Transeo E-newsletter June 2015 : News from Transeo and its Members



Transeo 2015 General Assembly

On 21 & 22 May in Liège, Belgium, Transeo welcomed its Members to celebrate the 2015 General Assembly. On that occasion, Members had the opportunity to attend high-quality and varied sessions on SME transfer, including a training on negociation essentials provided by Pr Barney Jordaan from Vlerick Business School.

Other news from Transeo:

Transeo and 3 of its Members, Hogeschool Utrecht, Reempresa and SOWACCESS, are working on behalf of the EU Commission, in the context of the COSME programme, in order to identify the good practices in matching platforms connecting potential sellers and buyers and SMEs in Europe. This is the EU4BT project, a unique way to obtain a state of the art of matching platforms (public, semi-public, private) active in Europe and to identify, together with the platforms themselves, the good practices in the organization of this market and the management and features of platforms. More information?

  • New Members!
    Transeo is proud to welcome new Members from all over Europe:
    CCI Bilbao, CEPOR, CEROS, Elegis, Enterprise Lithuania, Koener Consulting Group, Luxvaluation, MM&H, Acqcess, ... T
    hey are the ones making the network alive and our activities a success. Thanks to our international network of 42 Members from 13 countries, we enable our Members to network, to exchange good practices, tips and experiences, but also business opportunities! Interested to become a Member? Ask for your info pack here!

  • Coming Transeo actions :
    Transeo is always moving and seeking to increase the added value for its Members : in this way, we have made the
    2015 Transeo action plan
    dense and diversified so all our Members find it really interesting to be part of the network. This is an overview of the Transeo 2015 actions but if you’d like to receive a more detailed one, do not hesitate to contact our team!
    >> Access to information and good practices thanks to working groups, studies and trainings: valuation working group, new working group on external growth by acquisition, technical training on negociation, EU4BT project to identify renewed standards for matching platforms in Europe, Academic Awards, Webinars, Extranet, …
    >> Access to exclusive networking opportunities and to the Transeo international network of SME transfer experts (advisors, platforms, lawyers, accountants, chartered accountants, auditors, chambers of commerce, business transfer agencies, academic researchers, …)
    >> A professional association working on your behalf, protecting your interests and working with EU institutions at the highest level on SME transfer issues
    >> Open up new business opportunities and expand your range of services, in particular thanks to the new “Transeo cross-border tool”
    >> International visibility of your organization/business (events, newsletters, website, Linkedin, …)
    >> Invitations and special Transeo discounts to attend local, national and international events on business transfer : Transeo 2015 General Assembly, Transeo working group meeting end 2015, Transeo Members events, …


  • ANTWERP MANAGEMENT SCHOOL (Belgium) : Transeo Member Universiteit Antwerpen has carried out a study on behalf of the Belgium Federal Government dedicated to financing of SMEs in Belgium in 2014. Please consult the study here in French or in Flemish.

  • BDO MAROC (Morocco): Transeo Member BDO Maroc has recently launched the first business transfer matching platform and portal for Morocco. Please take a look at

    Reempresa celebrates its 4th birthday with more than 400 deals! :
    In 2011, the Cecot Employers Association and the cp’Ac Foundation launched the "Centre de Reempresa de Catalunya", a Public Private Partnership project funded 50% by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) from the European Commission. Reempresa began with the desire to stimulate an incipient market that was fragmented and that was hampering mobility and improvement of competitiveness. Its goal is to establish a general system through a One-Stop Shop Agency by which an employer who wants to transfer his business to another will have access to a unique Market Place ( with expert advice and specialized training, and also where he will find the support of public administration and economic operators. During these four years, Reempresa has been signing agreements with more than 80 local, regional and national public entities and business organizations in order to set up a network of collaborators around Spain. By doing that, they try to assure market access and to raise awareness among potential buyers, sellers, and key partners. The popularity of the phenomenon has led to an important influx of companies and entrepreneurs. Since 2011, Reempresa has intermediated in more than 410 transfers, meaning more than 1.500 jobs maintained and more than 20 millions Euros on deals. On March 23rd, Reempresa celebrated its 4th birthday in an event with the Catalan Government where the results were presented. Check out the video of Reempresa’s 4th anniversary!

