13 January 2023

Waterland acquires underground infrastructure specialist Van Vulpen

Van Vulpen, a specialist in underground infrastructure, has found a new owner in Waterland Private Equity. The majority interest of Mentha and the management’s shareholding will be fully transferred to Waterland, with the current management reinvesting.

Van Vulpen is one of the top contractors in the Netherlands focusing on underground infrastructure, particularly in regard to electricity, gas and water. The Gorinchem-based company specializes in horizontal directional drilling, which enables it to lay pipelines and cables underground over large distances with minimal impact on the environment. Van Vulpen is highly regarded for the quality it delivers, its process-based approach and its leading position in the field of sustainability. This is underlined by the duration of its partnerships and its healthy contract portfolio. In 2019, Mentha took a majority stake in the company to further professionalize its operations and facilitate growth. Waterland is now taking up the challenge of further shaping this successful process.

Growth and professionalization
Mentha has spent the last few years making Van Vulpen stronger as a company, and less dependent on a few key figures within the organization, while nurturing the knowledge and experience that was available. For example, internally developed software was converted to a low-code platform so that the knowledge of external experts can also be used for its maintenance and further development.

Ralph Peeters has been in the role of general manager for a year now. He has built on the strong foundation that was already in place when he arrived. Under Mentha's care, sales have grown by more than 40 percent since the end of 2019.

Ralph Peeters, general director of Van Vulpen, comments: “When I took office at the beginning of 2022, I joined a dynamic company with plenty of promise for the future. Talented employees, long-term relationships with clients and partners, and the quality of the work provided ensure a healthy starting position for further growth. We are grateful to my predecessor and to Mentha for this development and look forward to continuing this growth trajectory together with Waterland.”

Gijs Botman, partner at Mentha, adds: “Van Vulpen and Mentha share a similar drive: collaboration, quality and focus on effective digitization and processes. In 2019 we were impressed by what Van Vulpen had achieved so far and saw growth potential, which we were able to realize in a short time together with its strong team. The collaboration is now coming to an end, but we are convinced that Van Vulpen is in good hands with Waterland to ensure further growth.”

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