De Groot Fresh Group returns to family ownership

Hedel, Netherlands: European investment company Gimv is to sell its interest in De Groot Fresh Group to the De Groot family. After a transitional period, the business will again be wholly owned by the Ben and William de Groot brothers.

De Groot Fresh Group imports and distributes fruit and vegetables and operates a banana ripening facility.

Gimv took a majority interest in De Groot Fresh Group in 2005. Since then, the business has grown employing 200 people and generating sales of €200m in 2010. Ben de Groot, chief executive, De Groot Fresh Group, acknowledged the involvement of Gimv. “We have learned a lot and implemented many optimisations. Ultimately, it was my and my brother’s passion for independent enterprise that was the decisive factor in wanting to shape our own future.”

Ivo Vincente, head of buyouts and growth Netherlands, said: “I have great admiration for the vision and the entrepreneurship of De Groot Fresh Group’s management. Our outstanding and particularly pleasant partnership has borne fruit.”

The sale of De Groot Fresh Group has a slightly positive effect on the last published equity position of Gimv on 30 June 2011. Over the entire course of the investment, this represents a return higher than Gimv’s historic average. No further financial details about this transaction are available.