  • CEPOR (Croatia): Transeo Member CEPOR - SMEs and Entrepreneurship Policy Centre ( is a think-tank and policy research institution in Croatia dealing with the problems of the SME sector, with special focus on family businesses and business transfer of SMEs.
    MINI GUIDE FOR ENTREPRENEURS “BUSINESS TRANSFER” : CEPOR’s team has prepared a mini guide “Business Transfer” as a part of the EU project BIZImpact II – Improving Information to the Croatian Business Community. The mini guide is intended for SMEs and craft owners interested in getting information on issues related to business transfer process. The mini guide also includes the experiences of owners who have successfully completed the process of business transfer, approaching it in different ways: company inheritance (transfer of business to family members), sale of business to an outsider and transfer of company to existing employees. 

    At the beginning of 2015, CEPOR has started implementing a research project on the topic of family businesses and business transfer. This is the first research on the state of family businesses and business transfer ever conducted in Croatia, and it is carried out on a sample of 300 SME owners in Croatia, who are 55 years of age or more. The results of this research will determine which stage of the business transfer process SMEs in Croatia are in, proportion of family businesses which will be inherited within the family, share of SME owners interested in selling their business, elements determining the purchase price of a company, the biggest challenges faced by SMEs in the business transfer process, and the type of support that SME owners expect when dealing with business transfer issues. The research results will be available from May 2015, and will be published in the form of a study, including policy recommendations. 

    CEPOR is organizing a series of workshops aimed at supporting SMEs in various aspects of business transfer, as well as in supporting family businesses with various issues related to company management. The educational programs are intended for company owners and founders, people working in corporations who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs by buying a company, successors in family business and entrepreneurs who want to sell their company.

  • CEROS (France): FAMILY SME: FINANCING & GOVERNANCE, July 9th, 2015 International Workshop : On 9 July in Paris, Transeo Member CEROS (Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches sur les Organisations et la Stratégie) organizes an international workshop on financing and governance in family businesses, featuring high-quality speakers including keynote speaker Peter Jaskiewicz from Concordia University.

  • CEDANTS ET REPRENEURS D'AFFAIRES (France): 8th Edition of the “CRA Takeover Trophy” : 3 entrepreneurs were rewarded during the “Salon des Entrepreneurs in Paris”, in February 2015 : The “CRA Takeover Trophies”, organized each year since 2008 by CRA (Cédants et Repreneurs d’Affaires), the French National Association for SME transfer, are intended to recognize and reward innovative business transfers. The entrepreneurs winning the contest must demonstrate that they have used the best practices in a takeover process, and that they have generated the best development of the company following the takeover. This year, 2 entrepreneurs buyers have been rewarded in the categories “Industry” and “Services”. The Industry trophy has been awarded to Joel Hugonnet and David Chassang for their takeover of FIDELEM, company of 60 people specialized in the manufacture of technical worktops. The Service trophy has been awarded to Cyril Verhille for his takeover of BYG Informatique, 25 people, specialized in the editing of softwares. In addition, a special trophy “emotion” of the jury, has been awarded to Delphine and Jonathan BOULANGER for their takeover of a family company of 30 people in the bread and pastries business. These trophies were delivered this year by François ASSELIN, President of CGPME (French SME’s employers union), and by Claire CAPOBIANCO, executive VP of BNP Paribas (responsible for the French branches network). The State Secretary for SMEs, Carole DELGA, introduced the event and the conference on the topic: “Entrepreneurs, the keys for a successful development”. 

