Nordic Surface Group acquires MPA Måleri

Litorina

Nordic Surface Group (NSG) continues its expansion through a partnership with MPA Måleri AB. With the acquisition, NSG strengthens its position in the surface service market around Västerås and Mälardalen. MPA Måleri AB was founded in 1986 and has about 35 employees.

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We welcome MPA Måleri AB and strengthen our position in Mälardalen with high competence. MPA has always been the preferred choice for us in the region. With this acquisition, we take further steps towards our goal of becoming the leading surface service provider in Sweden.” says Jonas Danielsson, CEO of Nordic Surface Group.

For further information, please contact:

Jonas Danielsson, +46 70 910 76 34, CEO, Nordic Surface Group

Nordic Surface Group, formed in 2020, is the second largest surface service provider in Sweden. The group has sales of SEK 1 billion and employs more than 800 people in southern Sweden, Stockholm and Mälardalen. Today’s group consists of Stoby Måleri (founded in 1969, based in Hässleholm), Ekbladhs Måleri (founded in 1967, based in Landskrona), Bruske Måleri (founded in 1936, based in Stockholm), Målerimetoder (founded in 1984, based in Stockholm, Vaksala Måleri (founded in 2006, based in Uppsala), B Krafft Måleri (more than 100 years of history, based in Örebro) and MPA Måleri (founded in 1986, based in Västerås).

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H.I.G. Capital Sells RGIB’s Bathroom Furniture Division to Roca

H.I.G. Europe

MADRID – January 20, 2021 –  H.I.G. Capital, (“H.I.G.”), a leading global private equity investment firm with over €35 billion of equity capital under management, and the Royo family have entered into an agreement to sell the bathroom furniture division of RG International Bathroom (“RGIB or the “Company”) to Roca Sanitario, S.A. The Royo family will retain a minority stake in the division. Both H.I.G. and the Royo family will continue as shareholders of the shower tray business of RGIB, operating under the Fiora brand.

H.I.G. partnered with the Royo family in December 2016 and has achieved a number of important milestones, including:

  • Developing a new factory and brand in Poland (Maximus) that contributed to strengthening the leading position that RGIB already had in the Polish market under the Elita brand
  • Entering new segments, channels and countries; one of the most relevant achievements was the entry into the DIY channel in Germany where RGIB is now a leading player
  • Consolidating RGIB’s leading position in Spain and France, where the group has grown its distribution network to more than 5,000 points of sale
  • Launching Amizuva, an exclusive brand that targets the online channel
  • Increasing RGIB´s revenues by over 50%

The Royo family and H.I.G. will retain ownership of Fiora and will continue to strengthen the Company’s innovation, design and product development capabilities in order to consolidate Flora’s leading position in the European premium shower trays segment. The shareholders will also focus on further expanding Fiora’s international footprint beyond the 30 countries where it is currently present through its widespread distribution network and its customer service team.

Raul Royo, CEO of RGIB, stated: “We would like to thank H.I.G.for their support over the past four years, which has allowed us to strengthen our leading position in Europe. The agreement with Roca, a global leader in the bathroom sector, will help us enhance our state-of-the-art business, with almost 150 years of combined experience in the sector between the two families.”

Jaime Bergel, Managing Director of H.I.G. Spain commented: “We are very pleased with the success of this investment, which proves our capabilities in the Spanish market. Together with the Royo family, we have positioned RGIB as one of the leading companies in the bathroom sector in Europe, and we will continue supporting Fiora to consolidate its leadership in the European market.”

The deal is subject to approval by antitrust authorities in some European markets.

About RGIB
RG International Bathroom, founded more than 45 years ago by Pascual Royo, is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of bathroom products, mainly focused on furniture and resin shower trays. The group has factories in Valencia, Nájera and Poland and operates on five continents under the brands Royo, Elita, Maximus and Fiora. RGIB has an annual turnover of more than €110 million and employs more than 1,000 professionals.

