Gimv acquires a majority stake in the fast-growing Alro Group, a specialist in industrial coating of car and truck parts, in a family succession context. Gimv takes over the majority stake from the founding Thijs family. Current management remains on board and reinvests to further support the company’s growth.
The Alro Group (Dilsen-Stokkem – Belgium, www.alro-group.com) was founded in 1976 by the Thijs family. Since then, it has grown from a small coating company to a large reputed group with several branches in Western and Central Europe, specialized in coating of plastic and metal parts for the automotive sector.
With a substantial range of coating options and a strong customer focus, Alro is well placed to respond flexibly to the increasing demand for customization. The company has a very large volume capacity: around 1,000 employees process over 100,000 products daily on more than 20 modern coating installations using data-driven processes. Alro’s broad customer base includes just about every well-known name in the car and truck industry.
As a Tier-1 coater, Alro is committed to strong customer relations: OEM truck manufacturers appreciate the well-organized deliveries (just-in-time/just-in-sequence) and the far-reaching flexibility when it comes to painting in more than 1,000 colours and assembling many different parts. The Alro Group recently also developed an innovative solution for coating the battery housings of electric cars, nicely positioning the company to tap into the high-potential electric vehicle market growth. In addition, Alro successfully responds to the increasing demand for contrast colours with which car builders want to be able to better personalize the outer looks of their vehicles.
Since the new management team came on board, the company positively transformed itself, focusing on providing greater added value and flexibility. Gimv’s investment is intended to allow Alro to realize its continued growth ambitions and to support management in the further professionalization of the group.
Christophe Van Quickenborne, Partner in Gimv’s Smart Industries team, says: “Alro fits our Smart Industries investment focus on advanced manufacturing companies. From past experience in automotive investments, we know how important it is for companies – as partners of choice – to be able to offer their OEM customers far-reaching flexibility and product differentiation. Together with management, we share the ambition to continue to capitalize on Alro’s strengths in capturing additional attractive growth opportunities. To this end, Alro Group can rely on its data-driven focus, strong engineering capacities, and advanced flexibility and customer orientation.”
Jan Craenen, CEO of Alro Group, adds: “We are convinced that by bringing Gimv on board, we have found a very stable local partner with extensive knowledge of the automotive industry. This transaction is therefore an important step in the further evolution of the Alro Group. Operational management remains in the hands of the current executive team, who – together with Gimv – will continue to focus on growth and innovative solutions for our customers. On behalf of the team, we would like to thank the Thijs family for this opportunity. We would also like to thank Kumulus Partners for their expert support in this transaction. And last but not least, our heartfelt gratitude goes to all the employees of the Alro Group, without whom we would not be where we are today.”
Luc Thijs confirms: “I speak for myself and the family when I say that I am very happy to hand over the Alro Group to management, backed by a very solid partner such as Gimv. I am certain that management, who was already a shareholder and responsible for running the company, is ready to move with Gimv to the next stage in Alro Group’s growth path. Since there was no family succession, this transaction assures the long-term continuity of the Alro Group.”
The transaction is subject to the usual conditions, including approval by the competition authorities. No further financial details on this transaction are being published.