HT Verboom Transport Systems, the developer, producer, and installer of internal logistics systems for greenhouse horticulture will become part of GreenV, the group of companies that currently consists of installation company Stolze and the greenhouse construction company Prins Group since late 2020. Verboom is confident that it will be better positioned to execute its international expansion strategy with the support of GreenV.
HT Verboom Transport Systems was founded in 1998 by founder and director Herman Verboom, who started as a subcontractor installing transport systems and later also became active in renovating and refurbishing pre-owned transport systems. In recent years, the long history of hands-on knowledge and experience embedded in the company is leveraged for the design, production, installation, and maintenance of self-developed container transport systems. Verboom's products have a reputation of being extremely solid and reliable.
HT Verboom experienced high growth over the past years: the company was able to triple its revenue in a short time, with an expectation of further substantial growth in the coming years. This growing demand not only derives from the existing floral and plant sectors but is increasingly driven by the application of automated internal transport systems in other sectors and crops such as lettuce, medicinal cannabis, and indoor farming. These are complex projects for which clients increasingly seek integrated solutions.
"We continue to independently supply and maintain internal transport systems for our existing and new clients, both directly to end customers and through intermediaries. Nothing is changing about our core business. At the same time, we see enormous international opportunities, but realizing them will require us to expand at a rapid pace, and that is easier to achieve as part of a group than independently. With Prins Group, Stolze, and its local partners, GreenV has expansive experience with international projects, among others, in North America, a market where we are also strong. In addition, GreenV has recently set up a new indoor farming division that I think we can expect a lot from," said Herman Verboom.
Internal transport systems: increasingly challenging projects
The severe staff shortages in the horticultural industry in many countries make it a natural or even necessary step for many growers to deploy automated internal transportation systems. But these systems are also attractive to investors, who are increasingly entering the greenhouse horticultural sector and are looking for scalable turn-key greenhouse solutions. "We want to facilitate these kinds of projects, but we understand very well that it is a more complex and more technically challenging game to play than traditional horticulture. The projects are bigger, and there are more pitfalls involved because we are dealing with different parties and markets that are new to us. At the same time, we want to stay true to our global reputation as a supplier of reliable systems that function exactly the way clients want them to – anytime and anyplace," said Herman Verboom.
Although the company has been approached before for partnerships and acquisitions, HT Verboom ultimately chose GreenV. "On the one hand, GreenV has HAL as a committed long-term investor with an understanding of the industry. On the other, the group already comprised two other horticulture companies that we know well and with which we already collaborate successfully. Those were the deciding factors. Through this acquisition, we also become shareholders of GreenV and gain access to support and expertise that we lack ourselves, for example, in the areas of HR, the management of large international contracts, and compliance with complex local laws and regulations. In this way, we can continue to focus on our core strengths in the future. For our approximately 35 employees and the trusted specialists we bring on for temporary assignments – partially in manufacturing, partially in R&D, and as field staff – nothing is going to change besides preparing for further growth. We will keep doing what we are doing now, and I will personally continue my current activities 100%."
Ton Vernaus, director of GreenV, is delighted by the acquisition and HT Verboom's decision to join the group. "HT Verboom's automated solutions are the answer to the growing problem of staff shortages in the horticultural industry and the goal of optimizing cultivation efficiency. We see HT Verboom as a strategic reinforcement of the ecosystem of leading horticulture specialists that we seek to build. GreenV aspires to a leading role in developing new production systems that contribute to sustainability and higher yields, and HT Verboom also helps us achieve that goal. With our partners within and outside the GreenV group, we have all the necessary knowledge to deliver both individual subprojects as well as turn-key comprehensive solutions to any partner or end customer."
Geert van Veen, director of greenhouse builder Prins Group and director at GreenV, has known Herman Verboom and his team for years." They design and build great transport solutions, and they make sure they really work under all circumstances. And I can assure you that's not something one can take for granted. I'm excited that Herman is joining us at GreenV and will be working together with Stolze, Prins, and HAL. We speak the same language, and we know we can rely on each other. With the addition of this quality business, the group will have an even stronger appeal to the market."
The closing of the planned transaction is subject to the usual conditions applicable to transactions of this nature. The parties involved will not disclose any financial details of the acquisition.