About Roca Group
Roca Sanitario is dedicated to the design, production and marketing of bathroom products, as well as ceramic floor and wall tiles for architecture, construction and interior design. The family-owned Spanish group is the market leader in Europe, Latin America, India and Russia. It also has a strong presence in China and the rest of Asia, the Middle East, Australia and Africa. It is the international leader in the field.

About H.I.G. Capital
H.I.G. is a leading global private equity and alternative assets investment firm with over €35 billion of equity capital under management.* Based in Miami, and with offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta in the U.S., as well as international affiliate offices in London, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Bogotá, H.I.G. specializes in providing both debt and equity capital to small and mid-sized companies, utilizing a flexible and operationally focused/value-added approach:

  1. H.I.G.’s equity funds invest in management buyouts, recapitalizations and corporate carve-outs of both profitable as well as underperforming manufacturing and service businesses.
  2. H.I.G.’s debt funds invest in senior, unitranche and junior debt financing to companies across the size spectrum, both on a primary (direct origination) basis, as well as in the secondary markets. H.I.G. is also a leading CLO manager, through its WhiteHorse family of vehicles, and manages a publicly traded BDC, WhiteHorse Finance.
  3. H.I.G.’s real estate funds invest in value-added properties, which can benefit from improved asset management practices.

Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 300 companies worldwide. The firm’s current portfolio includes more than 100 companies with combined sales in excess of  €27 billion. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at www.higcapital.com.

* Based on total commitments managed by H.I.G. Capital and affiliates.

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Smartphone photo book sensation Once Upon sets out to conquer new markets with Verdane

Verdane Capital

Verdane, the Northern European specialist growth investor, has announced its investment in Once Upon Publishing AB, the leading app for making and designing photo books on smartphones. Once Upon is based in Skellefteå, Sweden, and operates across Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The company will draw on Verdane’s digital consumer investment experience to support its international expansion and product development. Once Upon reached a turnover of SEK75m in 2020, with closer to 2 million app downloads since launching in 2017. 

In addition to Verdane, which brings experience from investing in companies such as Boozt, Desenio, EasyPark and MatHem, Once Upon will continue to be supported by its existing investor Spintop Ventures.

“Many people today are overwhelmed with the number of photos on their phones and are looking for ways to turn them into curated memories and keepsakes. Our easy way to create stylish photo books on-the-go has found a strong following among busy parents who want to eternalise all those special moments but have little time. The Once Upon app guarantees that anyone can create a beautiful book with sleek Scandinavian design in as little as 20 minutes,” says Lina Andersson, CEO at Once Upon.

Once Upon was founded after Lina realised she didn’t have any printed photo memories of her daughter Sally, and felt that the user experience of existing photo printing services was unnecessarily complicated and time-consuming for a busy mother of three. Together with co-founders Johan Schiller and North Kingdom, the digital design agency, Lina set out to build the world’s number one brand for memories.

 

“We are very happy to welcome Once Upon to the Verdane family.  We have been following their journey over the last two years and are impressed by how they have built a fast-growing brand adored by their customers.  Equally inspiring is their team, who are obsessed with creating a seamless user experience with a proud Scandinavian footprint. This is exactly the sort of journey that we at Verdane are excited to be a part of, and we look forward to supporting them as they expand to new markets,” says Jakob Tolleryd, Partner at Verdane.

Once Upon is headquartered in Skellefteå, in northern Sweden, and currently has 25 employees, a number the company expects to double in the next 12 months. The company is proud of its Northern heritage and is committed to making Once Upon one of the best workplaces in its region.

“Once Upon has built a strong culture of innovation and co-creation that really stands out. It’s inspiring to see how every team member is empowered  to make decisions and the way innovation happens all around the company. It’s been a joy to watch this passionate team evolve, and we’re excited about the things to come,” says Sami Niemi, Partner at Spintop Ventures, who has been an investor in Once Upon since 2019 and also participated in this transaction.

 

About Once Upon

Once Upon is the easy way to turn your precious memories into well-designed photo books. Our vision is to celebrate life and spread happiness through making everyone’s memories shine. We’re based in the far North of Sweden and we have shipped worldwide to 87 countries. Our app has about 2 million downloads and is available in 12 languages.

