Kartesia, the European specialist provider of capital solutions for small and mid-sized companies, is pleased to announce it has provided acquisition financing to allow Christine De Dijcker and Marc Lanckriet to further cement the family control of the ECS, by acquiring the shares held by Kelly De Dijcker and Pieter Balcaen.
ECS, headquartered in Zeebrugge (Belgium) and Venlo (the Netherlands), was created more than 35 years ago, and has grown from a transportation business into an intermodal logistics operator that provides creative, durable and reliable intermodal and supply chain solutions throughout Europe and the UK. ECS manages a fleet of 10,000 containers and places emphasize on creating sustainable and reliable logistics in keeping with its ESG commitments.
In 2021 ECS achieved a total revenue of €440 million, more than doubling its topline over the past decade, which has been driven by the acquisition of 2XL in 2017 and sustained organic revenue growth. ECS aims to continue its strategic growth plan over the coming years, amongst others by significantly increasing its warehousing capacity in the first half of 2023 through the opening of its second fully automated High Bay warehouse in Zeebrugge.
The acquisition financing for this transaction was provided by Kartesia’s Credit Opportunities IV and V funds. The deal team at Kartesia comprised Matthieu Delamaire, Jean Diercxsens and Toon Van Coillie.
Jean Diercxsens, Director at Kartesia, commented: “We are excited to announce our partnership with Christine De Dijcker and Marc Lanckriet, as we continue to invest selectively in entrepreneur and family-led businesses that benefit from solid growth prospects and high-quality management teams. We have been impressed with the robustness of ECS, the high standard of corporate governance and its strong growth track record. We look forward to working closely with the management team and board of directors of ECS to support the group in its shareholder and management transition”.
Christine De Dijcker, co-Founder and family shareholder of ECS, commented: “The business that was started in 1985 by my father, my husband and me is like my fifth child. In all those years I have passionately worked for and nurtured ECS. In time, we intend to pass on the family business to our four children, who make up the third generation, and who will support the future growth and development of the group. While our family and ECS are growing, the foundational DNA remains in place. We would like to thank Kartesia for its support in making this possible together. ”
Vista Capital Advisors advised the acquiring shareholders in this transaction and assisted in establishing a financing solution aligned with the Company’s growth ambitions and the goal of the acquiring shareholders to keep ECS a fully family-owned company. The deal team consisted of Werner Poot and Cédric Van Damme.
Werner Poot, Partner at Vista Capital Advisors, commented: “We are happy that we could advise and assist Christine and Marc with our long-standing debt advisory expertise and international reach to secure an attractive and flexible debt financing structure. We are convinced that Kartesia’s financing structure will allow ECS to continue to implement its ambitious strategic vision, while remaining the family-owned business it has been over the last decades.”