When Gimv bought a minority stake in Belgian recruitment firm Accent in 2006, the company already had a major position in its home market. Following the deal, Gimv improved corporate governance, hired a new finance director and implemented rigorous financial reporting standards. It also worked with the company founders Philip Cracco and Conny Vandendriessche to expand.
Accent bought Spanish counterpart Grupo Activa in 2007 and Intervention in the Netherlands the same year – a deal that doubled its company offices there. Gimv sold its stake to fellow private equity investor Naxicap in 2012. In 2014, the Accent was voted a “Great Place to Work” for the 12th consecutive year in the Belgian company awards.
Gimv pushes you towards professionalism; the team obliges you to think more deeply about certain matters.
Philip Cracco CEO, Accent
What did the business need?
- Strengthened management team
- Capital and expertise to expand across Europe
- More professional corporate structure
- Refined sector strategy to help temporary staff into full-time roles
How did private equity backing create lasting value?
- Instilled focus on profitable growth
- Hired a new finance director and improved financial standards
- Helped expand management team
- Advised on acquisitions in Spain and the Netherlands
- Acquired Belgian outsourcing recruitment specialist Logi-technic
What outcomes did private equity investment achieve?
- Increased turnover from €93m to over €330m in five years
- Grew offices from 68 in 2006 to 227 in 2012
- Added 290 employees, growing numbers by two and a half times
- Turned Accent into one of the most profitable in its sector with a five-fold increase in profits