 

About Verdane

Verdane is a specialist growth equity investment firm that partners with ambitious Northern European tech-enabled businesses to help them reach the next stage of international growth. Verdane pioneered portfolio acquisitions in Northern Europe in 2003, and announced a complementary fund strategy entirely dedicated to direct investments in 2018. Verdane’s eight funds hold €2.1bn in total commitments and have made over 120 investments into category leaders in digital consumer, energy & resource efficiency and software businesses. Verdane’s team of 62, based in Berlin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, London, Oslo and Stockholm, is dedicated to being the preferred growth partner to tech-enabled businesses in Northern Europe. www.verdane.com

 

About Spintop Ventures

Spintop Ventures is a Swedish early-stage Venture Capital company investing in Nordic software enabling technology companies. Spintop, started in 2009, is backed by the European Investment Fund, Saminvest, Sitra and many high-profile tech entrepreneurs and is currently investing from Spintop’s third fund. Spintop has a sustainable ESG investment agenda for its funds and portfolio companies.

Further information at www.spintopventures.com

 

Press contacts

Lina Andersson, CEO
Once Upon
lina@onceupon.se
+46 70 229 11 13

Jakob Tolleryd, Partner
Verdane
jakob.tolleryd@verdane.com
+46 70 964 23 80

Sami Niemi, Partner
Spintop Ventures
sami.niemi@spintopventures.com
+46 73 38 26 736

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Litorina invests in Nordic Surface Group

Litorina

  • Litorina, together with Bragnum Invest, enters into a partnership with Nordic Surface Group, a leading surface service provider in Sweden
  • The group consists of six local market leaders offering painting and other surface services such as flooring, tiling and facade finishing
  • Litorina and Bragnum Invest will support Nordic Surface Group’s management and local entrepreneurs, who remain as significant co-owners, in accelerating growth and in the continued market consolidation
NSG

Nordic Surface Group (NSG), formed by Capillar Equity, is the second largest surface service provider in Sweden. The group consists of six regionally leading companies with driven entrepreneurs and strong local brands. NSG serves both large and small customers within painting and other surface services such as flooring, tiling and facade finishing. The group has sales of SEK 1 billion and employs more than 800 people in central and southern Sweden.

“We are impressed by the market leading companies forming Nordic Surface Group and look forward to support management and the entrepreneurs with their goal to become a nationwide champion consisting of local market leaders offering competitive surface services to their customers. In partnership with management and the local entrepreneurs, our clear focus will be on accelerating growth and continue the consolidation in a fragmented market”, says Mattias Letmark, Partner at Litorina.

Litorina’s investment is made in partnership with Bragnum Invest, which has significant expertise from the building service industry. Per Leopoldsson and Petter Håkanson, with relevant backgrounds from various roles within Bravida, Instalco and Assemblin, will remain on the new board of directors together with Litorina and Bragnum Invest.

“The NSG team is excited to partner up with Litorina and Bragnum, that together bring significant industry knowledge and the financial resources needed to facilitate our rapid and profitable expansion journey in becoming the industry’s leading business partner and employer.”, says Jonas Danielsson, CEO of Nordic Surface Group.

The transaction is subject to competition authority approval and is expected to close in Q1 2021.

For further information, please contact:

Jonas Danielsson, +46 70 910 76 34, CEO, Nordic Surface Group
Paul Steene, +46 70 931 03 32, Partner, Litorina V Advisor
Mattias Letmark, +46 70 757 54 09, Partner, Litorina V Advisor
Lars Österberg, +46 70 277 23 10, Partner, Bragnum Invest

Nordic Surface Group, formed in 2020, is the second largest surface service provider in Sweden. The group has sales of SEK 1 billion and employs more than 800 people in southern Sweden, Stockholm and Mälardalen. Today’s group consists of Stoby Måleri (founded in 1969, based in Hässleholm and present in 12 cities in southern Sweden), Ekbladhs Måleri (founded in 1967, based in Landskrona), Bruske Måleri (founded in 1936, based in Stockholm), Målerimetoder (founded in 1984, based in Stockholm, Vaksala Måleri (founded in 2006, based in Uppsala) and B Krafft Måleri (more than 100 years of history, based in Örebro).

