‘Discussion around ASML diverts attention from real problems in the Netherlands’

‘Discussion around ASML diverts attention from real problems in the Netherlands’
‘Discussion around ASML diverts attention from real problems in the Netherlands’
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EconomyApr 3 ’24 2:40 PMAuthor: Jorn Lucas

The private equity company Main Capital Partners is concerned about the business climate in the Netherlands. The Hague company announced today that it has raised more than 2.4 billion euros in a new investment round. But ‘it is difficult to do business in the Netherlands’, says CEO Charly Zwemstra in conversation with BNR. In his view, the support for ASML is ‘completely justified’, but it distracts attention from the real problems.

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6 min 26 sec

“Over the past ten years, the climate towards entrepreneurs has simply been hostile and not positive,” says Zwemstra. ‘While that’s where a lot of innovation and employment come from. Especially in the longer term.’ In his view, the problems in the Netherlands for entrepreneurs go further than the question of whether or not ASML wants to expand in our country. ‘The Netherlands is suffering from heavy regulatory pressure. It is difficult to get a power supply or drinking water connection.’

‘The Netherlands is burdened by heavy regulatory pressure, it is difficult to obtain a power supply or drinking water connection’

Charly Zwemstra, Main Capital Partners

Zwemstra is also disappointed that the tax on substantial interests has been increased ‘quite carelessly’ in the House of Representatives, especially in combination with an increase in corporate tax. ‘It’s difficult to do business like this.’ Partly due to the discussion surrounding ASML and earlier also Tata Steel, Zwemstra has noticed a changed mood in the country. ‘People think more positively.’

Also read | Eindhoven councilor: a lot of confidence that ASML will stay

Sell ​​interest

Main Capital Partners focuses mainly on companies with a head office in the Netherlands. The record amount now raised will be invested in small or medium-sized software companies that are open to further improvement. ‘After organic growth, we will sell the interest after five or six years.’

Also read | SMEs are also affected by the deteriorated business climate

The company now has six billion euros under management, making it one of the larger private equity companies in the Netherlands. “There are many funds that are currently having a lot of difficulty, they cannot make exits,” Zwemstra indicates. For comparison: Main Capital Partners wants to sell seven companies in 2024, one more than last year. ‘If you build solid profitable companies, with predictable cash flow, there is always a market for it.’ The large institutional investors in particular are positive about this.

APG

For example, pension fund APG has made an investment in Main Capital Partners. “A breakthrough for us,” says Zwemstra. ‘They would like to invest more in innovative companies in the Netherlands, and we want that too. We have found a fantastic partner in APG.’

According to private equity company Main Capital Partners, the discussion surrounding ASML distracts attention from the real problems. (ANP / Rob Engelaar)

The article is in Dutch

Netherlands

Tags: Discussion ASML diverts attention real problems Netherlands

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