DE BACKER and RODANAR Join Forces to Form ‘RDB Pallets’
“Together we are strong” is a motto that rings true for De Backer and Rodanar. This September, De Backer, the subsidiary of the French group Palettes Gestion Services or PGS, and Rodanar, announced the formation of “RDB Pallets,” a joint venture that creates a new leader in the Belgian wood packaging industry. It will provide employment for 120 people and generate an annual turnover of €60 million, with an annual capacity of 10 million pallets rolling off 14 production lines. RDB Pallets is intent on expanding its activities beyond Belgium’s borders, particularly in France, the Netherlands, and Germany, as well as in the United Kingdom where there is a significant shortage of pallet wood.
Through this alliance, De Backer en Rodanar will be able to market and expand their offer and services by relying on their two most important production sites in Poperinge and Snaaskerke-Gistel. The two companies plan to extend their range of services to the collection, repair and marketing of second-hand pallets.
The ultimate aim behind the joint venture is to continue to provide outstanding service to their respective customers.
“Our goal is to develop synergies so as to be able to provide new services to our customers, who will benefit from the substantial added value created by pooling the expertise and security of two reputable and appreciated manufacturers,” says Luc Gruwet, managing director of Rodanar. “Together with the PGS Group, we stand guarantee for a full, diversified and internationally-oriented offer that will enable us to cater to customers throughout Europe and the world.”
“The unexpected alliance by and between De Backer and Rodanar is unprecedented in the Belgian pallet industry,” concurs Thomas Cappoen, who will manage RDB Pallets together with Luc Grauwet. “Belgium has enormous potential for growth. De Backer has registered 16 percent growth in the first ten months of the financial year, and Rodanar has posted equally impressive figures, with 17 percent growth. We are convinced that together we can give our growth ambitions a further boost.”
Finally, for Jean-Louis Louvel, President and Founder of the PGS Group (De Backer’s parent company), the alliance between PGS and Rodanar is but a first step: “Together with Luc and his team and the DE BACKER team, we will pool our resources and experience to set up a joint structure for further development and growth in Belgium. Our plans include the opening of an additional production site for pallets in eastern Belgium.”
The synergy with Rodanar is moreover in line with the PGS Group’s international growth strategy, namely “to be able to rely on an extensive European network of production and repair sites and to capitalise to the utmost on Belgium’s strategic location to export pallets to the Middle East, Africa, and Asia,” explains Michael Modugno, Vice-President and co-founder of the PGS Group, in charge of international development.
Established in 1993, the PGS Group (Palettes Gestion Services) is the market leader in new and recycled wood-fibre pallets and sawn pallet wood. Its complete offer and international orientation make PGS a major logistics partner in the packaging sector. With a current workforce of more than 1200 employees, PGS will generate a consolidated turnover of more than €200 million in 2014 (€166.3 million in 2013). It boasts 6 sawmills, 13 production sites for pallets and 28 centres for repairs, and an annual production of 280,000 m² of sawn pallet wood, 18.6 million new pallets and 4 million recycled pallets. PGS has branches in France, Belgium, Spain, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates