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Factsheet for measure BE-2006-1/2541 – measures in Belgium

SOWACCESS (Walloon company of merger/acquisition and closure/bankruptcy)

SOWACCESS (Société Wallone d’Acquisitions et Cessions d’Entreprises)

Country Belgium , applies regionally

Time period Open ended, started on 01 January 2006
Context Restructuring Support Instruments
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Reorientation of business activities
– Matching/networking
Author Dries Van Herreweghe (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 June 2022 (updated 10 November 2022)

Background information

A subsidiary of the SOWALFIN Group, SOWACCESS is the 'Société Wallonne d'Acquisitions et de Cessions d'Entreprise'. Their main role is to act as a neutral partner for company managers that are looking or undertaking either a transfer or acquisition project.

The service is available to all companies in Wallonia, with a focus on SMEs.

Content of measure

The platform aims to facilitate the matching of potential sellers and buyers of companies and to ensure the best possible 'fit' between supply and demand. A database provides anonymous vendors’ and buyers’ profiles on a website and in a newspaper. The platform’s administrators act as a filter (for examples as regards skills, expertise and available assets of potential buyers). It also includes an individualised search for counterparts performed for all profiles by the platform’s administrators. An annual flat fee is charged for use of this platform. An additional success fee for direct buyers/sellers also applies if matching occurred via the database. Advertisements are published for an unlimited duration but are checked every two months.

SOWACCESS also provides information and advice to the entrepreneur, pinpointing the importance of preparation and professional support during the transfer.

In early 2017, a new SOWACCESS network of officers was created to encourage business transfers in Wallonia. The main mission of these officers or 'agents' is to proactively detect and guide entrepreneurs wishing to (potentially) sell their business and to raise the awareness of Wallonia-based entrepreneurs about the importance of preparing early enough for the sale of their business. The network targets all the Walloon SMEs and more particularly companies with added high-value creation and/or employment and with a turnover higher than €500,000 and employ at least 5 FTE.

Use of measure

In 2018, 105 business transactions were facilitated by SOWACCESS. It resulted in 1,220 jobs were secured, 200 New acquisition opportunities were created for SOWACCESS' affiliated acquirers and 1,208 Contacts were made possible because of the SOWACCESS team.

During 2019, 2018 and 2017, SOWACCESS organised the 'Semaine de la transmission' (The week of business transfer). More than 65 events related to business transfer were organised by lawyers, accountants, sales and acquisition firms, auditors, banks, training centers, support structures. The aim was to provide clear answers to all the questions that citizens/entrepreneurs have about the sale or purchase of a business. In 2019, the Semaine de la transmission recorded 100 events for a total of 2,400 participants.

In 2020, 347 transactions were supported by SOWACCESS and their partners, of which nearly 300 for small and medium-sized companies with transaction values under €5 million. This has led to 6257 being secured through the transfer of businesses.

SOWACCESS facilitates the transfer of SMEs and thereby contributes to the continuity and the development of the local economic fabric. Because of these business transactions, jobs can be secured (for example 1,208 jobs in 2018).

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers SMEs
Other businesses
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Local / regional government
Regional funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions




Eurofound (2022), SOWACCESS (Walloon company of merger/acquisition and closure/bankruptcy), measure BE-2006-1/2541 (measures in Belgium), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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