Dutch company ACTA*, the holding company of Kiwa and Shield Group, is acquiring the shares of Inspecta from Finland. Shareholders NPM Capital and Management (ACTA*) have reached agreement on this move with investor 3i (Inspecta). The combination of Kiwa, Shield Group and Inspecta creates a wide-ranging company with 4000 specialists, which is active in 27 countries in the worldwide TIC market (Testing, Inspection and Certification / Consultancy).
ACTA* originated in 1948, when the Dutch water companies set up Kiwa NV as the Keurings-Instituut voor Waterleiding Artikelen (Dutch Waterworks Testing and Research Institute). Since 2004 the company has developed into a TIC business operating on an international scale, expanding through a combination of organic growth, acquisitions of other companies in the sector and a major expansion of its portfolio of services. From its offices in 22 countries, Kiwa provides worldwide TIC services for products, processes, systems and people in a wide variety of market sectors including water, energy, construction, agro-food, safety, education and health care. Shield Group joined with ACTA* in 2009. From offices in seven European countries Shield Group focuses mainly on compliance management and risk management in the area of hazardous materials, situations and microbiology in the living and working environment, and on comparable services in the maritime and environmental sectors. At the end of 2014, ACTA* employed some 2400 people in Europe, Latin America and Asia. The company is in the hands of ACTA*-Management and investor NPM Capital.
Since it was founded in Finland in 1975, Inspecta has grown into a significant TIC player in Northern Europe. The company principally offers inspection services for installations in, among others, the process and manufacturing industry, refining, electricity generation and mining, and, thanks to recent acquisitions, it also deals with installations in buildings, such as lifts, fire safety and ventilation. Inspecta expanded into Sweden in 2005 and now has branches in all the Scandinavian countries as well as in the Baltic States and Poland. Since 3i took over the company in 2007, Inspecta has doubled in size to 1600 employees.
Paul Hesselink, CEO of ACTA*: “The merger of the two organisations fits seamlessly into ACTA*’s mission and long-term strategy of developing into a strong TIC company which operates internationally. We are proud of the fact that, as an independent TIC company with its roots and head office in the Netherlands, we play an important and rapidly growing role in the international market. ACTA* serves increasing numbers of international clients locally with customised products and services. Inspecta complements marvellously what we already have and ensures that we can expand geographically. Its culture, reputation, service portfolio and approach to clients fit seamlessly with ours. From the small Kiwa company of 1948, which tested drinking water pipes, we have grown into a player with a broad portfolio and which is capable of operating independently over the long term in the midst of strong competition.”
According to investment director Johan Terpstra, who assisted with the transaction on behalf of NPM Capital, this acquisition fits seamlessly into the investment company’s long-term strategy of supporting Dutch companies in their international ‘buy and build’ strategy. “Kiwa is a very nice example of this. We are proud to have brought Inspecta on board so that, together with Kiwa and Shield Group, it can further develop the group’s worldwide position in the TIC market.”
Kari Aulasmaa, CEO of Inspecta Group, is also very happy with the acquisition: “In ACTA* we have found the right partner to enable us to broaden our portfolio and spread our wings, so that we can move in particular into the previously untapped region of Central Europe and naturally also expand into Western and Southern Europe, where Kiwa and Shield already have their networks. More services and a larger network for national and international clients. These are crucial in order to safeguard Inspecta’s long-term continuity.”