BCI Leads Significant Investment in Authority Brands

Apax

COLUMBIA, MD and VICTORIA, British Columbia – September 20, 2022Authority Brands, a residential services franchising platform in North America, today announced that British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (“BCI”), one of the largest institutional investors in Canada, has agreed to acquire a significant minority stake in the company, alongside funds advised by Apax Partners LLP (“Apax Funds”), which will retain majority ownership.

Authority Brands is the premier home service franchisor in North America. Its family of home service franchise brands are leaders in their industry, providing homeowners with services from the property line to the roof line. Authority Brands’ companies include 12 leading home service franchisors: America’s Swimming Pool Company, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, The Cleaning Authority, Color World Painting, DoodyCalls, Homewatch CareGivers, Mister Sparky, Monster Tree Service, Mosquito Squad, One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning, STOP Restoration and Woofie’s. Together, these brands provide home services through approximately 860 franchise owners across North America.

Since the Apax Funds’ initial investment in 2018, Authority Brands has grown from two home service franchisors to the current 12, expanding into new geographies and services and building out a powerful infrastructure.

“We are proud to have partnered with the Authority Brands team to help build, both organically and through strategic acquisitions, a leading residential services franchising platform,” said Ashish Karandikar, Partner at Apax. “We continue to see significant room for growth by Authority Brands and are pleased to join with BCI and members of the leadership team in the next phase of the company’s journey as they extend their platform through M&A, and strategic initiatives including franchise development, technology transformation and international expansion.”

“As a long-term investor, we seek to invest in market-leading companies with strong management teams, multiple levers for growth, and resilient business models that create shareholder value, such as Authority Brands,” said Dave Hong, Senior Managing Director, Private Equity at BCI. “We look forward to working with Authority Brands and Apax to generate compelling risk-adjusted returns for our pension plan and insurance fund clients.”

“We could not be more pleased than to continue to build the premier residential services franchisor in partnership with Apax and BCI,” said Craig Donaldson, Chief Executive Officer of Authority Brands. “Both partners will add substantial value as we aim to capture further share in the highly fragmented home services market, including by evaluating M&A opportunities in new service verticals.”

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to be completed in Q4 2022, subject to customary closing conditions.

Apax was advised by Harris Williams, Boxwood Partners, William Blair & Company, Moelis & Company (financial advisors), Kirkland & Ellis, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, DLA Piper, and Lathrop GPM (legal counsel), and Ernst & Young (financial and tax advisor).

 

-ENDS-

 

 

About BCI
British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) is amongst the largest institutional investors in Canada with C$211.1 billion under management, as of March 31, 2022. Based in Victoria, British Columbia, with offices in Vancouver and New York City, BCI is invested in: fixed income and private debt; public and private equity; infrastructure and renewable resources; as well as real estate equity and real estate debt through our independently operated platform company QuadReal Property Group. With our global outlook, we seek investment opportunities that convert savings into productive capital that will meet our clients’ risk and return requirements over time.

BCI’s private equity program actively manages a C$24.8 billion global portfolio of privately held companies and funds with long-term growth potential. Leveraging our sector-focused teams in business services, consumer, financial services, healthcare, industrials, and technology, media and telecommunications, we work with strategic private equity partners to source and manage direct and co-sponsor/co-investment opportunities.

For more information, please visit bci.ca.

About Apax Partners LLP

Apax Partners LLP (“Apax”) is a leading global private equity advisory firm. For nearly 50 years, Apax has worked to inspire growth and ideas that transform businesses. The firm has raised and advised funds with aggregate commitments of more than $60 billion. The Apax Funds invest in companies across four global sectors of Internet/Consumer, Tech, Services, and Healthcare. These funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. For more information see: www.apax.com.

Apax Partners is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.

About Authority Brands

Authority Brands is the premier residential services franchising platform providing services from the property line to the roof line. Authority Brands’ companies include 12 leading home service franchisors: America’s Swimming Pool Company, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, The Cleaning Authority, Color World Painting, DoodyCalls, Homewatch CareGivers, Mister Sparky, Monster Tree Service, Mosquito Squad, One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning, STOP Restoration and Woofie’s. Together, these brands provide home services through approximately 860 franchise owners across North America. Authority Brands, which is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, is dedicated to supporting individual franchise owner growth with a full suite of marketing, technology, and operational support, allowing them to focus on providing exceptional service to homeowners. Please visit www.authoritybrands.com for more information.

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Bluegem III acquires Nutrimuscle

Bleugem

On July 12, 2022, Bluegem Capital Partners acquired Nutrimuscle (the “Company”), the leading French digital D2C community-driven brand in sustainable active nutrition, from Groupe Finoli and the management team.

Théo-Ange Copolata, the current CEO and shareholder of the company will reinvest into the business and remain as CEO to lead its expansion in the coming years.

