This article directly stems from the research process for our European single family office database. Our list of European single family offices includes the most important family investment vehicles that invest in various areas, such as financial markets, real estate, venture capital, private equity and renewables.
Where does the fortune of the Belgian Van Damme, De Spoelberch and De Mevius families come from?
The Belgian families Van Damme, De Spoelberch and De Mevius decided in 1987 to merge their family-owned breweries. Through the merger, the Interbrew company with strong brands like Leffe or Stella Artois arose. Interbrew is the precedessor of today’s largest brewery InBev. In 2018, Anheuser-Busch InBev had sales in the amount of $54.6B. The offsprings of the founder families are still holding large shares of the today stock-listed company. Their net worth is estimated at around €49.4B. This makes them Belgium’s richest family and one of the richest families in the world.
Development of the family company Anheuser-Busch InBev
After the brewery merger in 1987 Interbrew bought many different national and regional breweries to bolster its brand portfolio and increase its sales. Acquisitions include Diebels, Beck’s, the German Gilde Group, Serbian Apatinska pivara or the German Spaten-Löwenbräu group (e.g. Franziskaner beer). In 2000, the company was stock-listed. In 2004, the brewery group merged with the Brasilian Ambev company, In 2008, Inbev took over Anheuser-Busch which resulted in today’s name Anheuser-Busch-Inbev. Revenue grew by 4.8 percent last year to $54.6B. That makes them the world’s largest beer producer. The brand portfolio consists of globally known and strong brands like Corona, Leffe, Stella Artois, Becks or Franziskaner.
Is there a single family office of the Van Damme, De Spoelberch and De Mevius families?
There is no common single family office of all the three brewery families. Although the families are decreasing their share in Inbev, its still the largest component of their fortune. The Spoelberch family is furthermore investing with other HNWI families through the Cogepa investment firm. Cogepa is investing in growth capital investments and buy-out transactions like a typical private equity investor. Portfolio companies include Scalian, BioAgilytix or Staci. Three members of the de Spoelberch family are in the Cogepa’s board of directors: Grégoire de Spoelberch, Olivier de Spoelberch, and Philippe de Spoelberch. Furthermore, the de Spoelberch and De Mevius family run together the Belgian Verlinvest investment firm.
How do the family members of the Belgian brewery family invest?
As mentioned before, there are two mainly family-owned investment firms: Cogepa and Verlinvest. Cogepa is a multi-billion private equity investor. Portfolio companies are active in different industries. BioAgilytix is a bioanalytical testing compani. Scialian is an engineering consulting firm. Staci is a logistics firm. Verlinvest is also a private equity investor who invests in private and public companies with tickets ranging form €30M to €150M. Verlinvest’s portfolio company inlcude the US pet product retailer chewy.com or the water brand “Glaceau Vitamin Water”. Formerly, Verlinvest also owned G-Star Raw. Alexandre Van Damme, a Van Damme family member who is worth multiple billions, is holding shares of Brands International (Burger King), Kraft Heinz and shares of Jacobs Douwe Egberts (which is owned by the befriended Reimann family’s JAB Holding).
This article is part of our detailed report “The single family offices of Europe’s richest families“.
Picture source: mnm.all