Health & Care

Location: Belgium

Year of Investment: 2008

Investment Status: Alumni

Verlinvest contact: Simone Sallustio

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The Belgian leader in private senior care

Through a partnership lasting for more than 13 years, Verlinvest has enabled a small nursing homes operator to grow its turnover from €10 million to over €300 million and become the largest care provider in Belgium and one of the top ten players in Europe, offering a high quality solution to senior people and allowing them to live their life their own way.

The journey

Verlinvest originally acquired Belgian nursing homes operator Restel Résidences in 2003 through a management buy-out, and then merged it with family-owned player Group Van den Brande, establishing the Armonea brand in 2008.

Since then, Verlinvest has supported Armonea in developing greenfield projects and acquiring over 3,000 nursing home beds and assisted living apartments through more than 20 M&A deals in the company’s domestic market, which enabled Armonea to consolidate the fragmented Belgian private nursing home sector. Similarly, in 2016 Verlinvest has supported Armonea in completing two landmark international acquisitions: La Saleta in Spain and DPUW (Deutsche Pflege Und Wohnen) in Germany. Today, Armonea operates 125 care sites (82 in Belgium, 17 in Germany and 26 in Spain), 8 day care and 4 child care centres. In total, over 9,000 committed employees take care of more than 14,000 seniors in their daily lives.

Verlinvest as a flexible partner for long-term growth

Over the years, Verlinvest has provided Armonea with consistent and flexible access to capital that has allowed the company to fully deliver against its growth ambition. Verlinvest has also supported the professionalization of the business, fostering the implementation of best practices that have brought consistency of service and quality leadership across Belgium, as well as excellence in post-acquisition integration processes.

Under Verlinvest’s ownership, Armonea has adapted its business model by disposing of its significant real estate asset base and focusing entirely on its core know-how of operating senior care facilities. This has proved to be a winning strategy that released management time and unlocked financial resources functional to deliver a better service and accelerate growth.

Verlinvest offered Armonea wide access to a pool of global talent with an understanding of brands and consumer needs. Armonea was able to attract and retain the right leaders at the right time, and drive a continuous internationalization of its employee base. As an example, Verlinvest provided the introduction to Armonea’s current CEO – the former President of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain & Cuba at AB-InBev.

Armonea is now determined to consolidate its domestic leadership position and leverage on its international footprint to grow a solid quality platform in both Spain and Germany. The company’s vision is to become the best care home group in Europe. At Verlinvest, we are excited to support Armonea in this new thrilling stage of the company’s journey.

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