BigHand this morning announced that it has acquired its Benelux reseller dFlow B.V. The acquisition of its trusted and long-standing partner who will become BigHand B.V, is the part of a strategic increase in investment aimed at establishing the BigHand brand more extensively in mainland Europe and Scandinavia

The acquisition will also see increased investment from BigHand to extend its reputation for high quality client service to all its customers in Europe through local support and delivery whilst leveraging the support, services, product development and central scale of BigHand as a global group. Juul Leijnse and his team will all be remaining with the company to spearhead this strategy in Benelux and the further growth of the business.

Jon Ardron, CEO of BigHand, commented: “The acquisition of dFlow B.V is not only part of a much larger strategic focus on Europe but an opportunity to invest further in the talented team at dFlow, led by Juul Leijnse. Ultimately BigHand is planning to invest further in Europe and will be seeking other opportunities to do so including more acquisitions. I am absolutely delighted to welcome the dFlow team to the BigHand family at this exciting time of continued growth.”

Juul Leijnse, Managing Director of dFlow commented: “dFlow was looking for ways to further grow the business to keep up with the increasing demands created by its’ success with BigHand’s voice productivity solutions. This acquisition mixes the best of two worlds, the knowledge, experience and outstanding reputation of dFlow in the Benelux region and the power of BigHand as a global leading supplier renowned for high quality products and services. The long standing and strong relationship between dFlow and the BigHand management team means their strategy meets the values and vision of dFlow. I am extremely confident this acquisition is a very positive outcome for the staff of dFlow, its customers and the business as a whole and I am enormously excited about the future as part of the BigHand group.”

Ben Mills, Managing Director of BigHand EMEA Legal & Professional commented: “With an established presence in Europe supported by our resources as a leading global supplier we will able be to focus on increased growth in Benelux as well in the wider Scandinavian and Northern European regions. It also provides an excellent platform to attract and retain key staff with long standing expertise within target geographies and professional verticals.”

The deal value has not been disclosed; however the consideration payable has been satisfied from existing cash resources rather than new borrowings. BigHand is backed by Bridgepoint Development Capital together with the senior management team.

COMMENT: We’ve met Juul a couple of times (in fact we even went to the Comedy Story in London with him one night) and he definitely has the right mindset to make him and his team an impressive addition to the BigHand family. Strategically, this move makes a lot of sense for BigHand – and it is also parks their tanks firmly on the lawn of Philips. Philips continues to give the impression that it is living on past-glories, when hardware (and analogue tapes in particular) was still the key to success to the dictation market. And, it has also been complacent in assuming that, because of its language advantage, its position in Continental Europe was unassailable. However, that could now be about to change.