  • FEDERATION OF FINNISH ENTERPRISES (Finland): BT Index reveals differences between provinces in business transfer activities : The Federation of Finnish Enterprises has launched Business Transfer Index (BT Index), which describes business transfer activity in Finland as a whole and in separate provinces. BTI is based on the total amount of advertisements (both sell and buy) divided by the total amount of enterprises in Finland. This ratio is marked as 100 in our table. BT Index in each province is based on the comparison of the national ratio to the numbers in each province (number of ads, number of enterprises). BT Index is a useful tool for many purposes: it enables comparisons between provinces to create competition between actors, it accelerates business transfers, it highlights the fact that buying a firm is an alternative way to become an entrepreneur, it raises awareness of business tranfers, it helps business transfer professionals measure and manage business transfers activities. BT Index will be updated twice a year. Further infomation: Mr Mika Haavisto, Project Manager, the Federation of Finnish Enterprises, mobile:  + 358 50 550 1993, email: - Mr Janne Pärnänen, Executive Web Producer, the Federation of Finnish Enterprises, mobile. +358 50 383 8551, email:

    Online marketplace brings business transfers under one roof :
    One of the largest business transfer online marketplace in Finland,, brings a wide range of regional business transfer ads into a nationwide service. The service consists of a nationwide service and a number of independent regional services which operate on the same technical platform. The unique concept combines regional business transfer operations with nationwide visibility. All business transfer ads published in regional services will also appear in the national service. The service was revamped less than a year ago and the figures have been excellent. The number of page views has increased by 66%, time spent on service by 35% and the number of visitors has increased by more than 12%. The service will be extended this year. It is already available in Finnish, Swedish and English. Visit for more information.

  • FIF INSTITUTE - ZEPPELIN UNIVERSITY (Germany): Conference Record: Conference of the Research Centers and Institutes for Family Firms in the German-speaking countries : How the research about family firms is developing, was the major question at Zeppelin University on March 2nd and 3rd. More than 80 scientists and practitioners gathered in Friedrichshafen to join the ‘Conference of the Research Centers and Institutes for Family Firms in the German-speaking countries’ (FIFU DACH-Li) to discuss this exciting topic. The conference was hosted by the Friedrichshafen Institute of Family Entrepreneurship (FIF) in cooperation with the University of St. Gallen and supported by the International Lake Constance University (IBH) as well as other corporate and institutional sponsors. In order to offer a successful conference experience to established researchers as well as the junior scientific staff (doctorates, post docs, and senior researchers), the conference started off with the ‘Mentoring Day’ which was dedicated to the promotion of young scientists. On that day 21 young researchers had the chance to discuss their projects with experienced academics within a round table setting. The crowning closure of the day was the keynote ‘Research about Family Firms: Ideas and Observations’ held by the entrepreneurship expert and co-editor of the Academy of Management Journal, Prof. Dr. Marc Gruber from the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Focused completely on the scientific dialogue between senior researchers, the ‘Exchange Day’, the second day of the conference, was opened by Prof. Dirk Baecker, sociologist from Zeppelin University, with an insightful keynote about ’Family Firms with System: Complexity as a Shape’. The introduced projects focused primarily on the themes ‘Succession in Family Firms’, ‘Specific Behavior of Family Firms’, ‘Performance in Family Firms’ and ‘Innovation in Family Firms’. The setting of the conference allowed a great exchange between scientists and the further development, thematically as well as methodically, not only for the specific themes but the young discipline of family firm research as a whole. Practically all important institutes and research centers for family firms in the German-speaking countries attended the conference. Among them were the University of Witten/Herdecke, University St. Gallen, WHU, Vienna University of Economic Sciences, University Bern, University Mannheim, University Trier, the Institute for Research into Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Bonn and many others. It was an honor for the fairly young Friedrichshafen Institute of Family Entrepreneurship (FIF) to host this conference and to be given the opportunity to foster its role in the research landscape. Due to its networking character and the professional quality, the conference inspired scientists as well as practitioners in the Lake Constance region and beyond to start fruitful research projects. Despite or precisely because of the broad scope of themes discussed, the conference can be considered as a great success.

