This injection of knowledge means a great addition to our IT team, a carefree new start for our new colleagues and an extra boost for our growth ambitions. We spoke with Bert Pauwels, founder and managing director of Pauwels Consulting, about this acquisition.
Bert, congratulations with this acquisition! How are you feeling?
Bert: “Tired but satisfied. The acquisition of DCI IT went very quickly. The company was only declared bankrupt in February 2021. The judge appointed a curator and candidate buyers were sought. We reacted quickly and worked hard, and I am pleased that we can offer a good outcome and future to 18 employees of DCI IT, who are also a welcome reinforcement of our team.
We have already invested considerably in expanding our IT team in recent years. We have hired strong consultants and have also taken over 2 IT companies in the Netherlands last year. Now we are also taking over 18 IT consultants from DCI IT in Belgium. This strengthens us in our ambition to become one of the most complete consultancy companies in Europe.”
Can you tell us more about the services of DCI IT?
Bert: “Until recently, DCI IT offered various IT services. The company consisted of two departments: their Field Service department offered a full service, while their IT Resources department offered consultancy services. The Field Service department was less compatible with the growth plan of Pauwels Consulting, but the consultants of the IT-resources department, with a focus on IT infrastructure, complement our team perfectly.”
How did the acquisition go?
Bert: “It all happened very quickly. DCI IT was declared bankrupt just one week ago. The judge appointed Mr Reyns as curator. Our team immediately went to work to see which components and consultants we could acquire and under which conditions. During the weekend, we came to a respectful proposal that was favourable to the employees and the customers of DCI IT. The employees keep their salaries, and they get new career opportunities at Pauwels Consulting. Moreover, we can guarantee the continuity of services to the customers.
A bankruptcy is a traumatic experience and employees are often hurt and dissatisfied. That’s why we acted quickly, accurately and tactfully. From the start we had a good feeling during our talks with master Reyns. We wanted to create a win-win situation, not drive a bargain. If you don’t do that, then you can’t build a long-term relationship with your new colleagues and customers. We wanted to do things differently. This is the beginning of a great new story for the consultants and customers of DCI IT.”
Where do you envision Pauwels Consulting in 5 years?
Bert: “We are healthily ambitious: in the coming years we want to become one of the most complete providers of consultancy and project sourcing in Europe. In five years’ time, we want to grow to a group of 2,500 consultants and a turnover of 250 million euros. Because our clients operate internationally, we will also continue to support them across borders.
That’s why, since our partnership with 3d Investors in 2016, we have been explicitly accelerating our organic growth with strategic acquisitions of interesting life sciences, engineering and IT companies. For example, last year alone, despite the crisis, we acquired a strong engineering company (Bruggenbouwers) and 2 strong IT companies (Developers.nl and Open Web) in the Netherlands.
Now we have taken over another great IT company in Belgium. It will certainly not be our last acquisition, since we see a lot of potential in the market, and we will always enjoy working with interesting customers and specialists, and supporting them as best as we can in their professional growth.”
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