The management team led by Bert Pauwels will bring Pauwels Consulting into a new development cycle with strong ambitions, with the support of Andera Partners who will take a significant minority stake.
Founded in 1999 by its CEO Bert Pauwels, Pauwels Consulting has achieved a leading market position as a consulting and staffing company focused on high skilled profiles to address Life Sciences, IT, and Engineering white collar niches. With more than €150m sales in 2022, Pauwels Consulting has developed a strong presence on its domestic Belgian market and has built strategic positions in the Netherlands. The group addresses a large base of customers, composed of several blue-chip clients such as Pfizer, Procter & Gamble and GSK and relies on a highly skilled and sizeable workforce of 1,500 consultants to accompany them for strategic projects. Over the years, Pauwels Consulting has proven its ability to train and retain its staff in a context of scarcity of qualified consultants thanks to a strong emphasis put by management on the well-being of their employees; in recognition of these efforts, the group was awarded the “Great place to work” label.
Since the LBO conducted by Bert Pauwels, the management team and 3D Investors in 2016, the size of the company has been multiplied by 5x, through a mix of organic growth and strategic acquisitions. Pauwels Consulting has strengthened its positions both in Belgium and the Netherlands, develop the consultants base, and opened new verticals within existing end-markets (Life Sciences, IT and Engineering). Pauwels Consulting is a strong buy-and-build platform with an outstanding track-record of 12 acquisitions in Belgium and the Netherlands since 2016, thanks to a well-structured M&A approach based on the alignment of interests with the management teams of the acquired entities, notably through their reinvestment in the group. Due to this exceptional performance, Pauwels Consulting has been nominated 12 years in a row (2001-2022) among the Trends Gazelle ranking of the fastest growing companies in Flanders, recognizing the exceptional development of the Group.
As a new chapter unfolds for the group, Bert Pauwels, alongside the management team, has decided, to buy out Pauwels Consulting with the support of Andera Midcap as a minority financial sponsor, to accelerate its European development, driven by both organic growth and buy & build strategy. Backed by its new shareholder, the group intends to consolidate its Belgian leadership and accelerates its international footprint, focusing in particular on the Benelux, France and the DACH region. A new financing pool was set up in the context of the transaction, with the renewed confidence of ING, KBC, and BNP Paribas Fortis and two new financial partners, Belfius and Caisse d’Epargne Hauts de France, to support the development of the group. Additionally, the banking pool set up a sizeable acquisition facility to sustain the significant expansion plan. Management is confident in its ability to deliver such plan thanks to a healthy qualified pipeline to execute and drive growth further ahead.
Bert Pauwels, CEO of Pauwels Consulting, added: « We are delighted to collaborate with Andera Partners as our private equity partner to elevate our organization to the next level and establish a stronger presence for our company across Europe. Having an entrepreneurial partner by our side who not only considers the financial aspects but also values our organization and the well-being of our employees is truly invaluable. We are also pleased that our existing financial partners and banks have renewed their confidence in our organization, and we have even welcomed two new banking partners on board. With this exceptional team, we look forward to a promising future, where we will further position our company on the European market and strive for a prominent position »
Aurélie Denieuil, Investment Director of Andera Partners, added: « We are very proud to support Bert Pauwels and his management team for their new ambitious growth plan. Pauwels Consulting perfectly illustrates Andera Midcap’s investment strategy: a seasoned and ambitious management team that is successfully carrying out the change of scale of their group both in Belgium and internationally, and a group whose know-how and service offering are recognized and valued by its customers. It also emphasizes Andera Partners development ambitions in Belgium, which accelerated following the set-up of the office in Antwerp in 2019 and our recent investments in Infra Group and Elan. We are excited to support Pauwels Consulting for its next cycle of growth. »