However, the story to their success dates to 1993, when a young Dane named Jan Hoven visited AVK in Denmark. He lived in Johannesburg and, having seen some examples of the AVK Valves, he thought that the possibilities for selling them in South Africa would have massive potential, once the apartheid regime had ended. After 1994, Jan contacted a new company established by Jaque van der Merwe, and in this way AVK represented the South African market from the very moment when South Africa had a new government and Nelson Mandela became president.
Jaque was a skilful salesman and, when his company was taken over by Floquip Valves in Johannesburg, he continued as sales manager. AVK was introduced everywhere and in the following years, AVK valves was sold to the mining industry and waterworks. To be able to service the customers in the Cape province, Floquip established a sales company called Floquip Cape in Cape Town in 1996. This company became the sole distributor of AVK products in 1997.
At that time, the valves from AVK were the only ‘modern valves’ in the market and via the cooperation with the various operators, AVK had obtained a good reputation and a certain market penetration.
It was time to establish their own sales company, but where would they find good partners who wanted to join? AVK was not alone on the lookout in South Africa. In the wine producing area of Durbanville, near Cape Town, lived Basil Starke. Near the coast in Mossel Bay, lived Tjaart van der Walt. These two men shared a dream: to be successful suppliers to the water supply; they were on the lookout for someone who would want to take part in their dream.
Niels Aage went to South Africa with Jens Hedegaard, and they enjoyed the country, the nature and the wine..and they even planned to start an import of wines to Denmark!
The meeting with two potential partners went well, and AVK Valves Southern Africa Pty.Ltd, was established.
To celebrate the new company, a great banquet was held where prominent representatives from the South African society participated. Unfortunately, Nelson Mandela was unable to attend as he was attending a session at the UN at the same time.