Target: Team Eiffel
Seller: Gilde Equity Management
Advisory sell side: Citi | M&A Advisory
Simmons & Simmons | Legal Advisory
EY | Financial Advisory
Boston Consulting Group | Strategic Advisory
Buyer: Towerbrook
Advisory buy side: RBC | M&A Advisory
1602 Capital Partners | M&A Advisory
Goodwin | Legal Advisory
Loyens & Loeff | Legal Advisory
Alvarez & Marsal | Financial Advisory
Roland Berger | Strategic Advisory
Date announced: 2023-10-25

The Arnhem-based detachment firm, Team Eiffel, is set to be acquired by the American investment company, Towerbrook, as announced by the involved parties on Wednesday. Insiders suggest that the Americans will pay around €450 million for the acquisition.

Towerbrook aims to expand Team Eiffel across borders, with a focus on establishing a presence in Germany and Belgium. Additionally, they plan to facilitate Team Eiffel's growth through further acquisitions.

The company specializes in providing lawyers, financial consultants, and business analysts to entities such as banks, insurers, and non-profit organizations. Their professionals are leased for temporary assignments, often when clients face specific challenges. They also deploy consultants for defined, specialized projects, competing with staffing agencies like Yacht, YER, and Redmore, as well as consulting firms like Deloitte.

Team Eiffel encompasses Eiffel and a series of brands acquired over recent years, including DPA and Conquaestor. The company employs over 3,000 individuals, of which slightly over 2,500 are consultants. Their revenue exceeds €300 million.

High Private Equity Interest
The detachment firm garnered significant interest from private equity entities. Dutch company Waterland, along with foreign investors Bridgepoint, HIG, and CVC, also made attempts to acquire Team Eiffel.

Seller Gilde Equity Management will retain a minority stake after the transaction, reportedly in the range of 15% to 20%. The current management team will stay on, assuming a stakeholder role. Additionally, former CEO Alain Dehaze of staffing firm Adecco will hold a small share in the company and provide advisory services.

Entrepreneur Ferdi van Dommelen founded Eiffel in 1992. He sold the detachment firm to investment firm Gilde in 2018 for an undisclosed sum. At the time of sale, the revenue was just over €50 million. Gilde significantly expanded and improved the company's profitability through a series of acquisitions. A year and a half ago, Eiffel acquired competitor DPA, followed by Balance and Task half a year later.

Navigating Economic Headwinds
The acquisition of Palladio marked Team Eiffel's entry into large-scale interim project management for governmental organizations a year and a half ago. The company aims to capitalize on complex government projects set to shape agendas in the coming years, focusing on themes like energy transition, infrastructure, mobility, and housing development.

Despite the threat of recession and uncertainty stemming from high inflation and the war in Ukraine, the temp agency market saw substantial growth last year, particularly among small and medium-sized players like Team Eiffel.

However, this year, companies have been more cautious about hiring external personnel due to economic headwinds. On Tuesday, globally active Randstad presented business results reflecting a worldwide growth slowdown. For the third consecutive quarter, revenue declined, coming in at €6.3 billion for the third quarter, an 11% drop from the same period last year.

In the Netherlands, Towerbrook also owns the manufacturer of towbars, ACPS Automotive (formerly Bosal).

Gilde received support from Citi, a banking partner, during the sale. Towerbrook received advisory services from RBC and 1602 Corporate Finance during the acquisition.