Press Release: New owner of HortiMaX plans to reorganise and invest

Pijnacker, The Netherlands, 21 December 2011

The Ridder Group announced today that it intends to reorganise the HortiMaX Group, which it acquired in October of this year. This will result in fifteen job cuts and the closure or sale of two of its offices abroad.  According to Ridder’s Board of Management, these measures are necessary to pull the HortiMaX Group through the current slump in the market. Ridder also plans to invest in internationalisation, innovation and systems integration.

The reorganisation of HortiMaX will mean the departure of eleven employees in the Netherlands and four in Belgium.  The reason for the reorganisation is the mediocre prospects for glasshouse horticulture in the Netherlands and Belgium, which are two key areas in which HortiMaX operates as supplier to the commercial horticultural sector.  ‘Our co-operation with Ridder is now focused on enhancing our international position’, said Albert ‘t Hart, Managing Director of HortiMaX. ‘It compels us to invest not only in product development and systems integration, but also in dealer support and after sales support.’

Lean and mean
HortiMaX’s profits have been under pressure since 2009. The figures for 2010 and the first quarters of 2011 were somewhat flattered, since the previous parent company had failed to charge on a large part of the costs. This masquerade is no longer tenable for the new owner. ‘We realise that the reorganisation comes as a surprise to the staff’, said ‘t Hart. ‘There is, however, no alternative. HortiMaX is a great company with a wealth of knowledge and an excellent product line. The Ridder Group intends to provide a capital injection to facilitate HortiMaX’s plans.  However, due to the current market downturn, our company must be ‘lean and mean’. We, therefore, need to invest in the right developments.’

New sales offices
‘t Hart expects the level of investment in glasshouse horticulture to remain low in the Benelux countries over the next two years. As a result, HortiMaX will restructure its sales and distribution points in the first quarter of 2012. ‘We will close our sales office in Belgium and transfer the activities of our sales office in England to one of our dealers. Together with Ridder Drive Systems, we will also aim to bring our international service and support operations closer to our customers. In addition to retaining our sales and support offices in France and Spain, we plan to open offices in Canada, the US, Mexico and Turkey.  In this way, we hope to further expand our local services in promising foreign regions over the next few years.’

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