A few key dates in the history of Derbigum, originally founded under the name Imperbel.
1932 : The founder members Francis Blake and Agnan de Goussencourt start the production of a waterproofing paste for roofs. The family company Imperbel is born.
1959 : Imperbel's activities develop rapidly with the commercialization of new products such as roofing membranes and cold adhesive. Imperbel progressively develops its Sales department and new export markets.
1973 : The company imports a first quality membrane from Italy : Derbigum®, its high technology is a revolution in the waterproofing industry. At the same time, the “PERFORMANCE” concept is launched, offering various services to roofers, enabling them to gain a high level of satisfaction among its end users.
1978 : In partnership with other European partners, Imperbel starts a Derbigum plant in Perwez. This production unit aims at optimizing and industrializing the membrane and its production. Four years later, the company acquires a controlling share in the factory.
1989-1993 : The company starts an Imperbel plant in Kansas City, USA in 1989. A few years later, in 1993 it buys Derbigum USA. During the same period the commercial activities in Italy are also put under the colours of Imperbel.
2000-2001 : in order to support its international activity growth, the group starts branch offices in Germany (2000), Switzerland, Romania and in Poland (2001).
2005 : Imperbel undertakes a series of reorganizations to further professionalize its activities. Changes occur also in the Top Management, with the implementation of a single management for the whole group and the arrival of two new directors: CEO André De Smet and CFO Johan Symoens.
2006 : The Imperbel group centralizes its administrative, financial and commercial services in Lot. Several commercial offices are grouped within the CISO (Central Integrated Sales Office). The same year, the company merges its two Belgian firms.
2007 : Derbigum Energies, a team dedicated to a unique and complete innovative concept on energy production and energy savings via the roof, is created. Thus Imperbel offers companies an ecological and economical all-in solution for energy efficient building management. Derbigum Energies is active in the whole of Europe, especially in Belgium, France, Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.
2008 : With a 110 million Euro consolidated turnover the group breaks all previous records. These satisfying financial results encourage Derbigum to further implement its “green” policy. Amongst other things the company has developed and branded a concept to recycle 100% of waste material into pure raw material. Nowadays 10% of the raw material used comes from recycled bitumen from old roofs. The objective is to increase this part to 50% by 2010.
2009 : Launch of a new logo and baseline to better reflect the new group activities. Roofing and waterproofing remain Derbigum’s core competence, but its expertise also evolves towards other parts and aspects of buildings. In the same year Derbigum introduces the NT–range (New Technology) and takes over the Norwegian roofing specialist Eurotak SA.
2010 : Derbigum starts a new business unit Maintenance and Repairs that answers the growing demand in maintenance of roofs where photovoltaic panels are installed. The world’s first Derbipure®, an entirely vegetal white waterproofing membrane is launched in the fall. In 2010 Derbigum also takes its recycling policy a step further. The company develops together with its distributors a unique system for cutting waste and for roof waste.
2011: Derbigum is the driving force behind PV-GUM, a European project for the development of new technologies for the production of low-cost photovoltaic thin-film membranes that can completely be integrated in the roof. The recycling policy is further developed both in Flanders and Wallonia.
2012: Derbigum acquires 100% of the shares of Hirler Vaeplan, the German specialist in high polymer EVA/VC terpolymer roofing membranes. This acquisition offers new perspectives for the further growth of Derbigum in Europe.
2014: Johan Symoens becomes CEO of the Group Derbigum. The strategy is adapted to better anticipate the changing market situations. Due to the changed market situation, Derbigum Energies was integrated into Derbigum Services.The presence in the Middle East is expanded by the opening of an office in Dubai.
2015: Derbigum takes over the company Euro’Etanche (Nantes, France) and integrates it into Derbigum Services. With this takeover Derbigum reinforces its position in the region of Nantes.In the same year Derbigum also acquires the company Buildsmart (Stockholm, Sweden), Derbigum’s exclusive distributor on the Swedish market. The company is renamed Derbigum Sverige.
2016: Derbigum’s presence on the South-African market is expanded and made permanent by the take-over of Tanaprox in Johannesburg. The activities are continued under the name of Derbit® South-Africa.