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Proceeding

 

Undefined investment period
Écart is established for an indefinite period of time, which allows us to participate with a long term perspective. This grants entrepreneurs time to realize their business plan with the help of our investment.

 
Growth or acquisition
We leave it to the entrepreneur to run his business. This requires quality and commitment. We seek a partnership with experienced entrepreneurs or managers who are motivated to  - in cooperation with a partner/investor - successfully realize growth or acquisitions. In terms of development stages, we are specialized in:

1. Entrepreneurs who require finance growth;
2. Entrepreneurs who need additional venture capital to finance an acquisition;
3. Family businesses where a replacement of the current share capital is the case;
4. Creation of autonomous company divisions;
5. Acquisitions by management from outside the organization (Management buy-ins);
6. Acquisitions by one or more members of the current management (management

     buy-outs).

 

The focus is on medium-sized Dutch companies. Priority sectors are Human Resource services, IT and packaging industries. Écart does not invest in turnarounds, real estate or hotel and catering business. In exceptional cases Écart may be willing to invest in young, fast-growing companies, provided that the management has a proven track record and is ready to significantly co-invest with liquid assets.

Investment level
Écart invests for its own account and risk. In combination with share capital, we provide subordinated loans to optimize the capital structure of the company. Our investments range from EUR 1.0 to EUR 8.0 million per participation. If necessary, multiple rounds of financing are among the possibilities. 

Investing with third parties
The prospect of fulfilling the role of independent investor, is most important. Whether or or Écart invests with other parties depends on the extent of added value to the company. In the past Écart has acted as lead party for other investors.

Towards a partnership
If you and Écart agree on participation, a Letter of Intent (LOI) will be drawn up. In this LOI, both parties will define the principles for future cooperation. Next, the investment proposal will be submitted to the Supervisory Board of Écart for approval. If the outcome is positive, agreements will be recorded in a socalled participation agreement, being the basis for future cooperation.

In most cases, a due diligence research will be part of the process. The accuracy of commercial, financial, legal and/or fiscal data provided by the enterprise, will be verified.

Both the management and Écart appoint a  Commissioner. The articles of association will me amended, so as to determine that important decisions will be made jointly. Between the management, the company and the shareholders clear agreements will be made, so as to create the conditions in which the management and Écart will optimal use their expertise for the benefit of the company.

Growth Facility
In the context of the Growth Facility Scheme (Regeling Groeifaciliteit), the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs came to an agreement with a number of financiers who provide venture capital to SME's. Écart is one of the financiers who makes use of the Growth Facility. The Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO.nl) is responsible for implementing the Growth Facility Scheme.


Criteria

 

When selecting  investment proposals, we will operate carefully. The position of your enterprise, the quality and commitment of the management and a relationship based on mutual trust are key.

During discussions with you, Écart will form an opinion about the participation, the potential of the product or service, market developments, the organization, the management and the financial position. In case of participation, the rate of return needs to be good. The management has a proven track record in the sector involved. In addition, the management is willing to invest a substantial amount in cash or has already done so.

In order to assess whether discussions on a possible participation are worthwhile, we will ask you to provide information about the company:

 

1. a Curriculum Vitae  of the management
2. the business plan
3. an overview of the current shareholders and financiers
4. the latest financial statements and interim accounts
5. a forecast for the current year
6. an estimate of the required risk capital
7. the extent to which the management, the shareholders and the financiers are willing to

     contribute