Litorina, founded in 1998, invests in niche market leading companies with headquarters in the Nordics. Litorina partners with management teams and entrepreneurs that want to take their companies to full potential. Litorina aims to build larger, better and more sustainable companies by contributing relevant experience, knowledge, passion and resources to accelerate growth. For more information, please visit www.litorina.se.

Bragnum Invest is a Swedish-based investment firm focused on investing in Nordic small and medium-sized companies. The focus lies on creating significant and lasting values through a clear agenda and strong collaboration with other owners and key employees. The team has significant experience from the building service industry.

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WallVision expands into designer rugs through the acquisition of Pappelina

Litorina

WallVision Group, a European leader in the premium wallpaper market, expands into designer rugs through the acquisition of Pappelina – crafted with love and pride in Sweden.

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WallVision takes another important step to transform the group into a leader in the premium interior decoration sector with focus on creating strong brands.

After the acquisition, WallVision with its House of Brands strategy, now consists of five strong interior design brands: Boråstapeter, Cole & Son, Wall&decò, Perswall and Pappelina. In addition to wallcovering, where the group has its roots, WallVision offers home furniture textile, cushions, and with the acquisition of Pappelina now also rugs. All with amazing design, high quality, and stellar customer service.

With the inclusion of the premium brand Pappelina, WallVision further expands its strong market position and takes another step to become a European leader in interior decoration, and it constitutes a significant opportunity for both parties. Pappelina have shown profitable growth since it was founded in 1999. CEO of WallVision Olle Svensk explains:

I am really excited to have Pappelina in the WallVision Group, it is a brand-driven company with all the ingredients we look for; a premium position, an international foot-print with 80% of the revenue outside Sweden, excellent quality and great people. We see lots of opportunities and look forward to take this brand to the next level together with Lina Rickardsson and her talented team.

Lina Rickardsson, founder, and Creative Director of Pappelina explains:

I’ve always dreamt big for Pappelina. There was no way I could miss such a chance for development and expansion. Pappelina’s vision has always been clear – to be a ground-breaking pioneer in its sector. Today Pappelina is a global brand and yet, Pappelina still makes the rugs in a small local weaving mill, in the little village of Leksand, right in the heart of Sweden. Each Pappelina rug, represents a piece of Swedish craftsmanship.

For further information, please contact:
Olle Svensk, CEO WallVision Group – Tel: +46 768 56 60 93, Email: olle.svensk@wallvision.com
Lina Rickardsson, Founder and Creative Director Pappelina – Tel: +46 708 17 77 08

WallVision Group, founded in 1905 in Borås Sweden, is a European leader in the premium wallpaper segment and at the forefront internationally with sales in over 60 countries. Our core brands include Cole & Son, Wall&decò, Perswall, Pappelina and Boråstapeter. Our fantastic design teams and our unique pattern archive range from exclusive expressions with a high degree of design to more timeless and classic styles. The Group, including Pappelina, will employ more than 200 people and have annual revenue of more than 60m Euro. For more information, please visit www.wallvision.com.

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Egeria acquires Klafs, the leading manufacturer of integrated saunas

Egeria

Amsterdam/ Munich/ Schwäbisch Hall, 6 January 2021 – Egeria, an independent pan-European investment company, announced that it will acquire a majority interest in Klafs.
Klafs, headquartered in Germany, is the world’s largest manufacturer and integrator of high-quality sauna systems, steam baths and complementary products and services. The sellers as well as the management team have retained minority stakes in the company and management will continue to lead the business. The acquisition is still subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2021. Financials details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Klafs, founded in 1952, has achieved significant organic growth over the last years. The company is headquartered in Schwäbisch Hall (GER), has 733 employees and is the clear market leader in the DACH region with 25 showrooms as well as four production sites in Europe. The company focuses on customized and premium saunas and spas for private as well as commercial customers. The investment by Egeria provides the company with the financial backing and operational support to accelerate growth through further international expansion and acquisitions.

