Make it fly: continued growth with new generation

  • PMV Corporate loans
  • Acquisitions
  • Growth

We continue to follow up files after an investment and meet regularly. We are long-term partners.

Bart Van Hoe, senior investment manager at PMV

At Make it fly, two brothers are taking over the helm from their mother after a quarter-century. PMV helped facilitate the generational change and is now ready to assist the digital services group in their growth ambitions.

When entrepreneur VĂ©ronique Dugardyn started her business 25 years ago, she never dreamed that a quarter of a century later she would be handing it over to her two sons, Mathieu and Laurent Cardinael. “The internet was still new and unknown, something revolutionary. The digitisation of companies was completely non-existent back then. The start-up was pioneering. It was the beginning of the digital era,” Dugardyn looks back today. Recently, the second generation took the reins, Mathieu as CEO and Laurent as CFO. “Mathieu has a background in IT and Laurent is financially skilled, but for me they were mainly two men I could rely on,” Dugardyn tells the story of how her sons have grown from trainees to the new stalwarts.

Open dialogue

With that, the generational change is a fact. “At some point we sat down together, including our daughter, and started an open dialogue. That went smoothly, very transparent and honest,” says Dugardyn. A generational change is not easy financially either, especially if there are ambitious growth plans on top of that, as is the case with the Cardinael brothers. At Make it fly, everything finally fell into place by joining forces with capital investor Green Park Investment Partners, with whom there was a good match. That investor already had good experience with PMV and suggested bringing PMV on board.

Mezzanine loan

In the generation change, PMV played a crucial role by providing a so-called mezzanine loan. Bart Van Hoe, senior investment manager at PMV: “That’s a subordinated loan, which means that we come after the banks as creditors. In se we take almost the same risk as the shareholders this way, only we don’t get any control over the company. That remains entirely with the shareholders. PMV thus provided the missing link to complete the generational switch to the two sons. “We were really looking for such a party,” says one half of the new top duo. “PMV offers additional flexibility on top of bank financing and is a patient investor in good times and bad. Plus, we feel supported. They believe in us. That gives a different relationship than with the bank,” adds the other half.


A thorny issue, of course, was valuation. “An accurate valuation had to be done so that we would pay a market price. That is only right, also towards our sister,” Mathieu Cardinael said. “The preparatory work is crucial. And you need the right people. Tax experts, lawyers, our advisory board. All of them worked on our file,” the former Make it fly top woman says. “Setting up that advisory board, which was created years ago, was a crucial choice,” Van Hoe assesses. “Whether you work with external funders is a family choice. Above all, we stress the need to be surrounded when making decisions. And we like to break a lance for good corporate governance.” Laurent Cardinael, as CFO, can testify that a lot of reporting is expected. “It took some adjusting, but it did help bring more structure to the company. Thanks to our funders, we have come to new insights.”


With the generational change behind us, calm is not returning to the company. On the contrary. Mathieu Cardinael: “Very soon after PMV came on board, we made our first acquisition. PMV played a nice role in that. They really assist us in our buy-and-build strategy.” Van Hoe: “We continue to follow up files after an investment and sit down together regularly. We are long-term partners. In the case of Make it fly, we believe in their business model and their roadmap. We think they can become an important player in a consolidating sector. And we are happy to help anchor a beautiful family business locally.”

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