3i Group plc (“3i Group”) announces that it has agreed to invest c. £60m for a majority stake in A-Z Gartenhaus GmbH (“GartenHaus”), an online leader in garden homes, sheds, saunas, and related products in the DACH region. As part of the transaction, GartenHaus’ management team and board will also invest to become shareholders in the business.
GartenHaus offers garden houses, sheds, carports, terraces, saunas and other, often bulky, garden and home related products with garden houses being its core product category. The company focuses on the high-quality, mid-to-upper priced segment of the market and differentiates itself through product development, excellent customer service and the management of complex logistics to deliver and assemble its products which weigh on average more than 1,000 kg.
GartenHaus, headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, was founded in 2002 and is a pure eCommerce player. With the launch of its first online shop in 2009, GartenHaus has been the pioneer in selling garden homes directly to consumers. With around 75 employees, the company combines specialist trade product know-how with digital competence and offers a one-stop shop for customers, from planning to realisation and maintenance of garden and home projects.
The company benefits from direct interaction with its customers along the complete project journey with a high level of SEO website traffic as a result of its strong content. Driven by a further shift towards online and the increasing popularity of gardening and leisure trends, the relevant home and garden market is expected to grow by more than 10 percent per year going forward while online penetration is expected to double by 2025.
Peter Wirtz, Partner, 3i, commented: “For us, GartenHaus is a highly attractive investment opportunity. It is a niche market player with strong digital capabilities which is benefitting from the shift to online. We see GartenHaus as a nucleus to establish the online champion for home and garden projects across Europe. The key focus is to expand the product range into adjacent categories, as well as to internationalise the business by expanding into neighbouring countries such as the UK, France, Scandinavia and the Netherlands which have fragmented markets and similar product trends.”
Sebastian Arendt, CEO, GartenHaus added: “3i has a great reputation for helping its companies to grow internationally and we are excited to partner with its team at this point in our journey. The 3i team has a strong network, excellent digital capabilities and a strong track record in the consumer retail space, all of which will be of great benefit to GartenHaus.”