About Us

A unique community of M&A experts for small businesses

  • Who we are
  • Our mission, vision & values
  • Our history
  • Our team – Board of Directors
  • About business transfer

Who we are

Transeo is an international non-profit association bringing together experts in transfers and acquisitions of small and medium-sized businesses from Europe & beyond.

Transeo was founded in December 2010, on the initiative of the Wallonia Government, by 3 international partners:

  • SOWALFIN Transmission, the business transfer department of SOWALFIN, the Wallonia Enterprise Agency & Development Bank (Belgium)
  • Cédants et Repreneurs d’Affaires, the French association for business transfer (France)
  • MKBase, a leading Dutch brokerage and matchmaking firm (The Netherlands).

Transeo focuses on transfers and acquisitions of small and medium-sized businesses…

  • whatever the kind of transfer of ownership: family succession, management buy-out, management buy-in, employee buy-out, strategic acquisitions, …
  • and targeting transactions in the so-called “small market”, namely SMEs with a company value ranging from €500,000 up to €25 million

For whom?

Transeo connects 3 types of experts:

  • Private sector experts (professionals such as law firms, intermediaries, brokers, auditors, accountants, chartered accountants, tax consultants, corporate finance advisers, M&A consultants, … and also banks & private equity firms, and business transfer marketplaces);
  • Public and semi-public sector experts (government enterprise agencies, development banks, chambers of commerce, …);
  • Academic sector experts (universities, business schools, …).

What do we do?

Transeo encourages transfers and acquisitions of SMEs in Europe and beyond.

Transeo…

  • serves as a platform for exchanging good practices on a variety of operational issues;
  • develops academic and professional knowledge on transfers and acquisitions of SMEs;
  • provides its Members, who are experts from all over the world, with a range of activities, alongside networking and dealmaking opportunities, to help them become stronger in their local ecosystem;
  • is involved in advocacy on business transfer issues to keep them at the top of political agendas by raising awareness among policymakers, and acting as a reference expert in the field.

Download our articles of association

Our mission, vision & values

Mission

Transeo is an international non-profit association. Our mission is to encourage and promote transfers and acquisitions of small businesses in Europe & beyond. We focus our efforts on 3 kinds of changes of ownership:

  • Transferring the ownership of the company, as a way to help businesses in Europe & beyond become “everlasting”. SMEs very often depend on their owner, so our mission is to raise awareness about and help create business-transfer-friendly frameworks, so as to guarantee business continuity once their owner has left. This contributes to safeguarding the added value, skills, knowledge & jobs in these companies, and offers new growth opportunities.
  • Entrepreneurship through acquisition: taking over an existing company is an exciting challenge for entrepreneurs. Acquiring an existing company also offers great prospects for innovation and growth, and represents a profitable and less risky alternative to creating a business from scratch.
  • External growth of SMEs by strategic acquisitions of companies, in their home country or beyond national borders. To unlock this untapped growth and internationalisation potential, Transeo creates & disseminates knowledge on cross-border acquisitions and facilitates cross-border & international deals with the Transeo Deal Club.

Vision

Striving for the continuity and growth of businesses in Europe and beyond…

As the only European association representing the business transfer industry, Transeo aims at supporting transfers and acquisitions of SMEs in Europe and beyond, acting as the European reference organisation in the field.

Transeo aims at making every company “everlasting” by raising awareness, developing knowledge and creating matchmaking opportunities between “sellers” and “buyers”, which will contribute to the continuity and future growth of these companies.

Transeo also creates opportunities for every one of its Members, across the globe, offering high-quality services, exclusive knowledge as well as friendly and business-oriented networking.

Values

  • Quality: Transeo brings together leading experts in transfers & acquisitions of small businesses. Transeo offers high-quality content & knowledge and organises professional events you cannot afford to miss, always combining professionalism, a sense of community and a friendly atmosphere.
  • Openness: Transeo promotes open-mindedness and curiosity. Transeo seeks to open the minds of its Members, encouraging them to learn from each other, to share experiences and to look for win-win collaborations. Transeo inspires its Members with interesting content and high-level speakers.
  • Commitment: Transeo works hand in hand with its committed and motivated Members. The Transeo team offers added value and high-quality services to its Members. Our leitmotiv is “what you bring is what you get”: we seek to encourage win-win collaborations and the active involvement of our community.
  • Trust: To be open-minded & committed, trust is essential. This value has been driving Transeo Members since the creation of Transeo.
  • Diversity: Transeo brings together experts from across the globe, with different languages and cultures. Transeo is also a unique network of experts from the private sector, public/semi-public sector and academic world. This diversity is what makes Transeo so rewarding & unique.
  • Mutual assistance: Members helping Members is the best we can achieve in Transeo. Our Members will always be available to support you, and the Transeo Secretariat General will be keen to find out about your needs and put you in contact with the right Member to help you.

