Investor Tilleghem steps into DKM Customs

DKM, a leading specialist in customs formalities, is starting a partnership with Tilleghem. CEO and shareholder Luc De Kerf, who has already managed a nice growth trajectory in recent years, remains on board as a significant shareholder. Together with Tilleghem, both further internationalization and external growth through acquisitions will be high on the agenda.

DKM is an independent specialist in customs formalities headquartered in (the port of) Antwerp. The years of expertise, the solid team of already c. 60 employees and the progressive focus on digitalization make DKM unique within the industry.

CEO Luc De Kerf: "The international flow of goods continues to increase and customs formalities are becoming increasingly complex. New codes are constantly being added, the formalities differ per country and then there are of course evolutions such as Brexit. Thanks to its years of expertise and extensive digitalization, DKM is perfectly placed to relieve its customers of their worries. As a customer it is impossible to keep up with the continuous changes. The investments in our systems also ensure that we maintain very strict quality controls internally."

The group handles some 120,000 customs documents a year for forwarders and corporate clients, among others. In addition to customs formalities, the team also advises on the optimization of international flows of goods and VAT regulations.

"From the first meeting, we were impressed by Luc's entrepreneurship. His knowledge and drive, but certainly also his love for IT/systems, have given the group a very unique position," said Joachim, Partner Tilleghem.

Along with Luc, the 4 managers are now also stepping on board (in capital), ensuring the future.

"From Tilleghem we will support the team in further international growth. That way we can also serve current customers in additional regions. But buy & build is also high on the agenda. There are still many smaller players in this market for whom joining the group would be a big step forward. After all, the necessary investments in IT/systems and structure have already been made at DKM," says Lieselot, Partner Tilleghem.

"In early 2024, the first steps were taken in the Netherlands, a market double the size of the Belgian one. We also expect a lot from this," Joachim said.

The sellers were assisted by BlueBridge for this transaction. Tilleghem was advised by Ace Law.