On an international quest with Aspel
Aspel is doing well: since the start of their collaboration with 3d investors, they have grown into an international player in the market for plastic automotive parts. Through daring takeovers, strategic agreements and the initiation of two greenfield projects between 2000 and 2005, they now record an annual turnover of 40 million euros.
A healthy dose of daring
In the period between 2000 and 2005, 3d investors bought three Belgian companies, which they united under the Aspel Group. 3d investors and Aspel soon realised that they would be unable to serve their market from this local level – necessitating a strong commitment to internationalization. Aspel kicked off the simultaneous construction of two greenfield projects in Mexico and Slovakia, and also concluded an agreement with a Chinese partner.
“What we achieved together at the beginning of the millennium bears witness to an ambitious vision, as well as quite a bit of courage”, says Paul Plasschaert, CEO of Aspel. “Without that bold approach, Aspel – a small player in a challenging industry – would have never reached its current position and might not even exist today. The fact that 3d investors was already proposing initiatives in Mexico, Slovakia and China at that early stage is now bearing fruit.”
Self-knowledge as the greatest asset
Paul Plasschaert: “This cooperation has been very constructive from the very beginning. 3d investors is aware of its strengths and limits. Within the management team, they are able to optimally supplement their own capacities with the right people. This ensures healthy cross-fertilization; we benefit from each other’s strengths and reinforce each other. They are facilitators. Hans Swinnen of 3d investors assists us by providing both his financial insight and his marketing expertise. Aspel, on the other hand, provides the technical knowledge, and we also complement each other when it comes to commercial insight.”