 Headquartered in Paris with manufacturing operations in Belgium, Nutrimuscle is a pioneer and digitally native D2C brand in the fast-growing sport and health supplement markets. Founded in 1993 as an answer to a lack of good quality sport supplements in Europe, Nutrimuscle has a differentiated and superior value proposition based on natural ingredients, organic & clean formulas and transparent sourcing. The Company benefits from a large and fast-growing community of brand lovers with long history of unparalleled loyalty, engagement and repeat purchase behaviour.

The Company has best-in class digital marketing, e-commerce and community-management capabilities surpassing industry standards. Its end-to-end vertically integrated business model allows full traceability and control over the entire value chain. Nutrimuscle has strong R&D capabilities in new product development and formulation leveraging on a highly skilled team and long-term relationships with leading suppliers. The Company has a proprietary portfolio of over 100 products and 850 SKUs.

Nutrimuscle is highly focused on ESG practices as an “Entreprise à Mission” and on its path to become certified B-Corp by 2023.

Groupe Finoli acquired, alongside Théo-Ange Copolata, Nutrimuscle in 2018 from the Company’s founder and successfully transformed the business to position it as a fast growing brand while maintaining its core values. Since 2018, Nutrimuscle generated impressive organic growth track record with best-in class profitability. Today the group has 62 employees distributed over France (Paris) and Belgium (Aubange).

Théo-Ange Copolata, Shareholder and CEO of Nutrimuscle said:

“I am thrilled to pursue the phenomenous brand expansion we had since 2018 thanks to the brilliant support of Groupe Finoli and look forward to achieve a great implantation in Europe alongside Bluegem support and expertise”

Mathieu Develay, Partner of Bluegem, commented:

“We are very excited to partner with Nutrimuscle and have been impressed by Nutrimuscle’s commitment to clean-ingredient, traceable products with ESG factors at the core of the company’s values. We look forward to helping Nutrimuscle educate the public on nutrition and wellness, and expand its offerings beyond Nutrimuscle’s native French market.”

Emilio Di Spiezio Sardo, Founding Partner of Bluegem commented:

“With an ever increasing focus on health and nutrition we believe Nutrimuscle is a fantastic addition to the Bluegem III portfolio, which includes a diverse range of resilient consumer brands underpinned by megatrend tailwinds.”

Pierre Juhen and Grégory Declercq, co-CEOs of Groupe Finoli added:

“We are delighted to have worked alongside Théo and his team to achieve the impressive growth journey of Nutrimuscle since 2018, and we believe the brand and the team are now ideally positioned to further develop their footprint in France and accelerate their internationalization with the support of a skilled shareholder”

On the buyside, Oaklins acted as M&A advisor,  Alvarez & Marsal advised on finance DD, Arsene Taxand advised on tax DD and Agilys Avocats acted as Bluegem’s legal advisor. Marlborough Partners acted as financing and debt advisor, with Céréa and Indigo providing debt financing, and debt and equity financing respectively.

J.P. Morgan acted as exclusive sell-side financial advisor to Groupe Finoli. BCG carried out the vendor commercial DD while KPMG performed the vendor financial / IT / legal and tax DD. McDermott Will & Emery AARPI and Jeausserand-Audouard acted respectively as legal advisors for the shareholders and the management team.

BLUEGEM CAPITAL PARTNERS

Bluegem is a specialist consumer-focused private equity firm that partners with management teams and founders to accelerate growth of strong consumer brands. With a track record of investing across Europe through different economic cycles, industry and market conditions, Bluegem have refined their investment strategy to focus on resilient consumer segments benefiting from secular megatrends, including Beauty and Personal Care; Household Care; Food and Beverage; Baby Care; Pet Care; Consumer Health and Nutrition; and Hobby and Craft. More information about Bluegem can be found at www.bluegemcp.com.

GROUPE FINOLI

Groupe Finoli is a French industrial conglomerate founded in 2008, mainly active in the fields of beauty, wellbeing and healthcare. Through its subsidiaries and activity, the Finoli Group has been pursuing a vision of long-term development for over 10 years and promoting strong values: Excellence, Innovation, Ethics and Merit. The Finoli Group is a private, independent company controlled and managed by its founders.

Groupe Finoli is growing, with approximately 150 staff, a consolidated turnover of about 50 million euros and equity capital of over 200 million euros. Positioned in particularly buoyant and resilient markets, the Finoli Group foresees its development continuing rapidly, both organically and through external growth.

