Only four out of ten managers of European SMEs find Belgium an attractive country to invest in. This is clear from a study by Marktlink, a Dutch company that manages mergers and acquisitions. From a group of six countries surveyed, only the United Kingdom is doing worse, but the British, of course, carry the stigma of the brexit.
Belgian managers also prefer to look beyond the borders for mergers and acquisitions. Especially in the Netherlands and Germany, a lot is invested by Belgian CEOs.
‘It is no surprise that investors find Germany and the Netherlands more interesting than Belgium, Denmark and Sweden. Both countries have a larger market and an environment that is very favourable to entrepreneurs’, says Filip Marien van Marktlink.
His company employed 968 managers of SMEs from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Our country’s a bit of a bargain. According to the study, four out of Ten Belgian entrepreneurs are interested in taking over a foreign company. Together with Sweden, this is the highest figure in all the countries surveyed.
“There is currently nearly EUR 300 billion in Belgian savings accounts. There is an abundance of capital available within our national borders to acquire Belgian and/or foreign companies. So our SMEs often have the luxury of choosing who to go with.” says Filip Marien van Marktlink.
Most are interested in taking over a Belgian company to create more growth and scale. The increase in gross profits and the ability to spread risks are also given as reasons for making a foreign purchase.
However, Belgian managers themselves do not like to leave their business to an international player. Four out of Ten doesn’t like this. Internationally, about 31% are not keen on that.