Unica expands its range of fire protection with the acquisition of Gerco and Applicom


Hoevelaken (The Netherlands), 25 May 2021 -Unica, a Triton Fund IV portfolio company and technical service provider, has signed an agreement for the acquisition of Gerco and Applicom. Both companies are leading players in the passive fire protection market in our country. The solutions of both companies are installed in more than 30,000 buildings. With Unica Fire Safety, Unica already has a versatile product and service portfolio in the field of active fire safety. The proposed acquisition further strengthens the portfolio, enabling the cluster to offer integrated total solutions for fire-safe buildings. Earlier this month Unica announced that it was taking over the Frisian installation company Pranger-Rosier. Unica achieved a turnover of € 539 million in 2020 and, with approximately 3,000 employees, is one of the largest technical service providers in the Netherlands.

Market leaders in passive fire safety

Gerco, located in Schoonhoven and Applicom in Nijmegen, have 165 employees and achieved a turnover of € 30 million in 2020. The companies were founded in the 1960s and started independently of each other as the pioneers of passive fire safety in the Netherlands. After the takeover of Applicom by Gerco in 2014, both companies are part of the Fire Safety Holding, the umbrella holding company that is taken over in its entirety by Unica. Gerco and Applicom will continue to operate under their own name from the offices in Schoonhoven and Nijmegen, under the direction of the existing management. The acquisition will be final after the Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) has given its approval.

John Quist, CEO of Unica explains the acquisition: “Gerco and Applicom are leading companies in the passive fire protection segment. Both companies provide us with the long-desired reinforcement in this growth market in which we are already strongly represented in the field of active fire safety with Unica Fire Safety. With the acquisition we can meet the growing need for complete fire safety solutions that are fully compliant.”

Fire Safety Projects (main contractor for larger projects) and Red Profs (webshop for installers and construction companies) are also part of the holding company and are taken over by Unica.

Difference between active and passive fire protection

Active fire protection relates to the detection and extinguishing of a fire and solutions include sprinkler systems, fire alarm and evacuation alarm systems. Passive fire safety solutions prevent a fire from spreading further through a building by using fire-resistant solutions and materials in the building construction.

Digitization of services

Gerco and Applicom are innovative due to the high degree of digitization of the services. By using QR codes and a self-developed app, technicians on site always have access to the correct information about the applications that are being worked on. The advanced digitization of services is in line with Unica's vision of the future when it comes to management and maintenance.

Hans Nijssen, General Manager of Gerco and Applicom adds: “Due to increasingly strict laws and regulations and a growing awareness of the importance of fire safety, the demand from customers for complete fire safety solutions is increasing. By joining Unica, we are taking an important step to strengthen our growth opportunities and to offer even more added value to our customers. We look forward to forming a winning team in the Dutch fire protection market together with our Unica colleagues.”

With the takeover of Gerco and Applicom, Unica Fire Safety consists of four independently operating specialized companies with a total of more than 400 employees. Tom Verschoor, director of Unica Fire Safety: “With the addition of Gerco and Applicom, we are able to provide customers with an integrated fire safety concept from our cluster. Our more than 400 specialists provide depth within our various fields and bring this together into a complete package of measures to make buildings fireproof.”

Combination of organic growth and through acquisitions

Unica realizes its growth strategy on the one hand through organic growth by tapping into new customer segments from the existing companies. In addition, Unica strengthens its organization with regional or specialized acquisitions. Targeted acquisitions are part of the growth strategy for each cluster. Unica expects to continue to make acquisitions every year in the coming years. The proposed acquisitions of Gerco and Applicom are the second in a short time: earlier this month Unica also announced the acquisition of the Frisian installation company Pranger-Rosier.

About Unica

Unica is the all-round technical service provider in the Netherlands and a trendsetter in sustainable innovations that solves all technology issues in the built environment. Think of the application of solutions in the field of installation technology, energy, ICT, internet of things (IOT) and smart buildings that contribute to functional, healthy and safe living and working environments. Unica converts the wishes and needs of customers into a qualitative tailor-made solution.

With a decisive network of nine business clusters and more than 3,000 employees, Unica is one of the largest technical service providers in the Netherlands. Unica's business clusters are: Building Projects, Building Services, Fire Safety, Access & Security, Building Intelligence, Energy Solutions, ICT Solutions, Industry Solutions and Datacenters.

The recent acquisitions of Unica were: Pranger-Rosier (2021, Building Services), Van Kempen Koudetechniek (2020, Industry Solutions), PCT Koudetechniek (2020, Industry Solutions), Numan & Kant (2020, Building Intelligence), Synto (2019, Building Services), Brainpact (industrial automation, 2019), Boele Fire Protection (2018, fire safety), Dotwood (2018, ICT Solutions), Nsecure (2017, Access & Security) and Pro-Fa Automation (2017, industrial automation).

For more information: www.unica.nl

About Triton

Since its establishment in 1997, Triton has sponsored ten funds, focusing on businesses in the industrial, business services, consumer and health sectors. The Triton funds invest in and support the positive development of medium-sized businesses headquartered in Europe.

Triton seeks to contribute to the building of better businesses for the longer term. Triton and its executives wish to be agents of positive change towards sustainable operational improvements and growth.

The 48 companies currently in Triton's portfolio have combined sales of around €17.7 billion and around 102,000 employees.

For further information: www.triton-partners.com

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Anja Schlenstedt
Dick Haijma / Pressworks