Reuver, April 2021 – Archive-IT is proud to announce that through an acquisition by Paul de Meulemeester and the Dutch investment company FIELDS Group a new step towards realising future proof growth is being taken. Successful entrepreneur Joan Westendorff will hand over the baton. The incumbent COO Paul de Meulemeester will take up the role of CEO and continue to lead Archive-IT in its international growth ambitions.
Archive-IT is a major player in the archiving market, both physically and digitally. Paul de Meulemeester has been leading the company as COO for over three years and can now proudly call himself owner. "Over the past three years I have enjoyed leading an enthusiastic, internationally operating team and, together with Joan Westendorff, I have been able to give Archive-IT a new direction. The step to take over Archive-IT together with FIELDS Group fits perfectly with the ambitions of both our organisation and mine personally. I am therefore very much looking forward to the future!"
Future international growth
Archive-IT expects to grow further in the coming years, especially abroad. "We see an active market movement in France and Germany regarding digitisation and outsourcing of archives. With our fast growing French operation and a completely new archiving location in Germany (expected to be ready just after the summer of this year), we expect to be able to take full advantage of this trend," said Paul de Meulemeester. The Dutch and Belgian markets also still offer plenty of opportunities, according to De Meulemeester: "In the Netherlands we can create even more value for our customers with new software developments in the field of digital archiving and innovative services - aimed at the enrichment of unstructured data ('data vitalisation'). In addition, we have recently seen the first interest in digital archiving projects in Belgium as well."
Saying goodbye with pride
Joan Westendorff, who founded Archive-IT in 2004 based on his experience with Jalema, a well-known manufacturer of file folders and other archive and office supplies, proudly says goodbye: "I have enjoyed watching Archive-IT develop into an independent and distinctive player in the archiving market with an international footprint. Now the time has come to hand over the baton. I am therefore closing the book Archive-IT (in an earlier stage called I-FourC) and am opening a new book. It will be a book about real estate, development aid and helping entrepreneurs to set up a new business. What's nice about this is that I will keep a link with Archive-IT because I will be able to supervise and finance the construction of a new large archive hall just across the border in the German neighbouring community of Bruggen-Bracht."
Besides organic growth, Archive-IT is also looking to accelerate its growth through acquisitions. Rutger Alberink of FIELDS Group: "In Germany and France in particular we see a still very fragmented market for archiving specialists. In the event of an acquisition we expect to be able to immediately create additional value for customers in the acquired customer portfolio through Archive-IT's unique software solutions and data services."
In an increasingly global economy, it is becoming more important every day for Europe to cooperate even more and to break down the barriers to this cooperation. It has always been a dream of Paul to be (co-)owner and to be allowed to lead a European company that operates from several countries and that faces the challenge of making these different countries/cultures work well together. This dream is also reflected in the mission and vision of Archive-IT, in which the ambition is expressed to become the most complete and trusted archiving specialist in Western Europe within a few years.