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First acquisition for Waterland investment LionsHome: Fashiola strengthens leading commerce content platform

Waterland

LionsHome, operator of one of Europe’s leading product comparison platforms in the home & living vertical, realizes its first growth partnership in cooperation with investment group Waterland Private Equity. In February 2022, Waterland acquired a majority stake in the Berlin-based group. The current acquisition of Fashiola forms a cornerstone of a long-term buy-&-build strategy to establish LionsHome as a leading, pan-European commerce content group and already brings the group up to more than 100 million visits per year. The seller of the stake is online classifieds company Lifull Connect; its current Head of Tech, Javier Pérez, as well as Head of Operations, Macarena Quinzaños, will continue to lead the company in the future. Further financial details of the transaction will not be disclosed.

Fashiola and its Dutch sister-brand Kleding.nl were founded in 2012. The company aggregates the online offering of a wide range of leading fashion brands into a unique product comparison platform, enabling its customers to quickly and easily discover and compare high-quality clothing, footwear as well as accessories. Today, the company is active in more than 20 countries, and with more than 60 million visits per year it is one of the leading international product comparison platforms in the fashion sector.

LionsHome GmbH was founded in 2014 by Christoph Königer and Michael Röcker in Berlin and is currently active in ten countries. With about 40 million visits per year, LionsHome is one of the leading product comparison platforms in the European home & living vertical. In addition to household and office furniture, LionsHome also offers a wide range of accessories, decorative items, lamps, garden furniture and much more.

In February 2022, Waterland entered a partnership with LionsHome and initiated a long-term growth campaign. The acquisition of Fashiola now marks the first strategic cornerstone for developing LionsHome into a comprehensive commerce content platform, which aggregates a wide range of digital publishing models under one umbrella. In addition to the existing focus on the home & living vertical, the partnership with Fashiola drives the expansion of LionsHome into its second e-commerce vertical: fashion and accessories.

“We are very pleased to welcome Fashiola into the LionsHome group. With this acquisition, we are not only able to realize our first add-on within a very short timeframe. Combining our strengths and using them to expand our second e-commerce verticals at an international scale also marks a significant milestone of our growth journey”, says LionsHome CEO Michael Roecker.

“Fashiola has recorded monumental growth over the past two years. Having worked directly with the team during this time, I could not be prouder of their accomplishments,” Mauricio Silber, CEO LIFULL Connect, explains. “The most exciting aspect is the fact Fashiola is only beginning to reach its full potential. However, fashion is not part of our core strategy at LIFULL Connect, so it was hugely important for us to find a partner who could help the brand continue its promising trajectory. LionsHome was a perfect match in that regard.”

“With a very ambitious team, LionsHome is already today one of the leading and fastest-growing product comparison platforms in the European home & living vertical. The partnership with Fashiola, which is an international leader for product comparison in the fashion industry, is a cornerstone for LionsHome to build a digital publishing platform focused on commerce content.”, says Dr. Carsten Rahlfs, Managing Partner at Waterland.

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3i invests in VakantieDiscounter to accelerate its strong organic growth

3I

3i Group plc (“3i”) today announces that it has agreed to invest in VakantieDiscounter, a leading, technology-enabled online travel agency in the Benelux focused on affordable holidays, providing the best-value holiday deals. VakantieDiscounter is a strongly performing subsidiary of European travel company Otravo, which will continue with a focus on air ticket sales only.

Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, VakantieDiscounter is the number one online holiday packages platform in the Benelux. Through its own pre-packaged holidays as well as those of third-party providers, VakantieDiscounter offers more than 1.3 billion holiday package combinations in over 50 countries with more than 17,000 accommodation options. Its broad package offering and value-for-money focus has created a winning proposition which has grown market share rapidly and attracted a large, diverse customer base since its foundation in 2000.

VakantieDiscounter is a highly scalable, technology-driven business with a strong position in the market and a highly capable management team. The investment by 3i helps ensure the company has the necessary resources to sustain its market leadership and navigate the current economic environment from a position of strength.

Boris Kawohl, Partner, 3i, said: “VakantieDiscounter offers the widest selection of affordable package holidays in the market through a focused, online-only offering. The scalable tech platform will allow VakantieDiscounter to continue its long term track record of growth and its recovery from the pandemic. We have the opportunity to partner with a high-quality, ambitious management team and we believe there is significant potential ahead to accelerate VakantieDiscounter’s success.”

Hans van Hoffen, CEO, VakantieDiscounter, said: “I am excited to be partnering with the team at 3i. Customers will benefit from continued investment in our travel platform. 3i’s experience in the value-for-money consumer segment and travel sector makes them an ideal partner to scale our business and take advantage of the opportunity to further grow our market share by delivering great value to travellers.”

