CFI advises Stratt+ in its sale to Copus Group, a portfolio company of Buysse & Partners and Dovesco

  • Fast growing project sourcing expert in technical profiles for defence, spatial planning and industry

  • First takeover in the Netherlands with accelerated realisation of ambitious growth plans

  • Fitting transition of founder-led business to entrepreneurial management within broader international setting

  • CFI trusted advisor to founder and management in dialogue with large international corporate

About Stratt+
Stratt+ is a Dutch player in technical project sourcing and project management serving industry and government bodies including the Dutch Ministry of Defence and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat). Stratt+ operates from its head office in Zwijndrecht (NL) and a satellite office in Emmen. The company expects 2022 sales to average 9 million euros with around 90 staff. Its current director Michael van der Burg will continue to head the company, with Stratt+ becoming part of the projectsourcing division of Belgium-based Copus Group.

About the sale
Stratt+ has shown solid growth over the past ten years. Following a key transition it is now in an excellent position within the higher segment of specialist industrial markets, particularly in the Rijnmond, Zeeland and Northern Netherlands regions. Michael van der Burg headed the transition to include more senior technicians in projects while shifting from short-term interventions to longer-term projects for plant owners.

To build on this solid growth, the company was looking to attract a shareholder that would be able to facilitate its ambitions and enable Michael and his team to continue to grow and transition from a founder-led company to a broader, international service provider.

CFI’s role 
CFI was invited by departing founder and major shareholder John Schonewille to orchestrate the sales process. CFI brought together Stratt+’s management and key relevant potential buyers, giving Michael an opportunity to pitch his ambitious growth plans to the right parties.

CFI then consulted with Stratt+ to determine its optimum positioning, driven by, among other things, the anticipated budget increase at the Dutch Ministry of Defence and Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, served by Stratt+ as key supplier. Its established and long-term relations with plant owners in specialist industrial markets were also key in its positioning to potential buyers.

CFI was familiar with the growth strategy of international HR service provider Copus Group, which became obvious during the Stratt+ process after Copus Group had taken over Bennet Engineering, Stratt+’s Belgian industry counterpart. Copus Group had not yet caught Stratt+’s eye, but proved a perfect match. Copus Group and its international growth strategy lent an extra dimension to Michael’s plans and it was clear from the start and initial contacts that there was a click between parties. Not just geographically or in terms of competencies, but also as regards values shared. The collaboration or integration with Bennet Engineering also enabled the exchange of best practices and the cross-sale to each other’s customers.

Staying true to its brand and DNA, Stratt+ is now able to realise its ambitions within the international context offered by Copus Group, with synergetic benefits for all. Stratt+ is an attractive addition to the other nine HR specialists in the Belgian and German group. Joining forces with Stratt+ is Copus Group’s first step onto the Dutch market, increasing its headcount to more than 400 staff and 112 offices.

Stratt+ founder John Schonewille: “CFI and I worked together to prepare Michael and enable him to effectively pitch his ambitions. From the very first contact with Copus Group it was clear that this would be a great match. He will work with Copus Group to realise these ambitions further. I’m proud of what we’ve built and excited by this outcome of the process. “


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