The week in business: 22 April


Allfin and Immobel to merge, Flanders' venture capital fund acquires 23% stake in Vandemoortele and an overview of the rest of the week's business news

Property – Immobel

The quoted property developer is merging with real estate group Allfin, both based in Brussels, to become one of the country’s largest groups in the business with a €400 million market capitalisation. The move is expected to allow more profitable home builder Allfin to stimulate the staid Immobel group, specialised in office developments.

Investment – GIMV
The government of Flanders’ venture capital fund has pushed its stake in Ghent food products group Vandemoortele to over 23% by converting warrants it has held since 2009. GIMV also announced it was considering selling its interest, valued at some €230 million, to the highest bidder.

Brewing – AB InBev
The Leuven-based brewer has sold its Italian Peroni, Dutch Grolsch and British Meantime brands to the Asahi group of Japan. The move, valued at €2.5 billion, follows AB Inbev’s recent acquisition of SABMiller and is a response to competition authorities’ monopoly concerns. AB Inbev is reportedly considering acquisitions to diversify its products, with Coca-Cola named as a potential target.

Energy – Tecnubel
The affiliate of the French GDF-Suez group, based in Dessel, Antwerp province, is poised to win the contract to train some 40 technicians in the operation of a new structure being built on the site of Chernobyl in Ukraine. The operation will dismantle and dispose of irradiated equipment from the nuclear plant that famously blew up in 1986.

Food – Dunkin’ Donuts
The US-based chain has announced plans to open up to 20 outlets in Belgium over the next four years. The company expects to open its first shops in Brussels and Antwerp early next year, followed by openings in Bruges and Ghent.

Marine development – Rent-A-Port
The Antwerp-based company, specialised in the development and management of marine infrastructures, has won the contract to survey and offer solutions for the de-pollution of Vietnam’s Ha Long bay. Rent-A-Port is already participating in the development of the nearby port of Haiphong and the building of berthing facilities for ships up to 100,000 tonnes.