 

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FATTAL ACQUIRES SIX HOTELS IN SPAIN FROM KKR AND DUNAS CAPITAL IN TRANSACTION WORTH OVER €165 MILLION

KKR

High quality hotels in key strategic locations will accelerate Fattal’s international growth and add over 1,119 rooms
• Fattal plans €20 million new investment in properties and enhanced customer experience
• Acquisition forms part of Fattal’s new joint venture with Menorah, Harel and Leumi Partners

11 July 2022: Fattal Group (“Fattal”), one of Europe’s fastest-growing hotel groups, has signed an agreement with KKR, a leading global investment firm, and Dunas Capital to acquire six landmark hotels in Spain, for over €165 million. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2022 and will not impact guest reservations or experiences.

Located in key strategic beachfront locations on the islands of Ibiza and Mallorca, the six hotels, comprise four hotels and two apartment hotels and currently form part of the Alua Hotels & Resorts chain, each having a 4-star rating.

Totaling 1,119 rooms, the hotels boast a wide range of amenities and attractions such as pools, restaurants, bars, gyms, children’s rooms, and other recreational facilities. The hotels have historically had high seasonal occupancy rates and are seeing a steady increase in demand as guests return following the Covid pandemic.

The transaction marks the first undertaking by Fattal as part of a joint venture with institutional investors Menorah, Harel, and Leumi Partners. The partnership will finance the transaction from its own sources, in addition to a loan of approximately €95 million that the partnership intends to receive from a banking entity.

The purchased hotels – Alua Hawaii Ibiza (209 rooms), Alua Miami Ibiza (360 rooms), Aluasun Miami Ibiza apartment hotel (82 Apartments), Alua Hawaii Mallorca & Suites (230 rooms and 68 Hawaii Mallorca Suites), and Alua Palmanova Bay (170 rooms) – have in recent years benefitted from over €14 million of investment in the renovation and transformation of the hotels.

Fattal plans to invest a further €20 million in enhancing the facilities, amenities, and overall customer experience, and it is currently envisaged that the hotels will in due course rebrand to the Group’s well-known European hotel brands such as Leonardo, Leonardo Royal, and NYX.

Guy Vardi and Yaniv Amzaleg, who oversaw the transaction on behalf of Fattal, commented: “This exciting acquisition reflects Fattal’s ability to identify strategic opportunities and complete transactions of significant scale with top-tier international sponsors and partners. It presents us with a rare opportunity to acquire a high-quality portfolio of assets, timed to capitalize on the potential for a near-term return to travel, as well as the hotels’ fantastic locations – which will remain in high demand for years to come. In addition, through effective management, branding, product enhancement, and targeted investment there is a significant opportunity to grow value and generate strong returns for our investors.”

Guy Vardi and Yaniv Amzaleg recently joined Fattal to lead Fattal’s international M&A activities and joint venture. The two bring with them extensive experience on a significant scale in international transactions, having led international investment activities in recent years.

Rosa Brand, Director in EMEA Real Estate at KKR, added: “Since acquiring these hotels in 2017, we have invested significantly to transform and modernise the portfolio alongside our partners Dunas Capital and Alua, consistent with our European strategy of working with best-in-class local developers and operators. We are delighted that Fattal Group will be the new owners of the portfolio.”

Shai Raz, CEO of Fattal Hotels in Spain, remarked: “In recent years, Fattal has built a strong and profitable management platform for our hotels in Spain, that is consistent with the company’s ambitious growth strategy to expand in the most attractive areas of the European continent. We are delighted that with this deal we have created a strong presence on the Balearic Island and strengthened our overall position in Spain by bringing the total number of Spanish hotels to 16.”

Ronen Nissenbaum, CEO of Fattal Hotels in the UK, The Netherlands, and Spain, added: “I am delighted with the acquisition of the 6 hotels and their integration into our diverse and high-quality portfolio. With this acquisition, the company strengthens its presence as a leader in European holiday destinations. In addition to the quality of our hotels and our people, we look forward to leveraging our expertise and capabilities to drive positive performance and provide our customers with even greater products, experiences, and services”

David Angulo, Chairman of Dunas Capital, said: “It has been an honour to share our expertise in the Spanish market with our partners KKR and Alua to add value to this high-quality portfolio of prime assets. The combined capabilities of the three groups yielded very positive results. We believe that the Spanish tourism sector continues to have great potential and we congratulate Fattal Hotels for identifying this fantastic opportunity and investing in this trend.”

About Fattal Group

The Fattal hotel chain, owned by the Fattal family (62.08%), was established by David Fattal in March 1998, and specializes, through corporations it holds, owns, operates, rents, and manages, in hotels in Israel and Europe, as well as in the acquisition and construction of new hotels.

With over 44,0000 hotel rooms and a leadership position in countries such as Israel and Germa rooms andWith over 44,000 hotel , Fattal is the first Israeli hotel chain to lead the hotel market in a European country and is also considered a significant player in the UK, the Netherlands, and Spain.

