Smile Invest invests in Microflor, global leader in breeding and propagation of orchids

Smile Invest recently acquired a substantial minority stake in Microflor alongside the family Floré, who remains on board as a majority shareholder. This is the fourth investment of Smile Invest in the last twelve months following earlier investments in SmartSD, Rovers Medical Devices and Oldelft Ultrasound. Smile Invest’s portfolio now consists of four innovative growth companies based in the Benelux that are leaders in their respective markets.

Microflor is active in breeding and propagation of tropical plants with a focus on Phalaenopsis orchids. Over the past 30 years, Microflor has grown into a global top 3 player in breeding, propagation and acclimatization of orchids, the largest ornamental plant variety in the world. The company has unique expertise in in-vitro propagation and breeding technologies that resulted in an extensive proprietary plant genetics portfolio of over 160 commercially available varieties and over 1,000 varieties under development. The company is headquartered in Lochristi, Belgium, and operates state-of-the-art labs and production facilities in Belgium and Slovakia from which it delivers young plants across Europe and the Americas.

The horticulture market is changing considerably driven by trends such as higher technology standards, economies of scale triggering consolidation, shift to mass-retail sales channels, and increasing demand from emerging markets. Microflor has developed an ambitious growth strategy to benefit from the changing market environment and therefore chose to attract an experienced partner with whom to realize this ambition.

Febe Floré, CEO of Microflor is enthusiastic about the partnership with Smile Invest and the future of the company: “After exploring various scenarios with our advisor Oaklins, we are delighted to welcome Smile Invest as our new partner in Microflor and are excited about the future direction of the business. We have found a partner with entrepreneurial spirit, a focus on long term value creation, an experienced team and a good fit with our family values. With Smile Invest we now also have the experience on board to actively pursue acquisition opportunities and leverage our expertise in in-vitro propagation and breeding technology.”

Thomas Dewever, managing partner at Smile Invest adds: “We are enthusiastic about the growth prospects of Microflor in a consolidating market and are especially impressed by the track record of the management team. Over the years Microflor has developed a unique and broad portfolio of orchid varieties to serve their customers in Europe and the Americas. The company is a real innovator in in-vitro propagation and breeding technology. The specialist know-how and expertise in this family-owned business is truly unique and forms a strong basis from which to further grow the business globally. This investment is a perfect fit for Smile Invest given our focus on innovative, ambitious market leaders with strong technical capabilities.”

About Smile Invest:

Smile Invest (Smart Money for Innovation Leaders) is a European evergreen investment firm with €350 million assets under management, financed by 40 entrepreneurial families and with a long term focus on innovative growth companies. Smile Invest focuses on companies active in technology, healthcare and innovative consumer markets. From its offices in Leuven and The Hague the team supports ambitious entrepreneurs and management teams in realising their growth plans.

Contact Smile Invest:
Thomas Dewever, Managing Partner • thomas.dewever@smile-invest.com • +32 476 42 35 82