IMAP advises holding group active in the oil transportation industry through restructuring and sale process

Client Background & Objective

Holdifima NV is a holding group active in the transportation, trading and bunkering of black and clean oil products in the Netherlands and Belgium. Previously counted among Holdifima's assets were several freight ships, including 7 double hull bunker barges. One of the barges is the largest ship on the European market available for inland shipping. The market value of the fleet is estimated at €30 million and the group realized revenue of approximately €67 million euro in its last fiscal year.

Holdifima was hit by a substantial €10 million debtor loss in their bunkering activities when OW Bunkering, a partner in the fuel trading sector went bankrupt. IMAP Belgium reached out to the holding company and assisted in managing and controlling the financial impact of this important loss. One of the companies of the group involved in bunkering went into liquidation but the rest of the group was protected.

Due to the combination of this stressful financial situation, the age and health problems of the shareholders and the shareholder's children lack of interest in taking over activities, the decision was made to sell the rest of the group, including the barging operations and the ships.

IMAP Advantage & Approach

At an early stage IMAP represented only the majority shareholder, Holdifima. However, later on the other two shareholders agreed to be represented as well. One of the greatest challenges in this deal was aligning all shareholders. A breadth of in-house corporate skills in Belgium as well as the cooperation of IMAP experts throughout Europe were instrumental in bringing all the stakeholders aboard and achieving objectives.

The team worked closely with the client at many steps along the way: dealing with unforeseen debtor loss, negotiating with creditors and banks, restructuring the group, aligning shareholders and finally a successful sale of the remaining activities. This deal comprised the restructuring and sale of different companies as well as seven double hull bunker barges, including the largest ship available on the European market for inland shipping.

Outcome & Impact

The group's shareholders were pleased with IMAP´s team in Belgium approach with respect to the different challenges faced during the process. The client was also satisfied with the negotiated selling price and asked the IMAP team to guide them in future take-overs.

​The acquirer, Somtrans NV, is held by the Somers family, which is the oldest and most reputable family business in inland shipping in Belgium. Headquartered in Wijnegem, Somtrans started as a family business in 1870 and is currently led by a fifth generation. Over the years, Somtrans developed into a fully-fledged tanker shipping company with fully-owned barges. Through this takeover Somtrans reinforced its market position even further.


Danny Achten
+32 15293390