Private equity company Hg has agreed to invest in Combell Group, a Belgium-based hosting services provider for SMEs across Europe. Waterland Private Equity exits its shareholding in Combell as part of the transaction.
Established in 1999, Combell is a hosting provider delivering its services from Belgium and Denmark, while having growing positions in the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. Combell currently serves over 800,000 SME and SoHo customers and is a partner for web hosting, domains, ecommerce and application solutions.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and so will close in the New Year. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“Our partnership with the Combell team has delivered an exceptional result, driven by the company’s international buy-and-build expansion strategy,” said Cedric van Cauwenberghe, Managing Partner, Waterland. “Together with its management we have grown the business more than tenfold in the last 5 years through consistent organic growth and 17 bolt on acquisitions, creating a leading position for Combell in Europe. We want to thank Jonas and the team for the great collaboration in the past years and wish them best of luck in continuing this successful growth trajectory.”
The investment represents Hg’s 8th investment in the technology services sector, with other recent hosting investments including Zitcom (2015), DADA (2017) and most recently, IT Relation (2018). Combell would show similar characteristics to these businesses, having consistently delivered strong organic revenue growth, “best-in-class” customer satisfaction metrics and an exceptional M&A track record.
“We have been very impressed with what the team at Combell have built over the past 19 years in the Benelux and the Nordics,” said Nick Jordan, Partner, and Joris Van Gool, Director at Hg. “It’s a privilege to invest alongside CEO Jonas Dhaenens and the entire management team. We have been following Combell for a long time and believe the business is strongly positioned to continue growing organically while adding selective M&A on its platform. We look forward to partnering with the Combell team as the business continues to expand across Europe.”
“I am excited about the opportunity to partner with Hg in the next phase of Combell’s growth and development,” said Jonas Dhaenens, Founder & CEO of Combell Group. “We look forward to working with Nick Jordan and the rest of the Hg team to grow a true industry champion. I would like to sincerely thank and congratulate Waterland for their tremendous support throughout the last 5 years; this incredibly successful ride would simply have been impossible without their unrelenting strategic guidance, operational support and buy & build execution power.”