Sogestran Group invests in De Poli Tankers
- JBR acted as M&A advisor to De Poli Tankers
- Sector: Maritime & Offshore
"Because of our focus and our industry knowledge, there are some (sales) mandates that really only come to us.
Article from Brookz 500 - 2022 edition
They make no bones about it in Zeist. JBR wants to be the point of contact for corporate finance issues for both Dutch and small and medium-sized businesses as well as captains of industry. ' I certainly don't want to do justice to the other disciplines we have in-house,' smiles managing partner Ronald van Rijn, 'but corporate finance is simply the cork on which we float and which has enabled this agency to grow. According to Van Rijn, this is partly because JBR is part of Global M&A, an international alliance of corporate finance advisory firms. 'More than half of the assignments we bring in probably come from abroad as a result,' Van Rijn explains.
JBR is an independent consulting firm, employing about 40 people, that has been in existence since 1984 and is active in the field of corporate finance, answering strategic questions and helping to implement restructurings. JBR's roots are in Rotterdam, where the firm was founded at the time by the firm's namesakes: Jeltsma, Van Biert and Randoe, of which only the B - of Kees van Biert - is still associated with JBR. JBR's clients are mostly from the upper segment of the SME sector, with an annual turnover of ten million euros or more. However, multinationals and internationally operating (family) businesses also know JBR well.
What makes JBR unique from other consulting firms? Van Rijn: 'In addition to our sector expertise, it is ultimately our people who make the difference. There is a lot of solidarity with us. And a deep-rooted awareness that we have to do it all together. People work hard here, young people are taken care of at our office. And if they cannot work under ideal conditions at home, to emphasize that togetherness, we cook together and spar a lot among ourselves. We also hold the closing dinners for our clients here at the office. Because in the end it's all about our clients.'
Although JBR has been away from Rotterdam since the early 1990s, the consulting firm still does many deals in the maritime and offshore sectors. The port of Rotterdam has never been out of sight. Colleague Rick ter Maat, a partner at JBR since 2021 and sector expert for the maritime and offshore sector within the firm, adds: 'Since we have been in Zeist, we have done more deals in the Rotterdam port than when JBR was still in Rotterdam. Perhaps precisely because we can assess deals much better from a distance.'
According to Ter Maat, another important reason JBR is still regularly called from the port of Rotterdam is that the maritime sector has quite a few challenges. Ter Maat: "We even have a major client in the maritime sector, whose name I unfortunately cannot mention, for whom we really do everything. Actually, we are the company's internal M&Adepartment. If we tell them to buy a certain company in the sector, they do. They have a blind trust in JBR.'
The most eye-catching deal for JBR in 2021, according to Van Rijn and Ter Maat, was the sale of container terminal Rotterdam Short Sea Terminals (RST) by the Dutch C. Steinweg Group to two major international investors: the British Blue Ocean Capital and the American Crestline Capital. Ter Maat: "That was a deal where we are pretty sure we also got the maximum valuation for the company.
Another JBR transaction of note was the sale of a majority stake in De Poli Tankers, a Dutch shipping company for the chemical and gas market, to the French maritime services provider Sogestran Group. Van Rijn: "That was a very complex deal in which we assisted De Poli and where we also interfered intensively with the financing, which was quite complicated.
What Van Rijn and Ter Maat notice in the M&A market, and what is a trend that is likely to continue into 2022, is that renewables are back in schwung. In shipping, for example, the first sustainability-linked bonds (green bonds) have already been spotted. 'That whole sustainability story is also an important driver, both for the M&A market and on the financing side,' said Van Rijn and Ter Maat.
Both partners therefore see a bright future for JBR. 'Because of our focus and our sector knowledge, there are a number of (sales) mandates that really only come to us. We also want to be the logical choice for an entrepreneur or captain of industry because of our sector knowledge. That knowledge and focus should ensure that the phone rings right with us.'