Hannes Rumer, Partner and Managing Director at Egeria in Munich: “Historically, Klafs has displayed an impressive track record of growth. Through continuous entrepreneurship and product development, Klafs has built a leading market position and is a strong platform for further growth. We look forward to partnering with management and supporting the company during this next growth phase.”

Stefan Schöllhammer, shareholder and CEO of Klafs: “We are very excited to take Egeria on board as a new partner. Over the past 30 years we have continuously developed Klafs into the world market leader for integrated saunas. We believe Klafs is now ready to accelerate international growth and see Egeria as ideal partner for Klafs.”

About Klafs Group
Founded in 1952, Klafs is the world’s largest manufacturer and integrator of high-quality integrated sauna systems, steam baths and complementary products and services. Klafs sells products in the private as well as commercial segment (incl. hotels, spas, fitness studios, etc.). The company focuses on customized and premium saunas and spas to address the main key purchasing criteria of quality and comfort. Klafs operates a fully integrated value-chain in four production sites (Schwäbisch Hall, Miloslaw, Sittenhardt and Mudau). Next to the Klafs brand, the company also operates Röger (medium-price sauna segment) as well as SSF (premium swimming pool integrator) as separate brands.
For more information on Klafs, please visit www.klafs.de.

About Egeria
Egeria is an independent pan-European investment company founded in 1997, which focuses on medium-sized companies. Egeria invests in healthy companies with an enterprise value between EUR 50 million and EUR 350 million. Egeria believes in building great businesses together with entrepreneurial management teams (Boldly Building Together). Egeria Private Equity Funds hold investments in ten companies, Egeria Evergreen has investments in six companies. Egeria’s portfolio companies have a combined turnover of c. EUR 2 billion and employ close to 10,000 people. Other activities are Egeria Real Estate Investments and Egeria Real Estate Development. In 2018, Egeria has launched EgeriaDO, a corporate giving program sponsoring projects in the fields of the arts, culture, and social objectives.
For more information on Egeria, please visit: www.egeriagroup.com.

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Vendis Capital teams up with founders & management to accelerate the development of Dutch retailer Vendis Capital teams up with founders & management to accelerate the development of Dutch retailer SoLow

Vendis Capital

Utrecht (NL), 5 January 2021 – Vendis Capital, the consumer sector specialized European private equity fund, invests in SoLow, a Dutch retailer with a fun offering of party, hobby & craft and other non-food articles with affordable pricing.

SoLow, headquartered in Culemborg (The Netherlands), is a uniquely differentiated retailer with a deep assortment in party, hobby & craft as well as a broad offering in other fun non-food articles, all available at affordable prices. The company was founded in 2003 by the brothers Danny and Francois Dame, who started selling these products from a stall on local street markets. Building on their success, they started opening permanent stores under the SoLow brand. Since then they have delivered considerable growth in both absolute and like-for-like sales. The company currently operates 35 SoLow stores throughout the Netherlands.

Vendis Capital teams up with the two brothers to further accelerate the growth and development of the company. To do so a new management team comprising a mix of current and new employees is formed. This team will be led by Gert-Jan Becks (CEO). Gert-Jan brings significant experience from his past roles at amongst others Swinkels Family Brewers, Bacardi-Martini and Nestlé.

Danny Dame, co-founder, and current CEO of SoLow, is proud of the successes he and his team have made in building the SoLow format. He believes that Vendis Capital is the right partner for SoLow to continue this success: “The qualities of Vendis Capital, amongst others their successful track-record within the retail industry and experience with optimizing and rolling-out retail formats, will add to Solow’s further development”

David de Graaf, Investment Director at Vendis Capital: “SoLow fits Vendis’ investment criteria very well; it presents a retailer in the large and growing non-food discount segment with a differentiated format that is well positioned for further growth. We are excited about partnering with SoLow and look forward to bring its unique offering to more and more customers.”

