Dutch tank builders join forces: Verwater SJR Group

Two leading specialists in tank building and maintenance will be joining forces as of 21 October: Verwater Group from Hoogvliet and SJR Group from Rotterdam. This merger brings together 160 years of experience in tank building and industrial services, but above all, it combines two highly complementary product and service portfolios. Thanks to the fusion of these two specialists, the new business will provide the most comprehensive range of services in tank storage, from new construction (both on-site and prefab) to maintenance in the ARA region. CEO Wichard Huigen put his signature to the contract on behalf of Verwater alongside that of Managing Director and owner Robert Sloot of SJR; the latter will become a Board member of the newly formed Verwater SJR Group.

Wichard Huigen explains his side of the story: ‘Thanks to the addition of SJR we are able to further reinforce our position on the Benelux market, as well as operating more effectively internationally. The new group is expected to achieve an annual turnover of more than €200m, with €170m coming from the Verwater Group and €30m from the SJR Group. Verwater serves its customers from businesses in the Netherlands, Belgium, the United States, Estonia and Singapore. The business is committed to operational power, diversification and innovation, and joining forces with SJR fits in perfectly with this strategy. SJR stands out by virtue of innovative power and highly efficient tank construction. Our corporate cultures are very similar, something we have noticed during our joint projects in the recent past, and this is also key. Ultimately, this will make us an even more sought-after partner and employer as well as a popular supplier’.

Robert Sloot confirms this view: ‘SJR Group has gone through a turbulent period of development in recent years, and we have great plans. By joining forces with Verwater we will be better placed to realise these ambitious and innovative goals. We have found our dream partner in Verwater, because they are strong in process-wise tank maintenance as well as structured project management, and provide an extensive package of services. Together we will be able to meet any demand. There really will be no other party that can provide our breadth of scope. I am therefore more than eager to start working on this complete portfolio with a wonderful team of professionals’.

Although Huigen shares the enthusiasm of his new colleague, he also puts the expectations in perspective: ‘I am also very eager to get started, but patience and accuracy are called for, especially in the current situation. This means that our personnel, customers and suppliers will notice very few changes in the immediate future. There are still many matters that need to be attended to, and we intend to take our time; this intensive integration pathway only needs to be finalised in the course of 2021. This is neither a small nor an easy exercise, and we will not allow ourselves to be hurried by anyone or anything. We will be making well-founded decisions in the coming months, not least about our accommodation. This is inevitable; after all our human capital is going to exceed 1,000 employees. Having said that, I am very keen to get started, and as the European specialist in tank building and maintenance, we are definitely going to make our mark!’

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