The Dutch private equity market, whilst still healthy, is experiencing the effects of broader economic and financial market trends. The uncertain economic growth and inflation are affecting the performance of companies in general, whilst increasing interest rates make the financing of acquisitions more difficult. Both have resulted in pressure on deal multiples, as well as more concentrated competition around relatively attractive acquisition opportunities.

NPM’s strategy which remains unchanged, is focused on: (1) continue to strengthen NPM’s unique proposition to the market with a flexible investment horizon, (2) growing its portfolio within specific investment themes, (3) strengthening its operational involvement to better support participations with specialistic experience (e.g. ESG) and executing necessary changes and (4) improving its ability to support the international expansion of the participations.

NPM’s strategy is well embedded and has been executed further in 2023. Operational involvement further matured with the appointment of an ESG Director and Director Leveraged Finance in 2022 resulting in both areas receiving increased attention to date. Regarding leveraged finance, NPM successfully (re)financed multiple participations and acquisitions in 2023 and will focus future efforts on further harmonising sources of financing. Beyond these initiatives, multiple value creation plans were successfully rolled out within participations, better supporting focused execution.

Further internationalisation continued to be high on NPM’s agenda, resulting amongst other in the continued firming up of its presence in Belgium, illustrated by a satisfactory number of concrete opportunities identified and deal processes initiated. The Belgian organisation has further matured and is fully integrated with NPM’s office in Amsterdam to ensure efficiency. Indirectly, different successful international add-on’s were acquired such as for example Ross Care in the UK, to strengthen Medux’s positions further.

NPM’s unique and differentiating profile remains more important than ever, with the ability to provide ample capital flexibly and with a long-term view on realising value. Beyond this dimension, NPM also continues to be an attractive employer and attract and retain the industry’s top talent, with a specific focus on diversity.

NPM’s investment themes, which are Everything is Digital, Healthy Life & Learning, Feeding the World and Sustainable Future, continue to drive NPM’s investment focus. Supported by a growing community of dedicated advisors NPM continuously invests in deepening its expertise of said themes.

Reflecting the above focus on investment themes, internationalisation as well as its unique approach to the private equity sector, NPM successfully expanded its portfolio in 2023 with the acquisition of HQ Pack and Probo, whilst further strengthening its current participations with the addition of Ross Care to Medux, Biltz to Omdus and H&S to Oxbo. Beyond these investments NPM also divested part of its shares in Kramp.

Looking ahead to 2024 NPM expects market circumstances to remain largely unchanged, characterised by increased competition. Its pipeline of opportunities nevertheless remains healthy, supporting continued investments to both strengthen and grow its current portfolio.