The participation in SoLow represents the second investment within Vendis Capital III, the €300 million fund that was launched in 2019.

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Platinum Equity Acquires Controlling Stake in Mad Engine, A Global Provider of Licensed, Branded, and Private Label Apparel and Accessories

Platinum

Press Release · January 04, 2021

Company’s current shareholders and management team retain minority interest and
leadership responsibilities

Transaction highlights continued momentum of Platinum Equity’s Small Cap team

LOS ANGELES AND SAN DIEGO (January 4, 2021) – Platinum Equity announced today that it has acquired a controlling stake in leading apparel company Mad Engine from affiliates of the company’s current ownership group, which has owned the business since 2011. The existing shareholders and management have retained a meaningful equity interest and will continue to serve in leadership roles.

Mad Engine is a full-service, global apparel and accessories company that creates, designs, produces and distributes a full range of licensed, private label and branded products.

“From its roots as a small, narrowly focused company in San Diego, Mad Engine has grown into one of the world’s leading providers of apparel and a trusted partner to many of the world’s most iconic brands,” said Platinum Equity Partner Jacob Kotzubei. “The company is a well-established, scalable platform operating in a highly fragmented industry, which creates a perfect opportunity to continue investing in and growing the business. We have great respect for everything Mad Engine has accomplished and our team is excited to help maximize the company’s potential.”

Founded in 1987, Mad Engine today manages a large and diverse portfolio of licenses with major corporations, brands, and entertainment businesses, including Disney, Warner Brothers, Epic Games, IMG, Nickelodeon, Netflix, Coca-Cola, and hundreds of others. Mad Engine’s products are sold through leading retailer partners including Walmart, Target, Old Navy, Kohl’s and JC Penney, in addition to specialty retailers, e-commerce channels and other outlets.

“We are thrilled to be joining forces with Platinum and are confident that they are the perfect partner for us,” said Mad Engine CEO Danish Gajiani. “Their fervent desire to grow the business is very exciting for all of us at Mad Engine.”

“Platinum has a lot of experience working with businesses like ours and will provide us strategic, financial and operational support, enabling us to pursue an ambitious new phase of growth and expansion,” added Mad Engine President and Chief Operating Officer Faizan Bakali. “This partnership with Platinum gives us tremendous strength as we continue to serve our retailers, licensor partners and, ultimately, the end consumer.”

“From its roots as a small, narrowly focused company in San Diego, Mad Engine has grown into one of the world’s leading providers of apparel and a trusted partner to many of the world’s most iconic brands,” said Platinum Equity Partner Jacob Kotzubei. “The company is a well-established, scalable platform operating in a highly fragmented industry, which creates a perfect opportunity to continue investing in and growing the business. We have great respect for everything Mad Engine has accomplished and our team is excited to help maximize the company’s potential.”

Mad Engine has multiple sales, design, and operational facilities and a talented team of designers, artists, merchandisers and product developers. The company’s business has expanded beyond men’s and boy’s t-shirts to include fashion tops and bottoms, denim, dresses, outerwear, pajamas, underwear, hats and beanies, backpacks, purses, watches, and sunglasses across a wide spectrum of categories and geographies.

The Mad Engine deal represents the seventh platform investment by Platinum
Equity’s Small Cap team, including five completed during 2020.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP served as Platinum Equity’s legal counsel on the acquisition of Mad Engine. Buchalter represented Mad Engine.

Lincoln International acted as the exclusive investment banking representative for Mad Engine.

Wells Fargo Capital Finance is supporting the transaction and will remain the company’s lending partner.

About Platinum Equity
Founded in 1995 by Tom Gores, Platinum Equity is a global investment firm with approximately $23 billion of assets under management and a portfolio of approximately 40 operating companies that serve customers around the world. The firm is currently investing from Platinum Equity Capital Partners V, a $10 billion global buyout fund, and Platinum Equity Small Cap Fund, a $1.5 billion buyout fund focused on investment opportunities in the lower middle market. Platinum Equity specializes in mergers, acquisitions and operations – a trademarked strategy it calls M&A&O® – acquiring and operating companies in a broad range of business markets, including manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics, equipment rental, metals services, media and entertainment, technology, telecommunications and other industries. Over the past 25 years Platinum Equity has completed more than 300 acquisitions.

