Waterland are a Dutch-headquartered private equity investor who support entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. They were considering the acquisition and merger of Marinetrans and Best Global Logistics (BGL), and engaged us to support them through Technology Due Diligence.
Marinetrans is the world’s largest fourth-party logistics service provider specialised in marine spare parts forwarding and logistics. The company is headquartered in Singapore and has six additional offices around the globe. Through a network of dedicated partners, Marinetrans uses 22 warehouses and provides services in 2,000 ports worldwide.
BGL is an independent, Dutch, third-party logistics service provider offering relatively complex logistics solutions on a global scale. They operate two bonded and free-zone warehouses located in Lijnden (Amsterdam airport) and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. BGL has a strong foothold in the maritime industry, while also serving a range of other industries.
“At Waterland we always try to follow a buy and build trajectory with our companies, says Bart Verhoeff, Investment Associate at Waterland, “and so part of our own due diligence assessment was also to identify potential targets and to assess whether buy and build is a realistic growth plan. Having a proper IT platform in place is crucial for that to be feasible.”
“When we began looking at this acquisition we realised that we would not be able to properly assess the quality of the technology environment ourselves,” continues Bart, “We have a lot of areas of knowledge in house but technology is not one of them! We decided that we needed an external party to also make an assessment of the technology environments and the quality, specifically of the Marinetrans’ platform.”
“You are the only company we work with for both buy and sell-side technology due diligence.” Bart explains, “You did a general review of the full technology environment in both companies but also focused on Marinetrans customer facing inventory system. It was important for us to know if anything was materially wrong with the companies’ technology. Or were things ok for now but they would need some improvement in the future? This helped us decide if we were going to go ahead with the acquisition.”
“Your team also made a technology roadmap for us, with both the first steps we should take post acquisition and also a high-level plan for the further development of the companies in the long term.”
Waterland acquired both Marinetrans and Best Global Logistics in November 2019 and the combined company has been renamed Global Transport Solutions.
“There’s a lot going on with the company now,” concludes Bart, “The plan is to acquire other ship spare parts logistics service providers and also expand the presence of the Best Global Logistics part of the company to geographies where Marinetrans is already active. So far, we have already closed two add-on acquisitions and are close to the finish line with two others. In addition, a CTO is starting in a month or so and it will be his job to implement technology policies across the group and complete the technology roadmap you developed. Technology is high on the agenda of the new, combined company.”
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