Since the autumn of 2017, Van den Bos Flowerbulbs has been owned by Foreman Capital, a private equity firm based in Amsterdam. After a period of 5 years, they have now sold this participation to the Belgian family business Heylen Group. This group, together with the existing management team led by Robert Piek, CEO of the flower bulb company since June 2020, will continue to strengthen the company. This means investing in processes and quality, as well as strengthening good cooperation with our customers and suppliers. The acquisition by Heylen Group is just perfect: "We are very happy with the Heylen Group. We can accelerate the execution of the plans we have already developed, and we will return to the lap of a family-owned company with a long-term commitment. After all, to be successful in the bulb sector, you need a long-term perspective," says Robert Piek.
75 years of innovation and vision
Van den Bos was founded in Maasdijk in 1946 by Jo Van den Bos and has grown into a global market leader in the bulb sector. With its own warehouses and sales offices in the United States, Canada, and Australia, Van den Bos specializes in the storage, preparation, and export of lily bulbs, freesias, and callas. Next to these sales offices, Van den Bos has its own bulb production site in Chile under the name of Southern Bulbs. Additionally, the company is an exclusive distributor of the unique lily variety Roselily. The basis of success? Innovation and entrepreneurship. Thanks to its decisiveness, the urge to innovate, and entrepreneurship, Van den Bos has secured a strong position in the global value chain for the production of lilies, freesias, and callas.
Long-term commitment with a touch of nostalgia
The acquisition of Van den Bos fits perfectly into the diverse character of the Heylen Group. The family business, which owns several companies in the Netherlands, is already active in various parts of the agricultural value chain and will be able to play a supporting role from the various partner companies.
"Van den Bos Flowerbulbs and the management team fit perfectly with the no-nonsense approach that characterizes Heylen Group," adds Seppe Onsea. "Together, we figuratively put on the boots and focus fully on the activities that have made the company great: the packaging, processing, and export of flower bulbs."
The flower bulb sector offers a lot of opportunities. The lily is a flower with a strong cultural connection and meaning. "In China and Latin America, for example, the lily has a strong symbolic value, a cultural heritage that still leads to the commercial success of the flower," explains Seppe Onsea. Van den Bos is the exclusive distributor of Roselily, a unique variety that is odorless and contains no pollen. On the other hand, the sector also faces plenty of challenges. After all, the growth of flower bulbs is highly dependent on nature. "You simply can't decide to produce a little more or less. However, in dealing with these challenges, we can differentiate ourselves from other exporters, and ultimately this will make Van den Bos successful," concludes Robert Piek.
Partner and group director M&A