About Mad Engine
Founded in 1987, Mad Engine has grown to become a leading global wholesaler of licensed, branded and private label apparel and accessories. Top licenses include Marvel, Star Wars, Disney, Fortnite, Netflix and Nickelodeon. Company-owned brands include Lifted Research Group (LRG), Neff Headwear and Mighty Fine. Mad Engine’s footprint spans multiple continents, with unique locations dedicated to customer service, manufacturing, quality assurance and distribution. This process better enables the company to fully meet the needs of every customer – from independent boutiques to mass market retailers – ensuring the best customer experience possible.

Investor Relations
and Media Contacts:

Mark Barnhill
Partner
+1 310.228.9514 E-mail Mark

Dan Whelan
Principal
+1 310.282.9202 E-mail Dan

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Verdane sells Nordic premium interior design leader Royal Design Group AB to Egmont following SEK150m to SEK 1 billion growth journey

Verdane Capital

Verdane, the Northern European specialist growth investor, will sell its majority shareholding in Royal Design Group AB to Egmont, a Denmark-based foundation whose e-commerce and media holdings support vulnerable children and young people in Denmark and Norway. Royal Design Group AB is a leading international premium design and home furnishings e-commerce company with clear market leadership in Sweden and strong market positions in the rest of the Nordics.

During Verdane’s ownership period, the company has gone from SEK150m to SEK 1 billion in turnover, acquired industry peer Rum21 and invested heavily in scalable infrastructure and processes to enable continued and scalable growth in the years ahead. The company became cashflow-positive in 2020. The realisation adds a chapter to Egmont’s already successful history of acquiring Verdane companies.  Daniel Ahlstrand, Principal and responsible for the investment at Verdane, will remain as a board member throughout 2021 to ensure a smooth ownership transition.

”We at Verdane are proud of our productive collaboration with CEO Magnus Pettersson and the team at Royal Design Group, where we have been able to harness Verdane’s experience from over 30 previous e-commerce investments.

Together, we have gone from SEK 150 million to almost SEK 1 billion in turnover, established Royal Design Group as Sweden’s undisputed #1 online vendor in the premium home and interiors category and created a leading position on the remaining Nordic markets with a clear growth plan outside the Nordics. We are pleased to pass the baton to the Egmont team, which has successfully continued the development of a number of former Verdane companies,” says Daniel Ahlstrand, Principal, Verdane.

“On behalf of the Royal Design team, I want to extend my thanks to the Verdane team for their contributions to our success. It’s been great working with an investor with a deep understanding of e-commerce and a genuine knowledge of our products and the industry we operate in. We look forward to continuing our exciting growth journey together with Egmont,” says Magnus Pettersson, CEO at Royal Design Group AB.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval by the Swedish and Norwegian competition authorities. The parties have agreed not to disclose the terms of the transaction.

 

About Royal Design Group AB

Royal Design Group is the leading e-commerce player of the Nordic countries within design, furniture, home, and interior – with the ambition to offer the world’s best brands for your home at the right price and to be the preferred choice of the consumers. Since the establishment in 1999, where the company focused on e-commerce with Swedish high-end brands for the American market, it has grown remarkably. Today, the company is represented online in 14 different geographical markets under the brands RoyalDesign and Rum21.