In April 2022, Fattal Europe raised €336 million for the purchase of international hotels as part of an ambitious plan to expand its portfolio and brand presence internationally, giving it the ability to undertake up to €1 billion of transactions. Its property expansion program is managed by Fattal, Harel Insurance Partnership, Menorah Mivtachim, and Leumi Partners. This is the second partnership raised by Fattal after the first fund, established back in 2007, with institutional bodies as well.

KKR acquired the hotel portfolio through KKR Real Estate Partners Europe, KKR’s first dedicated European real estate fund. Since launching a dedicated real estate platform in 2011, KKR has grown its real estate assets under management to approximately $59 billion across the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific as of March 31, 2022 KKR’s global real estate team consists of over 135 dedicated investment professionals, spanning both the equity and credit business, across 13 offices and 10 countries.

Fattal Group was advised by CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield and Hogan Lovells.

KKR was advised by Eastdil Secured, JLL, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Deloitte and Arcadis.

About KKR

KKR is a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management as well as capital markets and insurance solutions. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and supporting growth in its portfolio companies and communities. KKR sponsors investment funds that invest in private equity, credit and real assets and has strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR’s insurance subsidiaries offer retirement, life and reinsurance products under the management of Global Atlantic Financial Group. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds and insurance subsidiaries. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.

For further information please contact:

ON BEHALF OF FATTAL GROUP

Paul Griffin
pgriffin@reputation-inc.com
+353 87 667 4305

Ben Valdimarsson
bvaldimarsson@reputation-inc.com
+44 788 980 5930

ON BEHALF OF KKR

Alastair Elwen / Sophia Johnston
Telephone: +44 20 7251 3801
Email: KKR-LON@fgsglobal.com

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Rester, a provider of textile recycling solutions, has secured EUR 6 million in funding

Tesi

Rester, Finnish global forerunner in building textile recovery value chains, has secured EUR six million in growth funding. The company will use the funds to scale up and internationalise. The recycled fiber processed by Rester can be used, for example, in the textile industry to produce fabrics or technical textiles, and in the construction industry for the production of insulation and composite materials and acoustic panels.

The round was led by Lindström Group, becoming a significant minority owner. Other new owners include family-owned investment company Besodos Investors Oy and Taaleri Sijoitus Oy. Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment) also made an initial investment in the company.

The textile industry is a major source of greenhouse emissions in the global economy and consumes vast amounts of water. Still, recycling and reuse of textiles, which would decrease the environment load, is far from optimal. Our investment in Rester has a concrete impact and promotes sustainable business as the company scales up and expands globally,” comments Mikael Niemi, Investment Director at Tesi.

Tesi invested in Rester from its circular economy programme with which Tesi promotes material efficiency and carbon neutrality. The programme that invests in both funds and growth companies kickstarted in 2018, sized at EUR 75 million.

We are putting strong emphasis on growth and internationalisation, and by doing so, work on green transition in the textile industry. For us, Tesi is an important partner in our growth path where value chains become increasingly built up around global players in the industry. Having got Tesi on board meant that the funding round was as optimal as it could have been,” says gladly Outi Luukko, CEO of Rester.

 

Additional information:

Mikael Niemi, Investment Director, Growth and Industrial Investments
mikael.niemi@tesi.fi
+358 50 597 7303

Outi Luukko, CEO, Rester
outi@rester.fi
+358 400 406083

 

Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment Ltd) is a state-owned investment company that wants to raise Finland to the front ranks of transformative economic growth by investing in funds and directly in companies. We invest profitably and responsibly, hand-in-hand with co-investors, to create the world’s new success stories. Our investments under management total 2.1 billion euros. www.tesi.fi @TesiFII 

Rester is a leading global forerunner in building textile recovery value chains. Located in Southwest Finland, the company offers textile recycling solutions that can be used to process end-of-life textiles and by-products of manufacturing into recycled fibers and quality raw materials. During the process, the textiles are opened mechanically back into fibers. Rester recovered fiber can be used by a great diversity of sectors to replace virgin raw material. Our customer base consists of businesses that supply us with end-of-life textiles that they no longer need and businesses that use recycled Rester fiber in their production or for their products. Founded in 2019, Rester began its operations in November 2021. Rester’s principal owner is Touchpoint Oy, a manufacturer of ecological workwear. www.rester.fi

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Nordic Capital becomes owner of Ellos Group once again

Nordic Capital

Nordic Capital becomes owner of Ellos Group once again

June 30 2022

Nordic Capital becomes the new owner of FNG Nordic AB (Ellos Group), the Nordic region’s leading e-commerce group within home and fashion. With a profitable, long-term development and backed by a stable owner, Ellos Group is well positioned in the market to benefit from online growth and demand in the Nordics and elsewhere in Europe.

