Ackermans & van Haaren acquires a 60% participation in Biolectric next to founder and CEO Philippe Jans

Press release - Antwerp, February 22nd, 2019
Biolectric (, founded in 2011, is market leader in the segment of the production and sale of compact biogas installations (< 100kW) for livestock and pig farms and water treatment plants.
Thanks to the technique of anaerobic digestion, the methane gas from cow manure is converted into energy (electricity and heat) and prevents the emission of harmful greenhouse gases. So far, Biolectric has installed more than 200 units in (10) countries, including Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Poland, the United Kingdom, Italy and Sweden. The installation of a unit takes on average 2 to 3 days.
Biolectric aims to reach a turnover of 10 million euros in 2019 and has ambitious plans to accelerate the roll-out of its installations in various member states of the European Union. Biolectric recently concluded a framework agreement with the Dutch Friesland Campina group which should enable it to further develop the Dutch market potential.
The annual production has fluctuated around 50 units in recent years. With the support of AvH, production will be accelerated to 250 units per year.
In the framework of this transaction, the investment fund Taste Invest of the Westerlund family sells its participation in Biolectric. Taste Invest was founded in 2011, shortly after the sale of Westerlund Group, a port company specialized in the storage and distribution of forest products.
Philippe Jans, CEO of Biolectric: “With AvH at our side, we have opted for a long-term partner that believes in sustainable value creation. In recent years, we worked hard on a reliable and technologically state of the art product, we became very cost competitive and, at the same time, contributed to a more livable world. Our technology can substantially reduce the ecological footprint of dairy products. This transaction allows us to start the next phase of our growth story with great confidence.”
Jan Suykens, CEO of AvH, adds: “Biolectric ’s activity contributes to a climate efficient agricultural production and fits perfectly within our mission “Partners for Sustainable Growth”. Global livestock is responsible for approx. 10 percent of all greenhouse gases. A solution for the emission of methane gas, to which Biolectric can make a significant contribution, will therefore have a huge impact on the control of global warming. An average Belgian farm can save 120 tonnes of CO2 equivalents in methane emissions by installing one digester. The avoided emissions from one farm correspond to the annual emissions of 120 cars. In other words, Biolectric ’s solution creates a win-win situation for agriculture, the environment and the climate.”
“Our fund invests in start-ups in a variety of sectors and Biolectric was our first important participation at the times’, concludes Philip De Mulder of Taste Invest. “We are very satisfied about the cooperation with Philippe Jans and the added value we realised together with his team at Biolectric. For the next growth phase, we are proud to hand on the torch to AvH, a very important diversified group from Antwerp.”
Ackermans & van Haaren is a diversified group active in 4 core sectors: Marine Engineering & Contracting (DEME, one of the largest dredging companies in the world - CFE, a construction group with headquarters in Belgium), Private Banking (Delen Private Bank, one of the largest independent private asset managers in Belgium, and asset manager JM Finn in the UK - Bank J.Van Breda & C°, niche bank for entrepreneurs and liberal professions in Belgium), Real Estate & Senior Care (Leasinvest Real Estate, a public regulated real estate company - Extensa, an important land and real estate developer focused on Belgium and Luxembourg) and Energy & Resources (SIPEF, an agro-industrial group in tropical agriculture).
In 2017, through its share in its participations, the AvH group represented a turnover of 5.4 billion euros and employed 22,749 people. The group concentrates on a limited number of strategic participations with significant potential for growth. AvH is quoted on the BEL20 index, the Private Equity NXT index of Euronext Brussels and the European DJ Stoxx 600.