  • HARMONIE INTERVENTION (Québec):Transeo Member Sylvie Huard has launched the initiative « Groupe Relève Québec », an association aiming at gathering academic researchers and professionals in business transfer in order to exchange good practices in Québec and contribute to make business transfers more human. Check out the presentation video here (in French)!
  • JEAN-POL GOURMET (Belgium): The right integration of the buyer in the SME makes the take-over a success : What are the major conditions to correctly hit the target?First, a good knowledge of the culture and all the aspects of the target-SME before signing the closing agreement. That means the seller cannot hide anything to the buyer. He (she) has to fairly play the game by honestly answering all questions of the buyer. His (her) mind openness is very important to create a confidence climate between both. This confidence climate enables a better mutual acquaintance, especially if the characters  are different due to the life background, the generation, the education, the gender… Knowing the culture and practices of the SME, the buyer has to be able to first adapt him (her)self to the new challenge with a certain degree of humility and curiosity. His (her) major obstacle will be the so-called homeostasy (resistance to change) of the group that he (she) will have to overcome with his (her) management style and leadership. People are the key of that mysterious alchemy. Jean-Pol GOURMET, SERVICES RH & TRANSMISSION D’ENTREPRISES (Formerly Hermès, Ressources & Synergies),,, +32 (0) 495 57 35 07.

  • KPMG (Belgium): KPMG Accountants: trusted advisor for SME Transfer : As part of KPMG Accountants, we are a dedicated team in Belgium focusing on SMEs and their stakeholders. When you work with us you get: (1) Specialized multidisciplinary support for business transfer and succession : Business transfers, business sales and business successions sales are complex processes. Our KPMG experts can provide you with all the specialized support you need through the entire process: from the appropriate business economics and legal & tax expertise to targeted guidance during the transfer or sales process. (2) A clearer picture of the value of your assets and companies: Do you know what your business and assets are worth? Our KPMG experts use well tested methodologies to help you appraise the value of your assets and calculate the value of your companies on an entity basis. (3) Expert support in developing your business plan and financing structure: KPMG Accountants can actively assist you in drawing up, reviewing or adapting your business plan. We coordinate the process, serve as a sounding board and through our specialized KPMG tools provide the support you need to effectively match your plans to your reality. Once the planning completed, we also assist in developing the financing structure required to realize it. (4) Simplify how you deal with cross-border operations: Thanks to our international KPMG network, we can provide dedicated support across Europe. We make sure you have one single point of contact who coordinates and facilitates all your cross-border operations!
    Contact: Didier Husquinet, Director KPMG Accountants, T: +32 (0)4/225 53 14, E:

  • M&A STRATEGIE (Germany): "Hopeless case" changed to success - Business transfer in 10 weeks - a short practice report : In August 2014, the desperate owner of a temporary employment company asked me to sell her company. It was a "hopeless" case that one better should not touch. The tax accountant evaluated the company value as zero. What had happened? The former 4 m€ turnover melted to 0,6 m€, illness of the owner decreased the business, a family succession failed in the meantime, in May 2014 the average monthly turnover dropped again by 50%. In August 2014, the owner in panic set off the only employee and business was run by the owner and one apprentice, the office bail contract was terminated to the end of 2014. Company mental climate was dominated by depression. The owner decided that the company should be sold in the remaining 4 months. Due to the fact that I knew the owner and had some contacts I dared to start  the selling process and was mandated on Sept. 3. First I urged that the owner should immediately get back its employee. What should I else sell? A company with one apprentice? Then I strongly recommended that the termination of the bail contract should be prolonged at least for some further months. Then I had several intensive motivation talks with owner and employees which gave them new hope and focused their work, so that after 4 weeks  already business was again promising. I elaborated the actual and future potential of the company and finally found among others 2 very interested buyers. On Nov. 21 the company was sold for a fixed sum + an earn out component which would sum up to 300 - 400 k€. The experienced tax accountant was more than surprised of this result. The owner wanted originally 90 k€ to pay outstanding debts and was now more than happy on this result. Due to a good mandate contract I also was very satisfied. By the way, this had been the quickest deal I made in only 10 weeks time. Contact: M&A Strategie

