VANERUM Group announces takeover of Danish SiS Functional Furniture a/s


Diest, Belgium ‐ VANERUM Group announces the acquisition of the SiS functional furniture a/s in Denmark. With this acquisition, VANERUM Group expands its offerings for what it calls i3 environments: interactive, integrated and inspiring solutions.

VANERUM Group is one of Europe's leading manufacturers of school furniture, static black‐ andwhiteboards, classroom technology and signage solutions. After successful negotiations, a definitive agreement has been reached to transition the former SiS production plants and sales organizations in Middelfart, Denmark to the VANERUM Group. With this transition, SiS will become a part of the VANERUM Group and a sister company to the existing VANERUM Scandinavia business unit in Odense.

SiS furniture Scandinavia

The value of the transition is not disclosed. VANERUM Group adds a turnover of 10 million euros bringing it to an estimated 75 million euro in 2012 and increasing the number of employees to approximately 410. The transition provides VANERUM Group with expanded market penetration in Scandinavia and increases the quality and scale of its services.

"It is my opinion that SiS was since a few years no longer in line with its previous owners." says Managing Director of SiS functional furniture a / s Søren K. Grønbæk, who returned to the company two months ago. "With this 'marriage' we become part of a family that has the same goals and intentions to be at the forefront of inspiring and creative learning environments."

VANERUM Group CEO Gert Van Erum: "The employees of SiS understand the challenges of today's education systems. And we know that the best tools only yield optimal results when backed by the skill, dedication, ideas and energy of inspired people. The SiS units add more than 100 years of experience to the organization, which will allow the entire VANERUM Group to better assess and evaluate the 21st century learning environment needs of its customers, help define their objectives and present solutions just right for them. The combination of the experienced team at SiS, with VANERUM Group's leading product portfolio and strong financial position provide an excellent platform for continued growth. "

The SiS organization is now one hundred percent owned by the VANERUM Group. With this takeover, VANERUM Group strengthens its market position in Scandinavia as well as will benefit from new logistical advantages.

VANERUM Group partners with capital investment group, Sofindev III

VANERUM Group partners with capital investment group, Sofindev III, to further support its international growth strategies.

To accelerate and support further international growth, Gert Van Erum, shareholder of the VANERUM Group, reached an agreement with Sofindev III for an entry into the capital of the group. Following this transaction, Sofindev III becomes shareholder of the VANERUM Group together with Gert Van Erum.

Sofindev - VANERUM

By partnering with Sofindev III, Gert Van Erum brings on board a strong financial and strategic partner. This will allow the VANERUM Group to accelerate the growth of its activities, in particular its unique i3 concept for educational environments, in new markets such as the United States, France and Scandinavia, and strengthens its position in the traditional markets of Belgium and the Netherlands.

Gert Van Erum, CEO VANERUM Group:
"The entry of Sofindev III in our capital is a milestone in the growth and development of the VANERUM Group. We are very pleased that we have been able to attract the right partner, with an attitude and vision to match the current needs and aspirations of our company. This was also the case in 2008 when the now outgoing minority shareholders came on board. "

Ghislain Thijs, Managing Partner Sofindev Management:
"Our goal is to work in a partnership with the management in order to further develop companies with a strong potential. We are very pleased to support and assist in the growth strategy of the VANERUM Group in this promising market segment."

Buyer and seller mutually agreed not to disclose information about the acquisition price.

VANERUM Group was advised by KBC Securities, Dumon, Sablon & Vanheeswijck and BDO. Sofindev III was advised by White & Case.

Assessment is essential

learning environments

“Too often, students have not learned as much or as well as was expected. There are gaps, sometimes considerable ones, between what was taught and what has been learned. By the time faculty notice these gaps in knowledge or understanding, it is frequently too late to remedy the problems.”

By Thomas A. Angelo and K. Patricia Cross”


We learn differently

"Group spaces for the future should be adequately sized and flexible enough to accommodate a wider range of users and various ways of learning."

Schools for the future. DfES. (2002)


Users differ both in physical terms, learning style, as well as in the way they use various technologies. Physical differences are clear. Children grow, some are more robust, have longer legs, some wear glasses... The furniture should be either adjustable within certain limits, or different sizes of furniture should be put in place. The theory of multiple intelligences (Howard Gardner) identifies a number of different learning styles.



The four stages of learning

Learning is Lifelong

The fast paced innovations in science and technology require people to learn to adapt quickly to novelties. This implies a lifelong learning process. The time that one left school with the right knowledge and skill set for a long and prosperous career is long gone. Now, school is more about graduating and immediately starting to go on further training. Platforms for lifelong learning will continue to become more important. This can take place in a school building, but also online through a specially constructed learning environment. When lifelong learning is integrated into an existing school, the latter must adapt to an different audience. Adults, for instance, have different expectations than children or young people.

Age 0-5 years: During this age group, a lot of learning takes place and it provides very important insight into learning as a foundation for future learning habits and resourcefulness. This is probably the age with the highest amount of informal learning as children imitate almost everything from parents, peers and their environment. Psychologists such as Sigmund Freud and other behavioral psychologists also show the importance of childhood learning and to them this stage affects all the other learning abilities later in life. Today in parts of Africa and the world over some children begin school as early as two years old, this also creates a base for appreciating formal and institutionalized learning.

lifelong learning

Bold, effective and transformative changes in the classroom

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School of One was created to generate bold, effective and transformative changes in the classroom to better meet the needs of today's students. Our first major engagement is a full-time math program in several New York City public middle schools. Read below to learn why — and how — School of One reimagines teaching and learning.