Non-quoted investments

Building better companies

in partnership

with management’

 

 

 

Pauwels Consulting

Building better companies

in partnership

with management’

 

 

 

Pauwels Consulting

 

 

 

Building better companies

in partnership

with management’

 

 

 

Serax Headquarters

Building better companies

in partnership

with management’

 

 

 

Serax Tableware Pascale Naessens

Building better companies

in partnership

with management

 

 

 

ApartAudio Headquarters

Building better companies

in partnership

with management’

 

 

 

ApartAudio Carmi fashion store

 

Building better companies

in partnership

with management’

 

 

 

Community Audio The Grand Wilmington

 

Building better companies

in partnership

with management’

 

 

 

Community Audio Talladega Superspeedway

Building better companies

in partnership

with management’

 

 

 

Aspel Mexico

 

Building better companies

in partnership

with management’

 

 

 

Aspel Mexico

Building better companies

in partnership

with management’

 

 

 

Aspel High precision parts

Building better companies

in partnership

with management’

 

 

 

Plastiflex Mexico

 

Building better companies

in partnership

with management’

 

 

 

Plastiflex Medical tubing

Our
principles

3D is a family-owned investor aiming to create value through long-term investments in private companies with a good track record and sound growth potential. 3D is a long term shareholder with no predefined investment horizon.

3D will actively foster entrepreneurship in its companies. We are there to support management with common sense advice and a diverse team with mixed skill sets and expertise. 3D aims at profitable revenue growth by taking the right initiatives in the areas of geographical expansion, market and product development. We act as a responsible investor.

Values: common sense, honest and open communication, entrepreneurship, integrity, enthusiasm.

Approach value creation

Long term investor: no limits in time or exit pressure; limited acquisition leverage on investments.

Buy-and-build: focus on value creation through profitable revenue growth. Invest in companies in which 3D’s strategic perspective, experience and skills can contribute to an improvement of operations and market position. 3D stimulates the entrepreneurship in its companies.

Committed owner and active management:

  • Focus on actions and investments that increase long-term value
  • Not directly involved in the day-to-day management of the company but with the capacity to assist management in identifying strategic opportunities and in making strategic and/or organizational choices. Sounding board for management depending on their needs: strategy, marketing, sales, HR, finance, M&A, …..
  • One of 3D’s partners will lead as active chairman and will act as sounding board and sparring partner for the management.

Investment focus

  • Focus on medium-sized companies or carve-out divisions with an enterprise value of up to 150 million euro and a proven track record (no venture capital or early stage). Equity tickets of up to 30 million euro.
  • Investing in all parts of the value chain: production, distribution, retail, services,…
  • Leading or fast-growing companies in niche markets
  • Companies with a unique product or service
  • Talented and honest management
  • Co-shareholdership of entrepreneurs/management

Position

  • Majority or minority of sufficient size that allows us to be an active partner.
  • Majority or minority participation can be realized by a buy-out of the shares of the existing shareholders or by strengthening the existing capital structure.

Non-quoted investments

Pauwels Consulting is a Belgian consulting firm with more than 300 experts in the fields of engineering, life sciences and IT. Pauwels Consulting helps leading companies in various sectors with project sourcing, recruitment and selection and turnkey projects. Pauwels Consulting was founded in 1999 and the company has offices in Brussels, Ghent, Basel, Frankfurt, Lyon and Lille.

Investment since 2016

 

> Testimonials

Bert Pauwels
(CEO Pauwels Consulting & Founder ):

Starting a business is one thing, bringing it to the top is another. It takes a lot of effort and perseverance of a whole team in an organization. Market conditions change continuously. It is key to see these changes coming and to react in an appropriate way. In the sector of Pauwels Consulting there is a lot to happen in the coming years. Technological progress and automatization is definitely a threat. On the other hand the sector is so fragmented that there are great opportunities to consolidate and to internationalize. As owner of Pauwels Consulting I saw great opportunity to take part in that consolidation. To do this, I decided to seek a strong partner with a long-term vision. It was clear from the first meeting that 3D focused on more than only numbers. There was a genuine interest in our business and they were very well prepared. Key-thoughts were : long-term vision, build, internationalize, sparring partner in financial and strategic matters.
We work with 3D for 6 months now and promises are made and kept. 3D is the ideal sparring partner who ensures that every subject or problem is viewed with a critical eye. 3D has joined our “inner circle” to grow together to the top. To all colleague-entrepreneurs I want to share the following quote : “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together (with 3D).

designs and sells an extensive collection of decorative interior objects ranging from original glassware to elegant dinnerware and tea light candles. Serax stands for innovative and affordable design for florists, garden centers and interior stores. To guarantee innovation and creativity, Serax works with leading designers from Belgium and abroad, such as Marie Michielssen, Pascale Naessens, Roel Vandebeek, Moniek Vanden Berghe, Roos van de Velde, Antonino Sciortino and Piet Boon.  Serax has become an established name in the decoration sector.

Investments since 2011.

is a US based loudspeaker manufacturer with global sales activities and a strong track record in large and medium sized fixed install audio, both outdoor and indoor. It was founded in 1968 by Bruce Howze who developed it to become an icon in the audio industry through revolutionary innovations like the first lightweight fiberglass speakers and the world’s first dedicated midrange compression driver. Community designs and manufactures high-performance products that provide reliable, long-term service indoors and outdoors in extreme and challenging environments. Its products can be found in the world’s leading sport venues, auditoria, theme parks, worship facilities and convention centers. Community is part of Audioprof Group International (www. audioprofgroupinternational.com) controlled by 3D.

