The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced that it will support Dutch market-leading software company Planon with a EUR 12 million loan. Planon will be the first Dutch ICT business to use the innovative new “MidCap Growth Finance” product of the joint EIB-European Commission “InnovFin – EU finance for innovators” programme. The loan will contribute towardsa major growth initiative, including the conversion of its historical business model towards a “Software-as-a-Service” (SaaS) model.
Software developer Planon was founded in 1982 and has steadily grown to be a worldwide market-leading company. The privately-owned business currently employs some 550 employees in 11 countries worldwide, of which nearly half at the company’s Nijmegen headquarters, many of whom are engaged in R&D activities. Although it’s not as big as some of its competitors, the company is widely regarded as a market leader in its field, its most successful product being the Integrated Workplace Management System “Planon Universe”, which will also be part of the focus for this operation.
EIB Vice-President Pim van Ballekom, responsible for lending operations in the Netherlands, commented: “Planon may not be as big as its international competitors, but it really is a model for others in how it built its business and created steady and durable growth. A large portion of its proceeds is invested back into the company itself, which has contributed to sustainable growth. The Bank is always keen to support businesses like Planon to boost innovation and competitiveness in the Netherlands in a sustainable way.”
Always looking to support innovative companies, through the InnovFin MidCap Growth Finance product the Bank has agreed to a EUR 12 million loan for Planon. This investment for growth will also contribute to a further conversion of the company’s business model. While retaining existing perpetual licences for its software, Planon will move an increasing amount of its business to a “SaaS” model, hosting programs in the cloud and giving its clients remote access. The three-year operation is part of a long-term strategy towards software and cloud solutions development for the Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) market in the areas of smart building management, smart office sensoring (Internet of Things) and smart data management. As such, Planon provides support for sustainable facilities maintenance and management, leading to significant improvements in energy efficiency amongst other things.
“Under the guidance of Deloitte Corporate Finance, Debt Advisory, we have chosen this growth investment with the EIB to realise our global growth ambitions”, said Fred Guelen, Planon Group’s CFO and President of North American operations. “We considered several more traditional financing methods – such as bank financing and venture capital – but in the end we chose this innovative financial product. Thanks to this growth investment – in conjunction with our long-standing experience and proven software solutions – Planon is ideally placed to take the next step towards global market leadership, so enabling our customers to benefit to the fullest from our innovative power.”
Karel Knoll, Director at Deloitte Corporate Finance, Debt Advisory, added: “At Deloitte Corporate Finance, Debt Advisory, we advised this particular financial instrument because the solution is a great fit with Planon’s specific financing needs. The selected EIB facility will give Planon the flexibility and freedom it needs to continue both its investments in RDI as well as making the transition to SaaS. This will enable Planon to strengthen its leading position even further.”
Through the InnovFin programme, started only a year ago, some EUR 3.1 billion has been awarded in support of innovative companies around Europe. This is the first EIB transaction in the Netherlands supported by “InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators”, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments. The EIB regards investments in innovation and telecommunications as a priority in the Netherlands and in Europe as a whole. In the Netherlands alone, some EUR 267.5 million has been invested in glass fibre networks over the last five years.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.
InnovFin MidCap Growth Finance offers long-term senior, subordinated loans or mezzanine loans in order to improve access to finance mainly for innovative larger midcaps (up to 3 000 employees) but also SMEs and small midcaps. Loans ranging from EUR 7.5 million to EUR 25 million will be provided directly by the EIB.
With over thirty years of experience in the FMIS field, Planon is an international, market-leading software provider that helps organisations streamline their real estate, facility and service management processes. Planon’s integrated and future-proof solutions provide reliable management information. Over 2 000 clients benefit from Planon’s innovative solutions worldwide, supported by a global network of own offices. For many years now, Planon has been positioned in the leader quadrant by Gartner – a leading worldwide independent technology research agency – as part of the Magic Quadrant for Integrated Workplace Management Systems.
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