Dutch investment company Gilde Equity Management has taken a majority stake in EIFFEL, one of the larger professional services firms in the Netherlands, with the aim of accelerating the firm's growth track.
EIFFEL specialises in consulting, interim and contracting services across three main areas: legal, finance and process. The firm's approximately 600 consultants and professionals work for clients in both the private and public sector.
With the participation of Gilde Equity Management EIFFEL aims to embark on a new growth phase, says Monique Noomen-Greve, managing director of the firm. The lawyer of origin has been with EIFFEL for nearly two decades now, and holds the position of managing director since 2006.
"With the participation of Gilde, we are laying a new, promising foundation to further strengthen our market position and the development of our people" said Noomen-Greve. EIFFEL currently works for roughly 350 customer organisations, with Gilde seeking to ramp up the number in the coming years. "EIFFEL is solid and profitable, we see a lot of potential to become the niche player in solutions for legal, finance and process. That is why we are committed to the long-term strategy of EIFFEL and we will work together in the coming years to realise the growth ambitions."
One factor which played a role in the transaction was the wish of the departing major shareholders to pass the baton to a new team. Ferdi van Dommelen, founder and one of the departing major shareholders, took the lead in the divestment process. After a career with Brunel, today one of the EIFFEL's main competitors in the country, he founded the firm in 1992. "After 26 years of growth and development, we were looking to put long-term succession in place," he remarked.
With the move, Van Dommelen can look back with a smile on what he managed to build up from the ground. When establishing the firm, he aimed at building a "solid organisation. And an ingenious one. Hence the name EIFFEL." The founder was inspired by Gustave Eiffel, a French architect who is known all over the world for his smart and solid constructions, with the Eiffel Tower in Paris naturally his most memorable work. To laude the Frenchman, EIFFEL installed staircase section 14 of the original Eiffel tower staircase in its lobby at its headquarter in Arnhem.
About the choice for Gilde Noomen-Greve said "For EIFFEL, it was a chief desire to find a new partner that retains and cultivates our unique identity, while facilitating and even accelerating growth. Gilde has a successful track record as an investor and fully endorses our long-term vision and strategy. That was the deciding factor."
With its stake in EIFFEL, Gilde adds a renowned player in the Dutch consultancy and interim market. Last year, EIFFEL was named one of the best interim management firms in the country by managers, and from an employer's point of view, the firm was named one of the best employers in the consultancy by a HR institute. The investor will be eyeing realizing the same success as it achieved with Conclusion, another major professional services player in the Netherlands. Gilde took a stake in Conclusion in 2013, and exited three years later with a good return on investment.