Pitch Best Small Cap Deal 2021: Broad Horizon - GAC Business Solutions

De genomineerde deals maken dit jaar kans op de M&A Award voor Best Small Cap Deal 2021.

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Name of the deal Broad Horizon acquires GAC Business Solutions
Date 8 July 2021
Published value € 5 – 50 million
Buyer(s) Broad Horizon 
Target GAC Business Solutions
Seller  The Shareholders of GAC Business Solutions  

Involved firms and advisors   

Involved firms and advisors buy side:  
DLA Piper (Legal Advisory Corporate M&A) 

Involved firms and advisors target:  
Oaklins (M&A advisory), deBreij (Legal Advisory Corporate M&A) 

Involved firms and advisors sell side:  
Oaklins (M&A advisory), deBreij (Legal Advisory Corporate M&A) 


Brief description deal / Deal outline  
GAC Business Solutions, the leading digital transformation partner in the Dutch market, has been acquired by Dutch IT company Broad Horizon B.V. By joining forces, GAC and Broad Horizon will be better equipped to serve customers, employees and other stakeholders, and will be able to expand their client base in the Benelux market, hereby becoming the Microsoft market leader for Business Central within this region.  

Why should this deal win the Award for Best Deal 2021?  
At a time when digitalization of business processes is more important than ever, with cloud-based ERP (enterprise resource planning) applications continuously gaining momentum, choosing the right IT partner is critical. As a frontrunner in shift to the cloud and cloud-based ERP applications, GAC Business Solutions is the leading digital transformation partner in the Netherlands that helps companies in the process of digital transformation. The company offers these digital transformation solutions by providing a strong portfolio of innovative and essential in-house developed business software in combination with Microsoft software, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement and Microsoft Power Platform. Throughout the years, GAC Business Solutions has developed a strong leadership position in Microsoft Business Central, by offering vertical SaaS solutions with own IP for the lines of professional business services, manufacturing and wholesale. The acquisition of GAC Business Solutions by Broad Horizon results in the market-leading IT service provider in the Benelux. As potential buyers recognized this opportunity, this transaction was the most competitive small-cap transaction of the year, with over 100 potential buyers and a record-breaking 17 competitive offers received. As such, this deal deserves to be nominated.  

Deal rationale:  
With the acquisition of GAC Business Solutions, Broad Horizon strengthens its dominant position in the Benelux market by becoming the leading IT service provider in this region. The combined operation of GAC and Broad Horizon will help nearly 700 customers in the Benelux with their digital transformation, remaining fully committed to the Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution. As a result of the transaction, customers will be able to benefit from a broader range of services and solutions and continue to receive personalized high-quality solutions.  

What is the impact of this deal for the company?  
By joining forces with Broad Horizon, GAC Business Solutions becomes a vital part of the leading Benelux IT service provider for Microsoft Dynamics 365. With the integration, GAC obtains the resources necessary to further develop its portfolio of software solutions and services and increases its footprint in Europe. Additionally, GAC’s employees are presented with ample and diverse career opportunities.  These attractive career opportunities stimulate in attracting and retaining skilled personnel for GAC in a tight and competitive IT labour market.  

What is the impact of this deal for the direct stakeholders?  
All direct stakeholders have been able to benefit from the transaction. For the shareholders of GAC, the transaction resulted in the desired outcome. GAC was able to combine forces with a strategic partner that allows them to further develop GAC’s initiatives and growth, enabling GAC to reach its full potential and flourish. Even more, the acquisition by Broad Horizon will provide GAC with the opportunity to act within the larger competitive field and have a significant impact on the IT landscape, all while being able to maintain the company’s unique identity. As a result, GAC will be able to offer clients a wide range of specialized services and solutions.  

What is the impact of this deal on society?   
Businesses globally are recognizing the need for a solid IT strategy to meet ever changing client demand. By rapidly adopting and implementing cloud-based ERP systems to collect data and improve business processes, digital transformation remains high on the agenda of many companies. With the acquisition of GAC, Broad Horizon has access to GAC’s loyal and significant client base, which is strongly anchored in three strategic verticals. In addition to Broad Horizons large enterprise focus, the combination of both companies uniquely positions Broad Horizon's market position as the ideal IT service provider for all companies, both SME as well as large corporates, in the Benelux. With this deal, GAC and Broad Horizon are therefore able to make an important contribution to the ever-changing trends and expectations on the IT front.  

What was most complex about this deal? 
The complexity of this transaction was to educate potential buyers on the unique market position of GAC. Anticipating the need for cloud-based ERP systems, the company has its own in-house developed high-end proprietary software, is a frontrunner in the shift to the cloud and has developed its business models such that it is infinitely scalable. With virtually no competitors with the same size or technical capabilities (such as proprietary software), finding the most suitable technical partner that was able to recognize and value accordingly the company’s unique market position was the most complex part of the deal  

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