Andera Partners – a leading player in the field of small cap private equity through its vehicle Andera Expansion – takes a majority stake in ElaN Group, one of Belgium’s leading providers of specialised translation services and customised language training. This investment is intended to accelerate the group’s development in France and in Europe, primarily through external growth. Andera Partners is joining forces with Robrecht Beliën and Geert De Blende, joint CEOs of ElaN Group, who will retain approximately one third of the capital.
Over the past 30 years, ElaN Group has built up an excellent reputation for high-quality services among a highly demanding client base, including the Belgian national and regional governments, the European Commission and various private European companies, both large and small, which critically rely on translation.
Translation services are the group’s major offering in a wide range of areas (financial, legal, medical, commercial or administrative, to name a few) for a variety of documents (including websites, legal documents, annual reports and marketing communications) based on unique expertise which combines human input with the integration of the most cutting-edge technologies (Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing) on an in-house technology platform. In addition to these services, the group offers an extensive range of complementary services including post-editing, video subtitling, sworn translations, interpreting and voice-over recording.
Following the entry of Tilleghem Group in 2018, the company has enjoyed robust growth. With the two recent acquisitions in the Netherlands and Poland (PassworD in 2020 and Translavic in 2021), it generates sales of €20 million, currently has 80 employees in 4 offices and serves approximately 2,000 customers.
In the words of Robrecht Beliën and Geert De Blende, joint CEOs of ElaN Group: “We are delighted to continue our further development with Andera Partners. We have an ambitious growth plan in place to expand organically by +50% and double in size through acquisitions. The fundamentals that are driving our growth will remain strong in the coming years. The foundation we have built up, which strongly focuses on automation, currently represents an important technology platform for consolidation in our sector”.
Olivier Le Gall and Mayeul Caron, partners at Andera Partners, echo these sentiments: “In recent years, despite the global pandemic, ElaN Group has not only demonstrated its resilience, but above all its ability to seize opportunities for both internal and external growth. The high level of its services, the quality of its teams and the reliability of its technology platform and highly automated operating model put the group in a perfect position to consolidate a highly fragmented European market. External growth is one of Andera Expansion’s strengths and we look forward to supporting the company in its proactive buy-and-build policy in France and in Europe”.
This is the 7th investment of Andera Expansion 3, for which the final closing took place in December 2021 with a hard cap of €250 million, which is now approximately 50% called up. It is also the first investment outside of France for the Expansion team, testifying to its ability to identify the best SMEs active in neighbouring countries.
- Andera Expansion: Mayeul Caron and Olivier Le Gall, Nicolas Debonneuil, Laetitia Bouron, Hans Van de Velde
- M&A advisory: JSquare Capital (Jennifer Johns, Max Hallberg, Jean-Baptiste Milleron)
- Legal advisory and legal, tax and social due diligence: Hogan Lovells (Stéphane Huten, Paul Leroy, Alexandre Giacobbi, Arthur Deschamps) and Lydian (Peter de Rick, Delphine Penninck, Caroline Hoste, Achille Lemey)
- Strategic due diligence: KPMG (Tom Hesselink, Nick Diver)
- Financial due diligence: KPMG (Yann Dekeyser, Stijn Potargent, Paula Eugena Rosado, Yarn Pauwels)
- IT due diligence: KPMG (Tom Verté, Steven Buyse)
- Tax due diligence: KPMG (Wouter Caers, Chung Lai, Morgane Wybou)
Tilleghem and Managers:
- Tilleghem: Piet Van Waes, Guy Goossens, Simon Synaeghel
- Managers: Robrecht Beliën, Geert De Blende
- Legal advisory: ACE Law (Filip Meire, Didier Roemers)
- M&A advisory: Deloitte (Serge Prosman, Kevin Defour, Daan Pelgrims, Manon Macharis)
- KBC: Nico Melsens, Guy Wyn, Aline Marchal
- Legal Advisory: JonesDay (Ferdinand Brughmans, Laurent Vercauteren, Anna Zwalve)