The H2 Experience
Eurocell was part of a Belgium corporate which changed its strategy and we were considered non-core and put up for sale.
After a period of marketing the business to competitors, it was clear that potential trade purchasers had neither the critical mass, experience or funding for such an acquisition. After an extended sales process with one competitor, H2 came on the scene. This was clearly a concern for the management team as private equity had a somewhat difficult reputation of cost savings, financial engineering and short-term measures with limited investment.
However after the first one-to-one meeting with H2, many of these fears were diluted and it was clear their model was very different. Their interest was based on the people, culture, reputation, key motivators and long-term strategy and what actually made Eurocell tick and what was at the heart of the company’s success.
The acquisition process was slick, not too granular and very inclusive, despite some frustrations with the Belgium head office. As a management team it was clear we would be the drivers of the “new” business after agreeing the ambitious five year plan – which was really our plan on steroids!
Whist H2 expected us to deliver what was agreed, they were along-side us in our daily successes, difficulties, issues and most importantly supporting our people and major capital investments. It was never a them and us atmosphere.
Expect tough targets to be agreed, but never without back up to support. Our numbers outstripped expectations for two years and earlier than expected, H2 approached us with a proposal to float, listened to our views and we agreed this together.
The process was extremely intense, but the business was in excellent shape, had a good team and a proven strategy. This required lots of time to be spent on non-operational issues, however we had the best team available from both sides and the floatation onto the Main Market was a great success.
H2 are without question one of the most inclusive, encouraging and exciting teams to be involved with, but expect to get caught up in the excitement and to have to deal with the work load!