& Waterland

A partnership to build the #1 sustainable load carrier solutions provider in Europe

Rotom is a pan-European bespoke load carrier solutions provider offering a broad range of load carriers like wooden and plastic pallets and metal storage systems used for the transportation and storage of goods. In addition, it provides a variety of supply chain services involving load carriers such as load carrier rental, virtual pallet pooling, repair & maintenance and reverse logistics solutions. Its unique one-stop shop offering allows Rotom to serve as an integrated and mission-critical supply chain partner for many blue-chip clients throughout Europe. The company is head-quartered in Son (the Netherlands) and is active in 11 European countries.

Joint ambitions to accelerate growth

After 30 years of private ownership and a successful European expansion, Arjan Kuiper, the CEO of Rotom, was looking for the right partner to help accelerate the company’s growth, both in its existing geographies and in new countries. Specifically, Arjan was looking for a partner to help him set the right strategic priorities and step up the pace of growth via add-on acquisitions as a means to expand to new countries and build more critical mass in the countries in which the company already had a presence.

His partner of choice? Waterland, due to our strong buy & build track record, pan-European office network, load carrier (and general logistics) market expertise and significant financial firepower. Together, in 2021, we have embarked on a joint mission to build the #1 sustainable bespoke load carrier solutions provider in Europe.

A well-defined strategy as the basis

At the start of our investment, we identified numerous potential growth avenues and even more potential companies that would fit Rotom’s acquisition-led growth strategy. Together with Arjan and his team at Rotom, we developed a clear and targeted growth strategy to build the European market leader through a number of organic and acquisitive growth initiatives, to be executed in the next five years. This involved making clear choices and setting clear priorities where (not) to go and which type of acquisitions (not) to pursue. A key pillar of this strategy is to increase the emphasis on circularity and sustainability, which were already part of most of the activities undertaken by Rotom on a day-to-day basis.

Specifically, we see Rotom as the key enabler of sustainable bespoke load carrier solutions for its clients, making it possible to reduce the environmental footprint of all movements of raw materials, intermediate products and final products in their supply chains while ensuring their business continuity at the same time. By linking its product offering to services like rental, repair & maintenance, track & trace, virtual pallet pooling, logistics support and returnable transport item management, Rotom ensures that load carriers supplied to its clients are part of a circular system and never have to go out of use.

Buy & build as growth amplifier

In each of the countries in which Rotom is active, it aims to complete its strategic circle of products and services (see the picture below), thus being able to offer its customers a full set of load carrier solutions in each individual country and also across European countries. This allows customers like AkzoNobel, Amazon, Referesco, Rockwool, DS Smith, Ceva and Ahold Delhaize to rely on a single partner for all of their bespoke load carriers throughout Europe. A fast way to complete Rotom’s strategic circle is the acquisition of companies that offer these products and services in the selected countries and industries. This is where our extensive buy & build expertise, with over 950 completed transactions in the past 23 years, comes at hand.

Together with the Rotom team, we have scanned the entire European market to find and approach the most suitable companies. This has resulted in 5 companies joining since Rotom and Waterland joined forces in September 2021. With those companies, Rotom expanded its footprint to the Czech Republic and Southern Germany, strengthened its presence in Spain, France and the Netherlands and grew its market share in load carrier rental services in specific segments.

The road ahead

Although our investment in Rotom is off to a great start, the multi-year growth ambitions as defined together with Arjan and the Rotom team are still far from realized. In the years ahead, Rotom will continue its organic growth efforts in the selected countries and market segments and will further pursue strategic investments throughout Europe. The continued expansion and increasing density of its European presence will allow Rotom to further emphasize its sustainable and circular proposition in combination with its mission-critical offering for its customers.

Get in touch

Are you an entrepreneur with similar growth ambitions as Arjan? Or are you interested to hear more about Rotom, Waterland or our entrepreneurial partnership model to further grow and internationalize our portfolio companies? Whatever your questions may be, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to help you on your way to sustainable success!