“Van Oers went above and beyond the call of duty”

Tadej Krajšek | TAB Benelux
  • Legal
  • Corporate Finance
TAB Benelux

Slovenian battery manufacturer TAB is keen on expanding its presence in the world. In addition to its branches in Spain, Italy, Poland, Croatia, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and USA, TAB wanted to establish a subsidiary in the Netherlands. TAB was looking for a reliable advisory partner to support it in forming a joint-venture with its Dutch distributor R&W Batterijen. Tadej Krajšek, Head of Finance, Accounting and Controlling at TAB d.d. in Slovenia, explains how Van Oers advised and supported TAB during the establishment of TAB Benelux.

“At TAB, we had been working with our distribution partner R&W Batterijen in Ede for over 20 years. They sell our products in the Benelux. R&W Batterijen was looking for a strategic partner to strengthen its position in the battery market, which is very competitive. We decided to enter into a joint-venture with our trusted partner, so that we can increase our market share in the Benelux.”

High level of support and expertise

“Deciding which company was to support us in establishing our Dutch subsidiary was easy. My previous dealings with Van Oers had shown me their high level of support and expertise. Also, a big benefit of working with Van Oers is that their communication is personal and informal. I like that, because it means things get done quicker. Next, I knew that the people at Van Oers are very committed; they work hard and fast.

Last but not least, my earlier contact with Van Oers had shown me how they go about establishing a legal and financial partnership between two formerly independent companies. I had come to appreciate Van Oers’ great adeptness at handling delicate relations and their deep insight into the legal and financial ins and outs of establishing a commercial partnership. This is exactly what we needed to get our distributor onboard and reach a successful agreement.”

“We wanted everything done yesterday”

“Our first meeting with Van Oers took place in a meeting room at the R&W Batterijen Head office in Ede. We made it clear that we were working against the clock and wanted everything done yesterday, so to speak. The reason why we were in such a hurry was the high competition we were facing; several parties had expressed an interest in entering a strategic partnership with R&W Batterijen. One of those parties is our biggest competitor. We really had to act fast.”

Keen, capable and hard-working professionals

Manager Due Diligence Bert Bastiaansen took on TAB’s urgent request with great zeal and efficiency. “I think Bert rather likes a challenge, both as a person and as a project manager”, observes Tadej Krajšek. Right after the meeting in Ede, Bert initiated the Due Diligence process. As is customary during a Due Diligence process, the financial, tax and operational health of the selling party – R&W Batterijen – was subjected to thorough investigation.

“We were really impressed with Van Oers’ proactive approach, and it was clear to us that Bert knew exactly what he was doing. This strengthened our confidence in Van Oers.” In an international cross-border deal like this one, trust and confidence are even more important than in Van Oers’ Dutch customer cases. After all, each country has its own laws and regulations in terms of tax, finance, and labour. In addition, there are bound to be cultural differences that have to be taken into account.

“This is why we asked Van Oers’ legal department to prepare all the transaction documentation that was required for our joint venture with R&W Batterijen: the SPA, the management agreements and the shareholders agreement. The level of detail in such documents is very high and everything is subject to negotiation. There were several strong lawyers involved and each of them wanted the best for their customer, R&W Batterijen. We were lucky to have Marco Schouwenaar, Legal Manager at Van Oers Accountancy & Advies, on our side. He clearly is a keen, experienced and knowledgeable lawyer and he defended our interests with great passion.”

Seamless cooperation

“The negotiations got pretty tough, so I was happy to be able to rely on Van Oers’ expertise in advising us what to go for and where to compromise. My colleagues and I are not familiar with Dutch law, therefore, it was very helpful to have Van Oers as our trusted partner upon whom we could rely. The cooperation between their financial and legal staff was seamless. This saved us a lot of time and effort.”

“Also, Bert and Marco often handled the communication with R&W Batterijen’s shareholders as well as their lawyers on behalf of TAB. They both remained calm and collected throughout the whole process, which is admirable because at times tensions ran high. Last but not least, Van Oers also provided full representation in our dealings with the Dutch notary that was involved in this case. They really went above and beyond the usual call of duty. We at TAB basically put our fate in their hands, and we have never regretted it.”

“I strongly recommend Van Oers to any business considering a joint venture or a similar business arrangement with a Dutch company.”

“As Head of Finance, Accounting and Controlling at TAB, I have a lot of responsibility in keeping our company healthy and successful. Also, the battery market is a very tough environment to do business in. Prices of raw materials as well as electricity are increasing, and so is the cost of labour. In addition, European car manufacturers are building their own battery factories so we have had to rethink our product strategy and market approach. Moreover, there is the energy transition in Europe, with a strong focus on Lithium Ion batteries. This is a trend we cannot afford to miss. In times like these, we need strong and reliable advisory partners such as Van Oers. I strongly recommend them to any business considering a joint venture or a similar business arrangement with a Dutch company.”

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Marco Schouwenaar
Marco Schouwenaar | Legal manager
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