Antwerp/Leuven (Belgium), 21 March 2007 – Waterland announced today that it is supporting a management buy-out at Indicator, the Leuven-based publisher of professional newsletters and books aimed at small and medium-sized companies and self-employed entrepreneurs. In Belgium, Indicator is well- known known through its publications like “Tips & Advies” and “Artsenwijzer”.
The origin of Indicator dates back to 1985, when Rudi Bollaerts started a tax and consultancy practice aimed at small and medium-sized companies and self-employed entrepreneurs. The growing need of customers for practical advice regarding tax matters, social and company law, led to the publishing of professional newsletters with advice and books in 1990, a joint initiative of Rudi Bollaerts, Kaat Peeters and Erik Bollaerts.
Through successful publications like “Tips & Advies” (tips & advice) and “Artsenwijzer” (advice for physicians) Indicator quickly became a reference in the Belgian publishing world. Rudi Bollaerts commented: “Since the early days, Indicator has been distinguishing itself from its competitors through providing tailor-made practical and independent tax and legal advice for self-employed entrepreneurs. And they clearly appreciate our emphasis on accessibility and added value”. From 1995 on, the company experienced a rapid international expansion, with the launch of activities in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Portugal. “In recent years Indicator achieved an average internal growth of 9% per year. And in 2006, the group generated revenues of more than 23 million Euros in 6 countries”, said Kaat Peeters.
Recently Indicator’s shareholders decided to simultaneously rearrange and reinforce the group’s capital structure in order to enable accelerated internal and external growth. As a consequence, the company set up a management buy-out around Erik Bollaerts (Chief Operating Officer) and Gery Glorieux (Chief Editorial Officer), with Waterland as the financial partner. In that context, Rudi Bollaerts and Kaat Peeters will exit as shareholders.
In the new structure, Erik Bollaerts and Gery Glorieux will act as joint CEOs. “Indicator still has a range of growth possibilities. We will continue to emphasize organic growth (a. o. via expanding the online offer, new titles and international expansion) and will also selectively consider acquisitions”, said Erik Bollaerts and Gery Glorieux. Next to Erik Bollaerts and Gery Glorieux, both as joint CEO, the new management committee will include Peter Bosschem (publishing & automation) and Rudi Van Loock (finance).
Waterland will provide Indicator with extra funds and support the management where needed to further the growth of the business. “The investment in Indicator fits well in Waterland’s strategy to participate in growing, quality enterprises in the services sector that have the ambition to acquire a leading position in their segment. In Western Europe the market for professional advice letters is still fairly fragmented, particularly in the small and medium-sized companies segment. We are convinced that Indicator is very well positioned to play a leading role in this consolidating market”, stated Frank Vlayen, Principal Belgium for Waterland. Waterland has been active in Belgium since 2001 and currently manages a portfolio that includes participations in Senior Living Group (nursing homes), HealthCity/LA Gym (health clubs) and Ortec (orthopedic services).