Tuesday, October 17, 2017 — Brussels. WDP from Wolvertem is the ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’ 2017. For the 23rd time in a row EY, in collaboration with De Tijd and BNP Paribas Fortis, organised the award for ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®. WDP defeated Armonea (Mechelen) and Euronav (Antwerp) and was presented with the award by Deputy Prime Minister Kris Peeters.

Property specialist WDP (Warehouses De Pauw) was established in 1971 and owns, develops and manages more than 3 million m2 of semi-industrial and logistical real estate, spread over more than 160 sites at logistics hubs in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France and Romania. WDP is the market leader in warehouse letting in Benelux. The company has been listed on Euronext Brussels since 1999, and also in Amsterdam since 2015. WDP achieved a turnover of 142 million euros in 2016 and employs 60 people. Deputy Prime Minister Kris Peeters, responsible for employment, the economy and consumers and in charge of foreign trade, presented the award to the CEOs of WDP, Tony De Pauw and Joost Uwents.

In the context of the award ceremony for the ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’, PlayPass won the ‘Prijs van de Vlaamse Regering voor de Beloftevolle Onderneming van het Jaar’ 2017. The other nominees were Awingu, Novatech International, StarMeal – The Foodmaker and Teamleader. Flemish Minister for Employment, the Economy and Innovation Philippe Muyters presented the award to David De Wever, CEO of PlayPass. PlayPass is the 12th laureate to receive this award and succeeds MediaGenix.

Software company PlayPass was established in 2012 and operates in 16 countries, spread over five continents. The company develops Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology for smart wristbands that can be used for access control, accreditation management, cashless payments, brand activation and social media at events such as festivals, concerts and sports events. Its main clients include Live Nation Belgium, Graspop and Sportpaleis Group. PlayPass employs 30 people and expects to achieve a turnover of 3.8 million euros in 2017.

An award for Belgian companies that distinguish themselves

EY has organised the ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’ award since 1995. The award highlights Belgian companies that distinguish themselves through their innovative approach, bold international vision, strategy, healthy financial position, dedicated teamwork, good governance, ambition and determination to continue to grow.

This is the 23rd time we’ve had the honour of presenting the ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’ award to a successful Belgian company that is an example of bold entrepreneurship. WDP fits perfectly into the already impressive series of laureates with its focus on quality and sustainability as core values. WDP is a pure player in the logistical property market that does not think so much in terms of yield, but in long-term solutions for its shareholders and clients. The exceptional combination of a listed company with a strong family character shapes the unique WDP DNA. In WDP, the jury has chosen a worthy bearer of the title ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®2017”, commented Patrick Rottiers, Country Managing Partner of EY Belgium.

WDP is the 23rd name on the impressive list of winners in recent years, along with Vyncke (2016), DEME (2015), Katoen Natie (2014), Willemen Groep (2013), La Lorraine Bakery Group (2012), Soudal (2011), Taminco (2010), Studio 100 (2009), Cartamundi (2008), Groep H. Essers (2007), Metris (2006), Option (2005), Deceuninck (2004), Miko (2003), Omega Pharma (2002), Resilux (2001), Melexis (2000), Sioen Industries (1999), Compex (1998), Icos Vision Systems (1997), ECA (1996) and Real Software (1995).

“The jury was very impressed by WDP’s consistent performance, the continuity of the family owned company and how it creates shareholder value. Entrepreneurship is in the company’s DNA, as it combines commercial activity with a brilliant can-do mentality. WDP has been able to adapt to the logistical challenges of the future by offering client oriented solutions in an intelligent way with an eye for innovation and sustainability. The company can also count on the active involvement of its Board of Directors, composed of a good balance of complementary knowledge and experience. The flat organisational structure combined with intrinsic entrepreneurship creates constant momentum. Finally, it is fully committed to innovation, delivering future-proof buildings, always with the client’s logistical activities, rather than real estate, as the starting-point, in order to create the optimal real estate solution. WDP doesn’t just create a building but builds a shell around the entire logistics process. That is why we selected WDP to be the ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’ 2017”, commented Michèle Sioen, president of the jury.

PlayPass voted young promising company

At the award ceremony for ‘Onderneming van het Jaar®’ 2017, the ‘Prijs van de Vlaamse Regering voor de Beloftevolle Onderneming van het Jaar’ 2017 was also presented. With this award, the Flemish Government aims to reward rapidly growing companies that are developing strongly for their performance and motivate them for the future. The jury chose PlayPass as the winner. The other finalists are Awingu, Novatech International, StarMeal – The Foodmaker and Teamleader.

“This young company is an example of the development of new digital business models based on existing competences that are present in the region: the cluster of concerts and events and the music business. The jury praises the company for its boldness in continuing to focus on its niche and roll it out globally, before diversifying its products and services into other sectors. The payment solutions that PlayPass offers have great growth potential, but of course technology evolves rapidly and this company will have to constantly continue to adapt. But the management is aware of that. Through this recognition, we want to encourage other entrepreneurs in Flanders to make their dream a reality, with a dose of realism and awareness that is often acquired in more traditional businesses. This makes PlayPass an excellent ambassador for new entrepreneurship in Flanders", said Geert Noels, president of the jury.