Our history

  • 2009
  • May 2009 – Spa, Belgium

    1st European Business Transfer Conference

    Organised on the initiative of the Wallonia Government, this conference was a great success with 200 participants from 18 countries. It also confirmed the interest in setting up a European association to champion the interests of the business transfer industry.

  • December 2010 – Brussels, Belgium

    Creation of Transeo AISBL

    Constitutive General Assembly organised in Brussels and gathering together more than 100 attendees from all over Europe. Transeo became the 1st European Association for SME Transfer (international non-profit association).

    constitutivegeneralassembly
  • October 2011 – Brussels, Belgium

    1st Transeo Working Group

    The community of Transeo Members was growing and Members started working on mapping business transfer ecosystems, barriers and deal-breakers across Europe. The results of this working group were presented to Members at the European Parliament in Brussels on the occasion of a Transeo Members event hosting 50+ attendees.

  • May 2012 – Spa, Belgium

    Transeo Conference #2
    2nd “Transeo Conference” organised in Spa, Belgium. This event was, again, a great success with 180+ participants and 40 speakers, from 18 countries. “Transeo Conference” became the reference event in Europe for transfers & acquisitions of small businesses.

  • 2013 – Brussels, Belgium

    EU Commission Expert Group on Business Transfer

    Transeo was invited by the European Commission to take part in its Business Transfer Expert Group, with several meetings during the year, an ideal opportunity for having the voice of our Members heard. Taking part in this Expert Group was an outstanding achievement and a recognition of our expertise.

  • May 2013 – Paris, France

    2013 General Assembly Event

    Event organised for Transeo Members in Paris on the occasion of the 2013 General Assembly of Transeo, with inspiring speakers: Timothy Bovard (INSEAD), Didier Guennoc (IPEV, International Private Equity and Venture Capital Valuation), Alain Renck & Michèle Papalia (Oseo) and Yves Jouot (French Ministry for Economy).

    GenAss2013
  • summit2014

    March 2014 – Brussels, Belgium

    European SME Transfer Summit

    3rd “Transeo Conference”, becoming the European SME Transfer Summit. The event took place in Brussels, in the headquarters of the Federation of Belgian Enterprises, and welcomed 170 attendees, and 30 speakers from 18 countries.

  • June 2014 – Brussels, Belgium

    EU Commission Business Transfer Conference

    Transeo was asked to co-organise the EU Commission European Business Transfer Conference in Brussels: a great opportunity to reinforce the collaboration with the European Commission and highlight the expertise of Transeo Members, invited as guest speakers.

    eucommBTconf2014
  • genass2015

    May 2015, Liège

    2015 General Assembly Event

    Transeo invited its Members to the city hosting the Transeo headquarters, Liège, in Wallonia, Belgium for a 2-day event for the 2015 General Assembly of the association. Several workshops, exclusive training on negotiation and a gala dinner were on the programme.

  • May 2016 – Cologne, Germany

    4th European SME Transfer Summit – Closing Event EU4BT

    For the 1st time in Germany, the Transeo Summit hosted 170 attendees & 21 guest speakers from 11 countries. This Summit was also an excellent occasion for officially closing the “EU4BT” project run by Transeo on behalf of the European Commission, with an official ceremony where 19 marketplaces from across Europe signed the EU4BT Code of Conduct. By doing so, they committed to applying EU quality standards in their respective marketplaces.

  • March 2017, Valletta, Malta

    Transeo, co-organiser & guest speaker of the 1st Malta Business Transfer Conference

    Transeo was asked to co-organise this 1st international conference on business transfer, in collaboration with the Ministry for Economy of Malta and the European Commission. Transeo was invited as a guest speaker, along with 8 of its Members, to share their expertise in the field of business transfer. On this occasion, Commissioner Bienkowska & DG GROW Director Kristin Schreiber supported Transeo’s position on developing national action plans for business transfer across European Member States.

