sale of my family business. His personal and professional input was of great value both in the preparatory phase and in supporting the process. Maarten knows how to handle family and family interests with integrity. The sale of shares in Koninklijke Capi-Lux was successfully completed”.

Henrik Rom, Chief Financial Officer Kamstrup A/S, Danmark
“Maarten advised us on the divestment of our Dutch gas assets. He has and his dedicated team of professionals who truly made the difference in obtaining maximum result.”

Koen Slippens, Chairman / CEO Sligro Food Group Nederland BV

Director STAK of Victoria / Van Heeswijk. “Maarten Vijverberg’s team delivered an excellent performance. They completed the project successfully in a short time with a tightly managed process. They have involved all stakeholders (shareholders, family, management and RvT) in the right way and cleverly brought the various interests together. Despite the market transparency, confidentiality has been preserved to the end”.

“Although the company has a long successful history, the size of the supermarket chain was too small to independently occupy a strong position in the consolidating market. After the family made the decision to sell the company, a quick and adequate process was initiated. It was decided to sell to Sligro, which is a strong and professional company with a family character”.

Heleen van Gulik, General Manager of King Cuisine

“The sale of the company was obvious because of follow-up problems and strategic aspects. Maarten has professionally guided the sales process with fabulous dexterity. The interests of the DGA as well as the management and the company are well balanced in this respect. The process was brought to a good end result with great precision and the sale to an international buyer was carried out in a pleasant, knowledgeable manner”.