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press release
December 19, 2022

Vanrobaeys and Gesibois join forces and enter into a partnership, with the support of Sofindev

The specialist wholesalers in decorative panel material Vanrobaeys and Gesibois join forces and enter into a strategic partnership, with the support of Sofindev, the main shareholder of the combined group. The shareholders of Gesibois have transferred their interest in Gesibois to 'Wopaco' ('Wood Panel Company'), the parent holding company of Vanrobaeys, in which they acquire a substantial minority interest, in addition to the existing shareholders, Jorgen and Peter Vanrobaeys and CEO Nathalie Lagae, and Sofindev . The operational shareholders, Jorgen and Peter Vanrobaeys and Nathalie Lagae on the one hand, and Tom and Mireille Oostendorp on the other hand, each remain responsible for the management of the respective sister companies Vanrobaeys and Gesibois, together with the management of both companies.

When Sofindev announced the investment in Vanrobaeys in September 2020, it was already reported that strategic mergers and acquisitions of complementary companies would be considered in the future. The strategic partnership between Vanrobaeys and Gesibois creates a leading Belgian wood group with a focus on decorative panels. Both Vanrobaeys and Gesibois have achieved a strong growth trajectory in recent years. Both players are active in the decorative panel market for wood professionals and interior builders, albeit with a different geographical focus and complementary brands and products. Vanrobaeys is very strong in Flanders, but has limited activity in Brussels and the south of Belgium. Based in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, Gesibois is particularly strong in the Brussels region and French-speaking Belgium. With this partnership, we aim to further strengthen the position of both Vanrobaeys and Gesibois in the Belgian market, by offering our suppliers even greater market coverage throughout Belgium and by offering our customers an even wider range of quality and service. This joining of forces will also create additional opportunities for the employees of both companies.

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About Gesibois

Gesibois was founded in 1951 in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, south of Brussels. In 2011 the company was taken over by the couple Tom & Mireille Oostendorp, who have further developed the company into a specialist in decorative sheet material and finishing materials. With an extensive range of brands, Gesibois supplies its customers several times a week. Gesibois realized a turnover of almost € 17 million in 2021 with a team of 21 people.

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About Vanrobaeys

The family business based in Izegem was founded by the Vanrobaeys family and in the year 2000, Jorgen and Peter Vanrobaeys, two third-generation cousins, acquired 100% of the company's shares. Under their leadership, Vanrobaeys has grown into an established value and at the same time one of the fastest growing companies in the sector of wood wholesale and processing of decorative panels in Belgium. This strong position is based on a successful combination of a high-quality range, with a strong focus on decorative panels, close customer proximity and valued delivery reliability and  speed based on strong automation. Vanrobaeys realized more than € 50 million in turnover in 2021 with more than 70 employees.

Both Gesibois and Vanrobaeys offer a wide range of the most reputable and well-known brands of wood and interior construction products, with a focus on decorative panels. Gesibois and Vanrobaeys both have a production department in which laminates are glued with the utmost care on a carrier of your choice. Both companies share the same DNA of strong attention to service, delivery speed - and reliability and offering extra added value.

The combination of Vanrobaeys and Gesibois will realize approximately € 75 million in turnover in 2022 with more than 100 people from two sites, in Izegem and Sint-Pieters-Leeuw. This makes this group one of the largest specialized wholesalers of decorative sheet material in Belgium, with the most extensive range of brands.

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About Sofindev
Sofindev is a leading independent private equity firm, specializing in buy-out and growth capital for small and medium-sized companies in the Benelux. Sofindev was founded in 1991 by Sofina and Colruyt, two leading family-controlled listed groups. Since that time, the Sofindev team has evolved towards full independence and has surrounded itself with a wider range of respected family and (international) institutional investors. These investors include entrepreneurs and owners of family businesses in which Sofindev has invested in the past. Since 2015, the Sofindev funds have invested more than € 230 million in capital in 16 small and medium-sized companies, which in turn have completed more than 20 acquisitions, at home and abroad.
abroad. Currently, the Sofindev Management team manages the Sofindev IV fund (°2015) with a committed capital of € 107 million and the Sofindev V fund, established at the end of 2019, with total commitments
of €170 million. The Sofindev funds invest in the capital of successful small and medium-sized companies in the Benelux, in partnership with the entrepreneurs and management teams of these companies, to
support their further growth.


More details on our website:www.sofindev.com

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