Owner of Kekkilä Professional, Finnish VAPO and Dutch BVB combine forces

Finnish Vapo Oy’s horticultural division and Dutch BVB Substrates will merge to form Europe’s leading and most versatile company in the market for professional growers and home gardeners. The new company, called Kekkilä-BVB Oy, merges decades of experience in professional growing and related products. The goal of the company is to provide horticultural solutions that support sustainable development and conserve fresh water, catering to the growing global trend of clean local food and the construction of attractive and pleasant living environments.

Kekkilä-BVB Oy will be the leading Horticultural substrate company in Europe

The merger is part of the implementation of Vapo’s new strategy. The pro forma net sales of the new company will be approx. EUR 240 million, and it will employ around 500 people. Vapo Oy will own 70%, and the van Buuren family’s investment company 30% of the company’s shares.

Finnish Vapo is one of Europe’s biggest companies in professional growing and the largest producer of horticultural peat. It is a market leader in the Nordic countries with its well established Kekkilä and Hasselfors Garden brands. Products with the Kekkilä Professional brand are currently exported to over 80 countries. In addition, Vapo sells raw materials for horticultural purposes globally.

Established in 1908, Dutch BVB Substrates B.V is a family company owned and managed by the van Buuren family. BVB operates in the professional, consumer and landscaping business sectors, driven by customer focus, sustainable solutions, research and training. The company exports its products, mainly under the BVB Substrates brand, to over 80 countries.

The new company combines the extensive knowledge of both companies in their respective market areas, together with R&D know-how and an expanding raw material base. Together the companies can take the next step towards growth in the global marketplace.

The merger is a concrete step towards VAPO’s strategic goals and sustainable growing solutions

According to Jan Lång, the Chairman of the Board of Vapo Oy, Vapo and BVB are perfect partners. “We share a common view of the future of the industry and together we are more competitive to succeed in a growing global market. For Vapos’s shareholders we see that this will increase the value of the company”, Lång enthuses.

The merger is a concrete example of Vapo’s new strategy. Vapo revised its strategy earlier this year, selecting the rapidly increasing global market for professional growing as one of the strategic focus areas. “Megatrends such as population growth, urbanization and lack of fresh water are driving the demand for efficiency in local food production,” says Vesa Tempakka, CEO of Vapo Oy.

“The Netherlands is the ‘Silicon Valley’ of horticulture. With BVB, we are at the heart of the horticulture ecosystem and newest technologies. Together we can search for new innovations for best growing solutions close to consumers. The company is a new type of operator in the global horticulture market with the resources to compete in the bigger league,” Tempakka continues. The Vapo Group has been one of BVB’s main, long-time raw material suppliers, and the companies already work together in the field of R&D.

”BVB is a family company whose goal has always been to deliver products that are perfectly matched with the needs of our demanding customers. It is important for us that our partner shares the same values, where cooperation, sustainability and customers are at the core of the strategy. This allows us to diversify our offering to our customers and extend our know-how into new market areas. We understand the markets, our customers and each other, and complement our respective companies almost perfectly. This provides us with an excellent basis for building a growth story together,” Mart van Buuren, owner of BVB, says.

Kekkilä-BVB Oy

  • Headquartered in Vantaa, Finland.
  • Vapo Oy will own 70%, and the van Buuren family’s investment company 30% of the company’s shares.
  • The companies’ strong brands will remain.
  • Pro forma net sales will be EUR 240 million, and the company will employ around 500 people.
  • Professional growing will form 48%, hobby and landscaping 39 %, and materials, animal care and recycling 13% of the company’s net sales.
  • 37% of the company’s business will come from the Nordic countries, 27% from the Netherlands, 18% from Central and Eastern Europe. The company has also significant exports to Asia, Africa and to both North and South America. The company has exports to over 80 countries.

The new company is set to start as soon as possible in the beginning of 2019. Transaction does not require any further approvals from the authorities. The merger will not have any immediate effects on the employees of either company.

More information:

Vesa Tempakka, CEO, Vapo Group
+358 (0)400 726 727 vesa.tempakka@vapo.fi

Peter Jan Kuiper, CEO, BVB Substrates
+31 (0) 653 853 484 PJKuiper@bvb-substrates.nl

Juha Mäkinen, Director, Grow&Care Division, Vapo Group
+358 (0)400 464 549 juha.makinen@kekkila.fi

Guido Linders, Commercial Director, BVB Substrates
+31 (0) 77 366 93 93 GLinders@bvb-substrates.nl

Ahti Martikainen, Director, Communications and Public Relations, Vapo Group
+358 (0)40 680 4723 ahti.martikainen@vapo.fi

Link to media bank (pictures)
www.vapo.com/en
www.bvb-substrates.nl

Vapo Oy
Finnish Vapo is one of Europe’s biggest companies in professional growing and the largest producer of horticultural peat. It is a market leader in the Nordic countries with its well established Kekkilä Garden, Hasselfors Garden and Kekkilä Professional brands. The Grow&Care division of Vapo includes the companies Kekkilä Oy, Hasselfors Garden AB and Kekkilä OÜ. The division’s business operations are aimed at professional growers and home gardeners, bedding peat and raw material sales, operations supporting composting and landscaping and animal care products. The total net sales of these operations amount to approximately EUR 125 million. The company employs around 250 people in Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Spain. Products with the Kekkilä Professionals brand are currently exported to over 80 countries.

Vapo Group is a EUR 420 million company that employs about 700 people in Finland, Sweden and Estonia. We have three divisions; Grow&Care, Energy and New Businesses. Our Energy-division operates under the names Vapo Oy, Neova AB and AS Tootsi Turvas.

BVB Substrates B.V
BVB Substrates B.V is a 110-year-old family company, based in the Netherlands, the homeland of professional growing. The main business operations of BVB are professional horticulture, retail and operations aimed at landscaping. The main target groups for professional horticulture products are growers of foodstuff such as salads, herbs, mushrooms and soft fruit, ornamentals and tree nurseries. The company’s total net sales are approximately EUR 125 million, employing around 280 people. The company’s products are marketed mainly with the BVB Substrates brand. In addition to Europe, BVB has sales offices in locations including the US, Spain, Belgium, Germany and Australia, and exports to over 80 countries.