Effective from 10th November 2017, the shares of the Beltrami Group, an international natural stone wholesaler with sites in Belgium (Harelbeke and Bruges), the UK and France, have been transferred to the Brachot-Hermant Group. The transfer is said to promise to produce a stronger market position and an increase in scale both for Beltrami and Stoneasy.com and for Brachot. This attests to the continuity and on-going consolidation taking place in the natural stone and construction sector.
Two family holdings
Beltrami and Brachot-Hermant are both 100% family-held businesses. Each has existed for several decades and is active in the extraction, import, production and distribution of natural stone tiles and slabs.
Brachot-Hermant is still entirely in the hands of the Van Overberghe family. Beltrami was founded in 1986 by the Callewier family, which is now stepping out of the capital and transferring all shares to Brachot-Hermant. However, former owner Herwig Callewier is remaining active in his role as General Manager of Beltrami, and will also be responsible for the integration of the Group´s two British and six French sites. His son Bram Callewier continues to be responsible for the day-to-day management and for the further development of the B2B online division Stoneasy.com. The two are also joining Brachot’s executive committee in order to guarantee the continuity with customers, personnel and suppliers.
With the transfer of the Beltrami Group, Brachot-Hermant will have a fully vertically-integrated company, resulting in a consolidated annual turnover of 140 million EUR and 550 employees.
Beltrami, Stoneasy.com and Brachot will remain as distinct brand names in the market. The three brands complement one another and over the long term will reinforce each other on both the geographical and product levels. In the short term, one will work towards integration and expansion of the product line, in order to come to the market in 2018 with a uniform, clear and rich offer.
Consolidation in the sector
The transfer follows within the framework of the family succession at Beltrami. General Manager Herwig Callewier says: “A consolidation process has been going on for some time now in the natural stone sector, on both the supplier and the customer sides. As a wholesaler, we have to recognise this reality and adapt ourselves accordingly. Margins are becoming smaller, and there’s a need for a certain scale.”
Dirk Van Overberghe, General Manager of Brachot-Hermant adds: “It is our wish and ambition to further develop the proven formula for success of Beltrami and Stoneasy.com. Beltrami has a good market position, skilled and enthusiastic employees, a large customer base and reliable suppliers. With the new management, the Group will exploit new opportunities to further expand the market position of the Beltrami, Stoneasy.com and Brachot brands throughout Europe.”