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February 19, 2014

Management Buyout Boosts Congrex Holland's Reach




Some happy news from the ashes of Congrex, once one of the largest Professional Congress Organizers (PCOs) in Europe: Congrex Holland BV’s management team, consisting of Managing Director Jarno de Boer and Director Business Relations Rob Eskes, has entered a partnership with Prasant Saha, CEO of CIMGlobal (all three pictured right). This, the company announced in a statement, will "ensure the success of all projects, the entity and its employees for the future."
 
The agreement was signed today and includes all shares of the former subsidiary of Congrex Holding BV. “Congrex Holland has been a successful entity within the Congrex Group for several years," de Boer said in a statement, adding that in spite of the "hectic times" of the Congrex collapse this past fall and winter, Congrex Holland BV's offices have seen "business as usual." 

Saha, meanwhile, noted that the partnership will help both companies compete on a global level. CIMGlobal has 17 years of experience in the booming Asian and Middle East markets, while Congrex Holland has specialized in Europe, Qatar and Africa. 

Eskes agreed: "We see international associations reaching out to Asia and the Middle East to grow their organisations," he said, predicting that the partnership will help improve client service. 

Congrex Holland BV employs a team of 27 people who focus on conferences, meetings, hotel accommodation and association management services for a wide variety of industries. Current projects range from aerospace, medical, energy and apparel industries. 

RELATED: The PCO Map Is Redrawn

Taking Stock of Congrex

The Congrex saga has played out on Europe's stages over the past few months with almost theatrical levels of drama: In October, Swedish Congrex filed for bankruptcy following "poor profitability in recent years." By the end of the month, Congrex UK Ltd, the UK subsidiary, had been bought by its management team led by Congrex Group COO Rob Harrison for an undisclosed sum. The group changed its name to Contendam, perhaps seeking some distance from parent company Congrex Holding as it fell into default

By the following November, IMR partner publication Kongres theorized that Congrex probably failed due to a combination of different causes: "Some experts now warn over too much and too-rapid growth through acquisitions in recent years; the shift from quality to quantity and over-optimistic planning...It seems that in similar cases there is a lack of understanding of the changes in the market and in the mindset of employees, as well as a lack of organizational communication and innovation."

At IMEX America that month, industry leaders shared their insights on the collapse:


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