Ellos Group is on a growth journey with significant investments and progress made on the way to becoming the Nordic region’s leading e-commerce group within home and fashion. After several years of profitable growth, Ellos Group achieved sales of nearly SEK 3.6 billion in 2021. Today, Ellos Group has more than 2 million active and satisfied customers in the Nordics and across Europe.

Based on an ambitious growth strategy, Ellos Group has successfully expanded its well-invested and scalable e-commerce platform. In recent years, the company has expanded its attractive Jotex range of home furnishings into selected markets in Europe. The strategy was recently sharpened with greater focus on creating a more attractive, sustainable and broad-based fashion and home offering to core customers: women in mid-life.

Ellos Group was owned until 2019 by Nordic Capital, which then entered into an agreement to sell Ellos Group to FNG Nordic AB (publ), indirectly owned by the Belgian company FNG NV. Nordic Capital has been an indirect minority owner since the sale and has in the last three years continued to support Ellos Group’s development and progress.

As previously communicated, due to Ellos Group’s former owner filing a petition to commence insolvency proceedings in Belgium, Nordic Capital initiated a process in February 2022 to become the owner of the company. The ownership assessment required for Nordic Capital to regain ownership of Ellos Group has since been approved by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority.

“The news that Nordic Capital once again becomes Ellos Group’s owner is very positive. We know Nordic Capital well and look forward to working with them as owner. We are starting from a positive position having improved the customer experience, strengthened our operational capability and expanded in Europe in recent years. Our focused efforts have produced results. After several years of profitable growth, our annual sales are around SEK 3.6 billion. We successfully maintained last year’s high sales levels during the first months of this year. We are now looking ahead and are well positioned in the market to benefit from online growth and demand in the Nordics and elsewhere in Europe,” says Hans Ohlsson, CEO of Ellos Group.

“We are, and have always been, impressed by Ellos Group’s strategic position as a Nordic leader in its industry and by the performance of the management team, which has managed to strengthen the company in recent years and expand into strategically important new markets. By becoming owner, Nordic Capital commits, once again, to support the continued growth and success of Ellos Group,” says Robert Furuhjelm, Chairman of FNG Nordic and Partner, Nordic Capital Advisors.

As the new owner of the company, Nordic Capital will actively support Ellos Group in the forthcoming expansion phase. Focus is on continuing to grow the business in the Nordic home market and in selected markets in Europe.

As previously communicated, the existing financing remains in place. FNG Nordic’s bondholders previously approved a change to the terms of FNG Nordic’s bond loan, which rendered the transfer of ownership possible.

In conjunction with the change of ownership, FNG Nordic will change its name.

For more information:
Johan Stigson, CFO, Telephone. +46 (0)33 16 08 05

About Ellos Group 

The Ellos Group, which includes Ellos, Jotex, Stayhard, and Homeroom, is the Nordic region’s leading e-commerce group. Working closely with our millions of customers, we are constantly striving to develop and offer attractive and sustainable fashion and household items for the entire family. Our focus is always on the customer. We continuously work to develop our business through innovation, creativity, and sustainability. The Ellos Group, headquartered in Borås, and with operations in all Nordic countries and selected European markets, has around 600 employees and sales of around SEK 3.6 billion. www.ellosgroup.com

BDC and bd-capital agree to merge Private Sport Shop and SportPursuit

Bridgepoint

The merger of Private Sport Shop and SportPursuit combines the leading positions in France and the UK and fast-growing presence in Germany. It brings together highly complementary category and product coverage to create Europe’s most compelling destination for millions of current and prospective members looking for great sports and outdoor products at exceptional value

PARIS, LONDON – 21 June 2022 – bd-capital, the pan-European, operationally-led private equity firm, and Bridgepoint Development Capital, the mid-market growth-focused team of Bridgepoint, today announce the merger of their respective portfolio companies, SportPursuit and Private Sport Shop to form Sportscape Group.

The combination creates a business with more than €200m sales across France, UK, Germany and 10 other countries, and accelerates the group’s shared vision to create Europe’s leading sports and outdoor hub: delivering daily inspiration, unbeatable deals, amazing brands and engaging content for sports and outdoor enthusiasts across Europe and beyond.

Sportscape Group will be led by Sébastien Rohart, the current CEO of Private Sport Shop. He will be supported by the current executives from both companies, with Adam Pikett, current CEO and co-founder of SportPursuit, taking up the role of Chief Vision Officer overseeing the strategy of the group. Both Luke Pikett, Managing Director and co-founder of SportPursuit and Yannick Leouffre, Managing Director of Private Sport Shop, will continue to lead both businesses.

The newly combined group creates a powerful distribution channel for more than 2,500 existing brand partners with access to an audience of over 24 million sports and outdoor enthusiasts – 90-95% of the Group’s daily traffic originating organically from its own audience. The merger also combines two unique and highly engaged digital and social communities with over 3 million followers.