  • May 2018 – Luxembourg, Luxembourg

    5th Transeo European SME Transfer Summit

    With 200 registered participants and 50 speakers from 16 EU & non-EU countries, this 5th Transeo Summit was a success, thanks to effective collaboration with our hosts, the Luxembourg Ministry of Economy & the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce. The Summit was also helpful in raising awareness among entrepreneurs, professionals and policymakers in Luxembourg about the importance of business transfer.

  • November 2019 – Bucharest, Romania

    Launch of the Transeo Deal Club & 1st International Romanian Business Transfer Conference

    Transeo launched its “Transeo Deal Club”, where its Members from across Europe, all active in dealmaking, enjoyed exclusive access to more than 15 sell-side and buy-side opportunity profiles. This kick-off event was the starting point of the Transeo Deal Club, a trusted community of M&A advisors specialised in transfers and acquisitions of SMEs. In the wake of this 1st Deal Club meeting, the 1st International Romanian Business Transfer Conference was also organised in Bucharest, to raise awareness about business transfer & strengthen the expertise of business transfer professionals in Romania.

  • 2020

    Transeo 10-year anniversary

    In 2020, Transeo is celebrating its 10th anniversary and the many great achievements it has enjoyed over the years, including an ever-growing international community of Members. Ten years on, Transeo has also been given a revamped look, with a new visual identity, logo, baseline… Ready for the 10 years ahead!

  • To be continued…

Our team – Board of Directors

About business transfer

Striving for the continuity, sustainability and growth of businesses in Europe and beyond

Transeo and business transfer

Transeo aims at promoting “business transfer” as a way to save jobs and to contribute to a circular lifecycle of companies and ensure the continuity of their  resources and activity (staff, machines, clients …) and, therefore, making every company transferred “everlasting”.

Why “business transfer”?

Guaranteeing the continuity of SMEs once their owner gets old, retires or dies, is of crucial importance. Entrepreneurs, including family business owners, have many different options to secure the continuity of their company by transferring it within the family or outside.

Buying a business is also entrepreneurship. Acquiring an existing company offers great prospects for innovation and growth, and represents a profitable and less risky alternative to creating a business from scratch. Taking over an existing business is a fantastic way to become an entrepreneur, either as successor taking over the family business or as individual entrepreneur taking over an existing company. The skills needed, the path to follow and the financial investment are not the same as for starting up a business from scratch, but acquiring an existing company is entrepreneurship too!

For existing companies, acquiring another business is a way to grow, either by diversifying clients or activities, acquiring quality staff or production systems, or integrating upstream or downstream activities to improve services offer. Transeo supports external growth – also called growth through acquisition – with the Transeo Deal Club.

After more than 20 years of work on business transfer at European level and 10 years of existence of Transeo representing the industry, business transfer remains a challenge…

  • because the issue tends to be disregarded by business owners: transferring one’s business should be a normal management duty but most of the time it appears to be a very emotional task for the entrepreneur, who tend to disregard or postpone the decision to start preparing their business for transfer;
  • because transferring one’s business should be conducted with confidentiality, which makes the market opaque;
  • there are many different stakeholders who interact in the “business transfer ecosystem”: entrepreneurs of course, but also support organisation from the private sector and the public sector, and professionals from the private sector, with different specialties. Each of these stakeholders have a role to play in the ecosystem. Depending on the level of “maturity“ of the country in terms of business transfer, the historic background or the culture, the complementary role of stakeholders will be specific and different from a Member State to another. A fragile balance to find and to maintain.

The good news is that solutions exist! Transeo was founded as an international non-profit association, in 2010, to facilitate the exchange of good practices in the field at European level.

Interested to know more? Contact us!

What is “business transfer”?

In a nutshell, “business transfer” refers to the change of ownership and management of a company to ensure its continuity once the owner retires. There are many different ways a business can be transferred: within the family to one or several successor(s), inside the company to the management for instance, to the workers also under the form of a cooperative, or outside the company to an entrepreneur or to another company.