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Pride Capital Partners facilitates MBO of Cloud managed services company Fairbanks


Cloud managed services provider Fairbanks International Group (“Fairbanks”) and Pride Capital Partners have strengthened their partnership by realizing a management buy-out (MBO). In this transaction, Marijn van Heeswijk and Eric Kessels have increased their shareholding. For Pride Capital Partners, this marks the first hybrid transaction of the fund, in which a mezzanine loan is provided in combination with the acquisition of a minority shareholding.

Fairbanks, founded in 2004, has grown to become an organization with a strong team of technical staff and a unique position in the European market for Open Cloud Infrastructure services. The headquarters of Fairbanks is in Baarn, and the company employs over 20 employees.

Fairbanks provides managed services around complex open infrastructures to national and international clients who make use of private Clouds. Services include Linux-based open-source technologies like OpenStack (Cloud technology), Ceph (storage technology) and Kubernetes (container technology), in addition to emergency support. By utilizing a managed services model, Fairbanks unburdens its clients of Cloud-related infrastructural and operational issues in a scalable way.

Ideal momentum for further growth

Recent years are characterized by strong growth for Fairbanks and the company has acquired a unique position in the European Open Cloud Infrastructures market. The acquisition of 42on, specialist in Ceph services, in 2019 has contributed to this growth. The organization benefits from the strong growth of this market, and from the fact that most services can be executed remotely. In addition, the business model has been transformed into a managed services model during the last three years. As a result, the business has become more scalable. These elements create ideal momentum and the perfect foundation for Fairbanks to further grow the business with Pride Capital Partners as their partner. Besides autonomous growth, strategic acquisitions are also part of the strategy.

Ruud Harmsen, CEO and founder of Fairbanks: “I have successfully transformed Fairbanks into a company of high technical quality. Now is the right moment to pass the torch to my co-managers. Of course, I will retain an active role in the operation. With Pride Capital Partners we have the right partner to bring Fairbanks to the next level in the coming years. Therefore, it seems only right to have Pride as a shareholder of Fairbanks.”

Eric Kessels, CTO of Fairbanks and 42on: “OpenSource infrastructure have become not indispensable elements in modern-day datacenters, while the complexity of these infrastructures has increased. With the expertise of our employees and the experience we have gained through the services we provide, we are able to assist clients or even completely unburden clients of managing their Cloud platform”. Marijn van Heeswijk, COO: “Together with Pride Capital Partners, we can further expand our expertise and the number of techniques for both the European market and beyond.”

Lars van ’t Hoenderdaal, Managing Partner Pride Capital Partners: “We have known Fairbanks for over 4 years and have watched its transformation from close by. We have a strong preference for recurring business models with an international customer profile. Together with new management, we believe that we have a nice ride ahead of us, also taking the high-quality staff and positive market developments into account. Besides continuing the autonomous growth trend, we also aim to realize strategic acquisitions.”

About Pride Capital Partners

Pride Capital Partners is a specialized private debt company supporting profitable and growing businesses in the Software and IT industry. Typical scenarios are growth, acquisitions and management buy-out (MBO) transactions. The geographical focus is on Benelux and DACH-region companies. Pride Capital Partners has offices in Amsterdam and Cologne.

The funding of Pride Capital Partners is provided by its own shareholders, institutional investors, wealthy individuals, family offices and (ex-)entrepreneurs. The portfolio includes amongst others Arcus IT, Spotzer, BTC, Bright River, Bluefield and German companies eKomi and Link11.

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