Millions of existing active customers will enjoy larger product ranges with an even greater selection of leading sport and outdoor brands available across more sports, more of the time. Private Sport Shop and SportPursuit will continue to operate as consumer-facing brands in their home markets, building on their strong consumer recognition and high repeat rates which have been built over many years.

Technology will play an ever-increasing role in consumer-facing industries and Sportscape Group’s shared expertise in data analytics, custom algorithms and machine learning will further improve user experience, helping to create unique communications at a customer level, leading to higher engagement and lifetime value.

As European consumers come under increasing spending pressure, as a result of increases in the cost of living, Sportscape Group’s proposition becomes even more compelling; to offer consumers access to the best products at the very best prices, helping them afford to stay active and healthy.

Commenting on the combination, Sébastien Rohart said: “I am excited to become the CEO of Sportscape Group. The combination creates a European leader with a unique proposition to our customers and brand partners alike. In particular, the combination of Private Sport Shop’s huge sport coverage and social media presence with SportPursuit’s technology and data expertise creates significant additional growth opportunities, over and above what we could have created individually. We are very pleased to open this exciting chapter with the full backing of our shareholder Bridgepoint Development Capital who have been our highly supportive partner from the very beginning.”

Adam Pikett added: “At SportPursuit, we have known and admired the Private Sport Shop team for many years. As a co-founder of SportPursuit it is super exciting to have this opportunity to bring the two businesses together to create something special: a true European leader across multiple markets, multiple categories, with substantial headroom for further growth.”

Jean-Baptiste Salvin, Director at Bridgepoint Development Capital, also commented: “We are excited to be working with bd-capital to support the combination of our two investments. We have created fantastic alignment between our organisations and look forward to supporting the combined group as we move forward together.”

Andrey Russinov, Director at bd-capital added: “We are focused on partnership at bd-capital, and this merger creates both a partnership between two operational companies and two investors. The combination of SportPursuit and Private Sport Shop substantially increases the growth potential of both, and we are excited to support that growth alongside Bridgepoint and management.”

In addition to driving significant growth through organic expansion, the combination will create a strong foundation to support further M&A activity across Europe and beyond.

Private Sport Shop and SportPursuit executed the transaction in close partnership with advisory teams from PwC (financial and tax), Stephenson Harwood (legal), Mayer Brown (legal), and Goodwin Procter (legal). The financing of the transaction is provided by Permira. Financial terms of the transaction remain confidential.

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Blackstone completes acquisition of Crown Resorts in the firm’s largest investment to date in Asia

Blackstone

Melbourne, June 24, 2022 – Blackstone (NYSE: BX) today announced that real estate funds and private equity funds managed by Blackstone (“Blackstone”) have completed the acquisition of Crown Resorts Limited (“Crown”) in the largest transaction to date for the firm in Asia Pacific. The transaction comprises three premium resort and casino properties in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Blackstone will work with the management team at Crown and its thousands of dedicated employees, as well as their representatives from the United Workers Union and other partner unions, to transform these properties into world-class entertainment destinations and continue Crown’s transformation to operate at the highest standards of compliance, governance, and integrity.

As one of Australia’s largest entertainment groups, Crown makes a major contribution to the Australian economy. Crown’s core businesses include two of Australia’s leading integrated resorts, Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth, as well as Sydney’s latest premium hotel resort and dining precinct at Crown Sydney.

Alan Miyasaki, Head of Real Estate Acquisitions Asia, Blackstone, said: “We are thrilled to become the new owner of Crown, bringing our expertise in hospitality to help the company achieve its full potential as a leading travel and leisure company. We first invested in Crown two years ago, seeing the tremendous underlying potential of the company and its people. We look forward to working with the teams at Crown and applying our experience in owning and operating marquee hospitality brands around the globe with the highest levels of ethics and integrity to create something unique for employees, local communities, and visitors.”

Chris Tynan, Head of Real Estate Australia, Blackstone, said: “This is a great opportunity that plays to Blackstone’s strengths – investing significant capital and resources to rebuild Crown into an iconic destination for travel and leisure that everyone can be proud of. Blackstone has built a strong Australian presence over the last 12 years. We look forward to supporting the local economy, creating jobs, and attracting visitors to Crown’s exceptional properties.”

Steve McCann, Crown Resort’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Today, Crown emerges as part of the Blackstone family, which is the start of a new era for this great company and its 20,000 team members. Over recent times, Crown has undergone immense transformation, and we know under Blackstone’s ownership, we will realize our vision to deliver world-class entertainment experiences and a safe and responsible gaming environment.

