Gimv acquires a majority stake in fast-growing Alro Group, which specialises in industrial coatings for car and truck parts. The transaction is part of a family succession. Gimv acquires the majority stake from the founding Thijs family. The current management remains on board and its reinvestment aims to grow the company further.
Alro Group (Dilsen-Stokkem – Belgium, www.alro-group.com) was established by the Thijs family in 1976. The company grew from a small coating company to a well-established group with several sites in Western and Central Europe. The group specialised in coating or painting plastic and metal automotive parts.
Alro’s excellent customer focus and huge variety of coating options allows a flexible response to the increasing demand for customised solutions. The company’s volume capacity is significant: it has around 1,000 employees and more than 20 coating plants that process more than 100,000 products a day with modern production lines and data-driven processes. Alro’s wide customer base currently includes almost all well-known names in the car and truck industry.
As a Tier 1 coating supplier, Alro Group is committed to strong customer relationships: OEM truck manufacturers appreciate its well-organised supply (Just In Time / Just In Sequence), its extensive flexibility to paint in more than 1,000 colours and its assembly of many different parts. Alro Group has recently also developed an innovative solution for coating EV battery casings. This means the company is perfectly placed to play an important role in the growth of the EV market. Alro Group is also responding to growing demand for contrast colours increasingly sought by car manufacturers to personalise the appearance of their vehicles.
Alro Group has been committed to growth ever since its inception: strengthened by the arrival of the new management team, the company has undergone a positive transformation with a continued focus on delivering more added value and flexibility. Gimv’s investment supports the management in its efforts to further realise its growth ambitions for Alro Group.
Christophe Van Quickenborne, a Partner in Gimv’s Smart Industries team, puts it this way: “Alro Group is a perfect addition to Smart Industries’ holdings in advanced manufacturing companies. Our experience with other successful automotive investments has shown us how important it is for companies to offer significant flexibility and product differentiation to their OEM customers as their partner of choice. We share the management’s ambition to further maximise Alro Group’s strengths in the excellent growth opportunities that are presenting themselves. Alro Group already has a strong foundation of a thorough, data-driven approach, strong engineering capabilities and great flexibility and customer focus.”
Jan Craenen, CEO of Alro Group, adds: “We are convinced that Gimv is a very stable local partner with extensive knowledge about the automotive industry, so this transaction marks an important step in Alro Group’s continuity. The current management will continue to run our operations and will work together with Gimv on our further growth and innovative customer solutions. On behalf of the entire management, we specifically wish to thank the Thijs family for the opportunities it has provided. We would also like to thank Kumulus Partners for its expert support in this transaction. And last but not least, we express our sincere thanks to all the Alro Group staff, who have made Alro the magnificent company it is today.”
Luc Thijs confirms: “On behalf of myself and the family, I can say that I am very pleased to leave Alro Group in the hands of the management with the support of a very solid partner, Gimv. I am convinced that the management, which was already a shareholder and in charge of the company’s operations, and Gimv are ready for the next phase in Alro Group’s history. As no family succession is assured, this transaction guarantees Alro Group’s long-term continuity.”
The transaction is subject to the customary terms and conditions, which includes approval by the competition authorities. No further financial details will be disclosed.