Zanders advises Spant! management on unique buyout
Management on unique buy-out
The Spant! theater and conference center in Bussum is set to become an independent organization. The current management, managing director Paul Haighton and financial manager Bert Dijkstra, will take over the whole operation. Zanders played an advisory role in this management buyout (MBO), which is unique by Dutch standards.
What made the buyout challenging was the fact that Spant! is a subsidized institution with a major cultural role in the municipality of Bussum. This role had to be preserved: in short, art and culture were not supposed to make way for the new owners’ commercial interests. This condition has been met. The municipality continues to own the building. An agreement has been signed with the management that Spant!’s cultural focus will remain at least as strong as before. And agreements with the local drama, music and operetta societies have also been negotiated. The sale price came to just over EUR 4 million.
This buyout was a first for the Netherlands. Which was one of the reasons why Zanders consultants Sybren Bitter, Marco Behling and Carel de Vries greatly enjoyed working on the project in close cooperation with the two new owners. In the next issue of Zanders Magazine we will return to this unique cultural MBO.