    M & A Strategie GmbH: Cooperation with KNORR Rechtsanwälte AG Munich – Ulm, New 2nd office in Munich:
    Since early 2015, M & A Strategie GmbH cooperates with KNORR Rechtsanwälte AG ( a renowned law firm in Munich and Ulm. KNORR's main focus is especially on company law, M & A, corporate and commercial law. M & A Strategie GmbH has moved its seat to KNORR's Ulmer location, Frauenstr. 11. Apart from this all business data remain unchanged. The seat of KNORR Rechtsanwälte AG is centrally located in Tal 12 80331 Munich. At this address M & A Strategie GmbH has soon its new additional office. The international orientation of both corporate services with, inter alia, other cooperation partners of KNORR in Paris, Toronto and Montreal and the activities of Dr. Schneider in the European Association on the transfer of business TRANSEO and his deep knowledge in company succession and business transfer create mutually valuable synergies as well as a comprehensive range of services for clients.

  • M+A Rüegg Mittelstandsberatung GmbH (Germany): Report: SME-Transfer in Germany from Transeo Member Bernd Ruegg : German sellers of SMEs actually still tend to inadequate offers to potential SME-successors. Offering respectively finally selling a SME-company to a potential SME-successor (private or B2B) always requires intensive prior preparation on the site of potential sellers. Aside of financial data, P&L-Statements etc. also tax related, legal, credit and cash status, other operational and contractual data of the company including relations to customers and suppliers etc. need to be monitored and drafted in a selling memorandum and a corresponding valuation of price (fair value as to profit and risk) plus a suitable deal structure to be offered to potential SME-successors and their bankers possibly financing the deal. According to Mr Ruegg, still appx. 90% of all SME companies (respectively owners) in Germany intending to offer and sell their business to a potential SME successor don´t invest neither time nor effort in such preparations. Mostly sell-side offers to transfer are somewhat like “conceptually-out-of-pocket-” respectively “price-wise-quick-from-the-hip-” approaches without any fundamental SWOT-analysis nor consideration of basic financial data of the sell-side offer. Means, aside of mostly requested totally absurd prices by potential SME sellers for their company toward potential SME successors, also the inherit conceptional deal content, the mandatory financial, legal and tax related basics, profit and loss expectations of the indented transfer to a potential SME successors remain open and unsolved. Thus potential SME successors mostly refrain from substantial solid intentions or offers respectively time- (and cost-) consuming buy-side actions to elaborate such data for themselves respectively their bankers. The overall situation in Germany respecting offering respectively finally selling a SME company to a potential SME successor (private or B2B) is therefore still in 90% of all cases a “Sketch 49”, where the (overall) conventional / initial provided input of potential SME sellers towards potential SME successors, including respectively later on provided data and information, are so substantially weak / / questionable / doubtful / risk determined etc., that potential SME successors mostly refrain from lucking “into the subject” in detail, as the “seller” generally can`t provide an overall cohered offer to the “Buyer”, respective their bankers.

  • MKBASE (Netherlands): RetailRijk : Transeo Member MKBase has launched a new platform for retail companies in the Netherlands, please take a look at !!
  • SOWACCESS (Belgium): Founding member of Transeo, SOWACCESS, shares its 2014 results: Thanks to a reporting with its 150 partners from the private sector, SOWACCESS has been able to issue statistics on the impact of its actions in 2014: 66 SME transfer deals facilitated thanks to the SOWACCESS matching platform, for an average amount of 1.066.040€, enabling to maintain 622 jobs. The main sectors in which SOWACCESS facilitates deals are the construction industry, services, wholesale industry and retail.

