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Experiences

“To Nimbus a new project is a new hobby”

Marius Jonkhart, tasked with the privatisation of NOB

In the late nineteen eighties, the Dutch state owned broadcasting company NOS decided to set apart its facilities activities into a separate corporation.

The dowry that the NOB received in the shape of hardware and financial backup was substantial, but the state the company was in, was worrying. Former minister Gerrit Zalm commissioned Marius Jonkhart to lead the denationalisation:

“What I discovered was quite startling: on paper the company was already bankrupt. The audit report mentioned that the business was out of control, which was completely true. We took off and separated NOB into several smaller companies, sold the real estate and parted with a third of the people. After that we sold all foreign activities to United Broadcasting Facilities. The main cluster we kept was Dutchview. We weren’t able to sell it to the competition and foreign companies were not interested. Nimbus turned out to be the only party to meet our demands: a sturdy bunch with a firm grip on the situation, who placed their own people into Dutchview and had enough resources. I saw them at Dutchview almost around the clock. Nimbus is their own company and they take great pride in showing the world how things should be done the right way.

I had several firm discussions with Nimbus about the best way to approach the matter. Finally we tossed a coin: if their plans would turn out to be right, parts of the buying sum would be dropped. If I would be right, the price would stay the same. How many people are willing to take a risk like that?”

Today, Dutchview is a very successful and solid company.