Growing Big by Staying Small
Den Breejen’s origins reach back to the year 1952. Together with J. de Wit, Wim den Breejen started a local painting company in Sliedrecht called Schildersbedrijf W. den Breejen. At the time, the De Wit family had worked in the painting business since the start of the 20th century, which means that Den Breejen currently has over 100 years’ worth of experience to build on. In 1952, house painting was the main activity. In that year, the number of employees counted just five craftsmen.
In 1955, Den Breejen took on the first assignment for Engine Repair and Shipyard P. van Bennekum in Sliedrecht, also known as the Deltawerf. In addition to painting houses, Den Breejen increasingly focused on the conservation of small vessels.
From 1960 onwards, Den Breejen saw regional growth thanks to assignments from several local clients, including the Damen Brothers Shipyards Hardinxveld, founded in 1955. This company would later grow into the global family business Damen Shipyards in Gorinchem. Starting with the first job as a subcontractor right up to the present-day, a strong partnership has been forged with the Damen family. The strength of this partnership has increased steadily over the years.
In 1965, the second generation joined the family business. Son Wim den Breejen started to work for the company, which consisted of seven employees at the time.
Two years later, son John joined his brother Wim at the Den Breejen company.
In 1975, Den Breejen started as a subcontractor for Damen in Gorinchem, where 20 Den Breejen paint specialists were at work.
Wim and John den Breejen became co-owners of the company.
In 1990, the second generation of the family took the helm of the company. Founder William den Breejen stepped down as a shareholder of the company and remained marginally involved with the business. Brothers John and Wim ran the company which employed a team of about 30 people at the time. Soon after, the first assignment is performed for Merwede Shipyard.
The first acquisition took place in 1994. The Rotterdam Sandblast Company (RZB) was fully encorporated in Den Breejen, and as a result, the range of activities, mainly in the field of sandblasting technology, greatly increased.
In the years following that first acquisition in 1994, and in addition to taking on paint work, Den Breejen focused mainly on the acquisition and procurement of new technology and knowledge. New facilities and equipment opened the way to a new era. Larger projects were taken on with confidence and completed with the utmost care and according to the highest standards.
2001 was an eventful year for Den Breejen. In the southwest of the Netherlands, Den Breejen Zeeland was established to work for the Royal Schelde Navy Department. In the same year, Den Breejen Romania was founded when the Den Breejen Group purchased paint shops at the Galati (RO) shipyard. To this day, SC Den Breejen Romania SRL remains a healthy, independent subsidiary of the Den Breejen Group, run by a young and motivated international team. In this year, the third Den Breejen generation joined the company.
In 2008, Den Breejen opened offices in Franeker, in the northern part of the Netherlands. In the same year, the Den Breejen offices relocated from Rivierdijk in Sliedrecht to the new premises at the Sportlaan in Sliedrecht.
In 2011, the acquisition of the Kortenoord Group took place. In the marketplace, this company was primarily known as Hillers Vacuum Cleaning and Hillers Maintenance Services.
National and international growth of Den Breejen continues at a steady pace. In addition to strong internal growth, another acquisition took place in 2012 when Schildersbedrijf Midden-Nederland In Tiel also became part of the Den Breejen Group.