Investment since 2015.

is a strong growing manufacturer of loudspeakers and amplifiers for the fixed Install audio market and sells audio products in more than 80 countries. Its products are specifically designed for small and medium sized audio projects in retail shops, restaurants, hotels, sports and leisure venues, schools and worship facilities. Apart Audio is part of Audioprof Group International (www. audioprofgroupinternational.com) controlled by 3D.

Investment since 2009.

> Testimonials

Koen Claerbout
(CEO Apart Audio ):

3D Investments always starts from customer value creation and the requirements to further build a successful, sustainable business in line with our strategy and respecting our heritage. This approach results in an extremely strong alignment with me and my management team and creates a positive business vibe for writing a success story together. Together with 3D, a strong organization and operational platform has been built to enable profitable growth. Working together with 3D has resulted in a very significant organic growth of the Belgian audio brand Apart combined with, more recently, an impressive acquisition of the complementary American audio brand Community. Thanks to 3D’s support and encouragement, the company now really has a global footprint with factories in America, Asia and commercial activities worldwide.

Tom Gheysens
(Founder Apart Audio ):

If you want an experienced hands-on partner who takes full responsibility (not only on the numbers!) to grow the company further for long term and even beyond your own wildest dreams, then the 3D route is yours. They invite you to join the ride as long as you feel fine with it, so it’s a truly mutual respectful partnership in all aspects. The best proof is that our employees and business relations remain confident in our company after +7 years with the 3D-turbo on board. So yes, I fully validate 3D’s corporate principles and values they’re aiming for.

is a global injection moulding specialist in the development and manufacturing of small to medium sized, thin walled and complex plastic parts with low dimensional tolerances (15 to 500 ton machines). Its technology includes bi-injection (2K), gas injection, tandem moulding and insert contact overmoulding. Aspel is focused on the automotive and electro-technical market and serves a variety of global customers like Bosch, Valeo, Schneider, Hella, PSS, IEE and U-Shin in its production plants in Mexico, Slovakia, China and Belgium.

Investment since 2000.

> Testimonials

Paul Plasschaert
(CEO Aspel Group ):

I experience 3D as a private investment company operating with a longer term horizon, delivering sustainable value creation by further developing and building on its selective companies, in close participation with and respectful towards the people and the organization. This with a continuous aim towards satisfying the respective customers or markets which they serve. In addition, sustained and professional M&A activity fuels Buy and Build scenario’s in existing as well as new markets.

is a world leader in the development and manufaturing of flexible hoses for a wide variety of applications in the healthcare, pool, industry and floor care market.  With its global manufacturing footprint (production plants in Mexico, China, USA, Spain and Slovakia) Plastiflex counts numerous blue chip OEM’s as  customers like Miele, Electrolux, Nilfisk, Dyson, Zodiac, Pentair, Kärcher, Hamilton Medical and ResMed. Investment since 1992.

> Testimonials

Piet Gruwez
(CEO Plastiflex Group ):

Plastiflex is the company with the longest shareholdership by 3D  Investments – more than 20 years. Probably the best proof of the long term focus by 3D. 3D has proven to me and Plastiflex to be a hands-on, no-nonsense and highly committed team: while challenging the management at difficult decisions (we have consolidated our footprint substantially over the past years), we know they also support us when it comes to defining and implementing profitable growth strategies, either organically or through M&A. Entering totally new areas of business, such as our entry in the Healthcare market, would never have been possible without the very active support and involvement of 3D. Such exercises with 3D never go easy – they don’t choose the cookie-cutter methods. However, the approach is rewarding: we are challenged, we discuss and we decide and move forward – always in partnership with each other. It is an incredible benefit for a company to have a shareholder who is able to trust, but – even more importantly – who is there when needed.


Non-quoted divestments

EMERSON & CUMING – MICROWAVE PRODUCTS

Activities: develops, produces and sells microwave absorbing materials and related materials for the wireless telecom and automotive markets
Participation: as of 2005
Exit: in 2012
Website: www.eccosorb.com

> Testimonials

André Geurts (seller in 2005 and external director 2005 – 2012):

Of course, every owner asks himself a number of questions when it comes to selling his company. Apart from a fair price, there are always concerns regarding the employees and realistic growth prospects in the new environment.
So when I decided to sell the company to 3D in 2005, it was 3D’s investment focus, and in particular its operating principles, that played a major role and proved in the end not to be meaningless slogans.
After seven years of intense cooperation as a consultant and director, I have to acknowledge that 3D has been true to its principles and that the company is better off for it.
The quality and corporate values of the 3D management and the motivation of the local
managers have been key factors in enabling 3D to meet the expectations of all the stakeholders. t is what I would call the perfect example of a win-win situation based on mutual trust and enthusiasm.

Gust Timmerman (General Manager Europe and Azia):

Emerson & Cuming Microwave Products (ECMP) started to develop more rapidly after its acquisition by 3D. True to its motto of ”buy and build”, the main shareholder provided the management with opportunities for tapping new markets and territories, and in fact also encouraged it to do so. Subsidiaries were established in India, Hong Kong and Brazil and the company became an important supplier of materials for radars in cars. In order to maintain the company’s competitiveness, major investments were made in automation and improvement of ECMP’s machinery between 2005 and 2012.

Mike Carpenter (General Manager Americas):

3D was a good owner for Emerson & Cuming Microwave Products : they managed for long term health of the business rather than short term financial results, supported the business with investments, focused on overall strategy while giving operational control to local management, and encouraged key managers to participate in ownership. 3D had the financial strength to invest as needed. Further, they were transparent and fair in their dealings with the minority shareholders. It was excellent experience providing a superior return.