“Australian tourism has entered a recovery phase, and we believe this trend will continue. Crown’s suite of outstanding assets has built a loyal customer base over the past 28 years, and we are excited about the opportunities ahead of us as we revitalize Melbourne and Perth and celebrate the addition of Sydney. With Blackstone’s investment and expertise, we’re confident Crown will cement its place on the global stage as one of the world’s leading owners and operators of integrated resorts,” he said.

Blackstone has built a strong track record in the wider hospitality, travel, and leisure sectors. The firm completed the sale of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas this year, after transforming the property into one of the most vibrant destinations on the Las Vegas Strip. During its 8-year ownership, Blackstone implemented significant operational changes, developed best-in-class management team, and invested significant capital to renovate 3,000 guest rooms and enhance F&B offerings. In addition, Blackstone owned Hilton Hotels Corporation for 11 years, during which it helped double the size of the company to more than 5,300 properties and 400,000 employees worldwide. Its other recent investments in these sectors include the acquisition of an 8-hotel portfolio across Japan’s top tourist destinations; acquisition of Bourne Leisure, a premier British holiday company; and joint acquisition of Extended Stay Hotels.

For more information, please contact:

Crown Resorts Media Contacts

Danielle Keighery
Chief Brand & Corporate Affairs Officer | Crown Resorts
Danielle.keighery@crownresorts.com.au | +61 400 223 136

Libby Armstrong
General Manager, Crown Foundation & Communications | Crown Resorts
Libby.armstrong@crownresorts.com.au | +61 472 729 434

Blackstone Media Contacts
Ellen Bogard
Blackstone
Ellen.Bogard@blackstone.com | +852 3651 7737

Hayley Morris
MorrisBrown Communications Pty Ltd
Hayley@morris-brown.com.au | +61 407 789 018

About Crown Resorts
Crown Resorts is one of Australia’s largest entertainment companies, owning and operating a suite of world-class integrated resorts. Its property portfolio includes three award-winning resorts in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, as well as London’s prestigious Crown Aspinalls, a high end, boutique casino in the West End.

For 25 years, Crown Melbourne has been Australia’s leading luxury integrated resort and casino, offering guests a range of exceptional entertainment and event experiences; premium hospitality, dining, spa and retail; and gaming. Crown Perth is Western Australia’s only integrated resort and casino, and features a combined 1188 hotel-room capacity, expansive lagoon and private pools, and 33 bars and restaurants. Crown’s newest property, Crown Sydney, opened in December 2020 setting a new standard in luxury hotel and dining experiences. Crown Sydney is the tallest building in New South Wales, and features 349 hotel rooms and villas, 13 signature restaurants, a VIP, members only casino which is due to open shortly, two pools, a spa, and Crown’s first ever luxury serviced apartment offering.

As one of Australia’s largest hospitality employers, Crown’s properties support the employment of a diverse mix of over 20,000 people.

About Blackstone
Blackstone is the world’s largest alternative asset manager. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our $915 billion in assets under management include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, infrastructure, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow @blackstone on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

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3i invests in Danish lifestyle brand Konges Sløjd to support its global expansion

3I

3i Group plc (“3i”) today announces that it has agreed to invest in Konges Sløjd, a premium international lifestyle brand offering apparel for babies and children.

Headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, Konges Sløjd designs, sources and markets high-quality, children’s clothing, accessories, home products and toys through a curated network of (online-) retailers and direct-to-consumer e-commerce in more than 50 countries.

Konges Sløjd has been a forerunner in the premium baby/child segment through its stylish, functional, safe, durable, sustainable and affordable products across all children categories, and is well positioned to accelerate its growth across Europe, Asia and North America.

The company’s footprint is already international with rapid global expansion resulting from a proven and replicable online and offline market-entry strategy. Konges Sløjd also enjoys a highly-engaged global virtual community, with more than 345,000 followers on Instagram (www.instagram.com/kongessloejd).

The global baby/child product market benefits from strong sociographic tailwinds such as premiumization, rising middle classes and older parents having higher disposable incomes when they have children. The market is highly fragmented among mass, premium, affordable luxury and aspirational luxury players, with Konges Sløjd well placed at the convergence of the fast-growing premium and affordable luxury segments.

Boris Kawohl, Partner, 3i, said: “It is unique to see a young consumer brand with such a strong product offering and so much traction across so many countries as Konges Sløjd. The brand has an exceptionally high customer engagement as well as an efficient and scalable social media-based go-to-consumer approach. We are looking forward to work with Emilie and her team in the next phases of the company’s international growth across Europe, Asia and the US”.

Emilie Konge Breindal, Founder and CEO, Konges Sløjd, said: “I’m very excited about partnering with 3i as I believe they recognise and value the true spirit of Konges Sløjd and have the right values, team, toolbox and commitment to support us on our global journey. We will be able to maintain our unique values, brand and design approach whilst reaching even more families around the world”.

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