Gimv sells its interest in the Netherlands based De Groot Fresh Group

21/10/2011 - 17:45 | Portfolio

Gimv is to sell its interest in De Groot Fresh Group back to the De Groot family. After an important transitional period, the business will once again be wholly owned by the Ben & William de Groot brothers. We can now say that the succession has been a great success.

Headquartered in Hedel, the Netherlands, De Groot Fresh Group ( is an international operator in the import, distribution and export of fruit and vegetables. Besides traditional trade and refrigerated transport, De Groot Fresh Group also has ultramodern, computer-controlled banana ripening facilities, fully automated packing stations and its own transport business. Gimv took a majority interest in De Groot Fresh Group in 2005. Since then, the business has grown from a purely family business to a more professional international concern employing 200 people and generating sales of almost EUR 200 million in 2010. Thanks to a diversification of its activities, it has succeeded in strengthening its market position in Europe and positioning itself as a key player in banana ripening.

Ben de Groot, CEO of De Groot Fresh Group, looks back with satisfaction on the years of partnership with Gimv: “Thanks to their engagement and the open and constructive communication, we have learned a lot and implemented many optimisations. Ultimately, it was my and my brother's passion for independent enterprise that was the decisive factor in wanting to shape our own future."

Ivo Vincente, Head of Buyouts & Growth Netherlands, commented on this transaction: "I have great admiration for the vision and the entrepreneurship of De Groot Fresh Group's management. Our outstanding and particularly pleasant partnership has borne fruit."

The sale of De Groot Fresh Group has a slightly positive effect on the last published equity position of Gimv on 30 June 2011. Over the entire course of the investment, this represents a return higher than Gimv's historic average. No further financial details will be published about this transaction.

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