 

About Verdane

Verdane is a specialist growth equity investment firm that partners with ambitious Northern European tech-enabled businesses to help them reach the next stage of international growth. Verdane pioneered portfolio acquisitions in Northern Europe in 2003, and announced a complementary fund strategy entirely dedicated to direct investments in 2018. Verdane’s eight funds hold €2.1bn in total commitments and have made over 120 investments into category leaders in digital consumer, energy & resource efficiency and software businesses. Verdane’s team of 62, based in Berlin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, London, Oslo and Stockholm, is dedicated to being the preferred growth partner to tech-enabled businesses in Northern Europe. www.verdane.com

 

About Egmont Publishing

Egmont Publishing is a market-leading publisher with a large range of home and interior magazines in the Nordic countries. Beside a portfolio of e-commerce companies, Egmont Publishing also owns a series of agencies in the Nordic countries, e.g., KAN and Ingager in Sweden, S360 in Denmark, and Sempro in Norway. Egmont Publishing is a part of the Nordic media group Egmont that creates strong content within movies, television, streaming, computer games, education, magazines, and books. Egmont is behind companies such as Nordisk Film, TV 2 in Norway, and Egmont Books. Egmont is a foundation, and the profit goes to development of the media company and support of children and young people.

 

Press contacts

Daniel Ahlstrand
Principal, Verdane
+46 70 538 35 05
daniel.ahlstrand@verdane.com

Magnus Pettersson
CEO, Royal Design Group AB
+46 70 146 39 48
magnus.petterson@royaldesign.com

Jesper Eising
Head of Press, Egmont
+45 29603019
jesper.eising@egmont.com

 

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Latour acquires Fristads AB, Kansas A/S, Kansas GmbH and Leijona Group Oy.

Latour logo

2020-12-11 08:45

Investment AB Latour has, through its fully owned subsidiary Hultafors Group AB, signed an agreement to acquire Fristads AB, Kansas A/S, Kansas GmbH and Leijona Group Oy from Fristads Kansas AB. The completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.

Fristads, Kansas and Leijona are leading brands in professional workwear for a variety of end-use segments and have strong footholds in their respective key markets Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Finland. Consolidated net sales is expected to amount to about 120 MEUR in 2020 and the companies together have more than 600 employees.

The acquisition is part of Hultafors Group’s strategy to grow and develop leading brands in the Personal Protection Equipment segment in Europe and North America.

“Hultafors Group’s acquisition of Fristads, Kansas and Leijona is aimed to drive customer value and we are very excited about the opportunities this combination creates. The brands will continue to operate separately, and in the long term we see opportunities to further strengthen our value proposition through synergies, primarily in warehouse management and supply chain”, says Camilla Monefeldt Kirstein, Executive Vice President at Business Unit Workwear within Hultafors Group.

“Fristads Kansas Group has in recent years made significant improvements with several important investments in product assortment, marketing and logistics/warehouse management. We are very proud of what we have achieved and we are now taking the next step to give all brands in our portfolio the best possible conditions to evolve. We are convinced that Hultafors Group will be an excellent new home for Fristads, Kansas and Leijona”, says Anders Davidsson, CEO of Fristads Kansas AB.

As an effect of the acquisition the net debt (excl. IFRS 16) of the Latour Group is expected to increase compared to the net debt level at the end of September 2020, to around SEK 6.9 billion, all else equal.

Göteborg, December 11, 2020

INVESTMENT AB LATOUR (PUBL)
Johan Hjertonsson, CEO

For further information, please contact:
Camilla Monefeldt Kirstein, EVP Business Unit Workwear, Hultafors Group AB, +46 734 333 634
Jens Eriksson, Vice President, M&A and Business Development Hultafors Group AB, +46 702 114 601

Hultafors Group is one of Europe’s largest companies to supply workwear, footwear, head protection, hand tools and ladders for professional users. The products are developed, manufactured and marketed as their own brands, which are available through leading distributors in about 40 markets, with emphasis on Europe and North America. Hultafors Group has more than 1,000 employees and rolling net sales of almost SEK 3.5 billion.

Investment AB Latour is a mixed investment company consisting primarily of a wholly-owned industrial operations and an investment portfolio of listed holdings in which Latour is the principal owner or one of the principal owners. The investment portfolio consists of nine substantial holdings with a market value of about SEK 66 billion. The wholly-owned industrial operations had an annual turnover of about SEK 15 billion in 2019.

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