ICFG Netherlands advised BigSpark on the sale of their company to Shatho, a PE firm

ICFG Netherlands (MatchPlan) was able to guide BigSpark through the sale of the company to Rotterdam-based Shatho Beheer. BigSpark is the publisher of some of the largest tech websites in the Netherlands with over 1.7 million unique users in nearly 3 million sessions each month. Shatho Beheer is an informal investor and also holds stakes in Senefelder Misset and F&L Media, also from Nijmegen. The latter is known for magazines such as iCreate, c’t and Auto Review.
Fifteen years ago Peter Geurts started his website about iPhone news out of hobbyism. With a focus on doing things just a little differently, the platform kept innovating and quickly distinguished itself from the competition. BigSpark grew into a leading organization with over 20 employees, including reviewers, journalists and developers, and with millions of loyal users. BigSpark has earned an excellent reputation as an online publisher of the latest developments in mobile tech, apps, games and devices. In addition, BigSpark provides targeted buying advice on smartphones, subscriptions and related services using their product and price comparators which are among the best in the market.

The Rotterdam-based investor Shatho Beheer will continue the initiated growth and promises to invest in the further growth of the reach and brand portfolio. Conversely, the investor hopes to learn from the team’s digital expertise. Interim director Marco van Veen will remain responsible for the day-to-day management.

Match Plan successfully assisted and advised the shareholders of BigSpark throughout the entire sales process. Amongst others, Match Plan has drafted the transaction documentation, approached the market, supervised the due diligence investigation and drafted and negotiated the contracts. On behalf of Match Plan Erik Smidt, Lucas Troelstra and Rens Knevels were involved as acquisition advisors.
The growth of BigSpark made Peter Geurts decide to transfer the company to a larger party:

“The growth of BigSpark into a scale-up brought challenges that I noticed more and more were less suited to me as a person and entrepreneur. I am immensely proud of what we have achieved with BigSpark. Our expertise in content, online marketing and technology is unique in the market. And with results: we play a meaningful role in increasing the digital well-being of a large group of users. This acquisition ensures that BigSpark can enter the next phase of growth.”
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