    Looking back on the first results of the new SOWACCESS platform for VSEs « affairesà »:
    Early this year, SOWACCESS has launched, as a complement to its matching platform for SMEs, a new on-line platform targetted at very small enterprises and retail businesses in Wallonia that meet at least one of the two following criteria: any company active in the following sectors, whatever their turnover is: retail, hotel and restaurant industry, services to persons, sole proprietors, professionals / any company which turnover does not exceed 500.000€, whatever the sector. So far, the platform has registered promising results, with already 150 companies for sale registered and 400 buyers registered. Please check the recent articles in the media about affairesàasuivre. For any question, please contact

  • STUDIOCENTROVENETO (Italy): National Plans for Business Transfer: StudioCentroVeneto is already working on it : At the end of 2014, the European Commission launched a public consultation to gather feed-back and ideas on how the Small Business Act for Europe should be revised to continue a strong European policy to support Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs in 2015-2020. The consultation was introduced by an important document, which includes the proposals of policies coming from the Commission. Among these, we'd like to focus on some essential aspects, directly suggested by Toni Brunello - leader of StudioCentroVeneto and member of the EC Expert Group on business transfer - during his presentation held in Naples, while intervening at the European SME Assembly 2014: "The Commission proposes to facilitate transfer of business by: urging Member States to put in place national action plans on business transfers and have a one-stop-shop on transfers or a transfer element included in the existing one-stop-shops by 2017; developing and disseminating 'Quality Standards' for effective online markets for business transfers and encourage the linkages between already existing cross border matching platforms; facilitating EU wide networking with the aim to stimulate exchanges between researchers and practitioners and create a European Mentors Network on Transfers; supporting an EU-wide matching platform for universities/business schools focusing on business transfers. Innovation remains one of the main drivers of sustainable growth and job creation in the EU." During the last months, StudioCentroVeneto has already activated many local and international initiatives on business transfer, hoping that this topic could find more and more "paternity" also at institutional and political levels. Today, Toni Brunello is directly in touch with Italian national institutions in order to find the best way to implement an Italian Plan on Business Transfer, as pilot model to be then spread all over Europe.

    CafeBrunello: Transeo Italian partner SCV launches a new awareness raising online tool :
    Transeo Italian partner SCV is designing CafeBrunello: a new tool to be proposed through an Youtube dedicated channel. The initiative aim is to increase entrepreneurs awareness on main Business transition processes topics. A series of 2’ long video-pills will be available, since next month of May, at the beginning in Italian. They will have as ideal audience not entrepreneurs only, but also advisors and institutions (including “quasi institutions”: Chambers of Commerce, Business Associations, local governments). Some CafeBrunello pills are focused on some specific topics, typical of business transfer evolution; some are “experience small carrots” (short case histories); some are general mainframe pills. Video-pills are structured starting by a remind of the fact that ideas are friendly interchanged and circulating in a Café atmosphere. Then three basic points are proposed: I. a metaphoric joke, as a short parabola; II. a concept, to be developed from the previous point; III. A focused advice, based on SCV over 30 years field experience.

  • VLERICK BUSINESS SCHOOL (Belgium): Join the 3rd edition of the Entrepreneurial Buyout Academy : More and more individuals are aspiring to become owner-managers or entrepreneurs rather than managers in large companies. One way to realise your entrepreneurial potential is to take over an existing company through a management buyout or management buy-in. Given the huge number of company founders who will retire in the coming decade, management buyouts or buy-ins might well be fruitful avenues to entrepreneurial success. However, buying your own company brings along a variety of questions and challenges. The Entrepreneurial Buyout Academy offers 7 evening sessions that deal in-depth with the different steps needed to acquire your own company. The Academy starts on April 21st and is organized by Vlerick Business School in collaboration with BDO. More information can be found here. We look forward to welcoming you.

    3rd Entrepreneurial Buyout Monitor :
    If you are interested in some recent trends on pricing, leverage and the general investment climate for buyout of SMEs in Belgium, then please have a look at the results of the 3rd edition of the Entrepreneurial Buyout Monitor which reflects the view of over 160 experts. This study is a collaboration between Vlerick Business School and BDO. The full report can be found here.


13, Avenue M. Destenay | 4000 LIEGE | BELGIUM

Nicolas Pirotte |
Marie Depelssemaker |