CVC Capital Partners to buy German retailer Douglas

Acquisition news comes just days after announcement regarding IPO plans

Private equity company CVC Capital Partners has signed an agreement to acquire German beauty retailer Douglas for an undisclosed sum.

In a surprising turn of events, the retailer will no longer pursue an IPO – plans for which it announced last week – but instead will change hands, being taken over by a holding company jointly owned by CVC Capital Partners and the founding Kreke Family.

The deal will see US private equity company Advent International, which partially owns Douglas with the Kreke family, exit ownership altogether; back in April this year, Advent said it was preparing for an exit from the group.

Following the deal with CVC Capital Partners, the Kreke family will remain a shareholder in Douglas, holding a 15% stake; it currently holds a 20% stake. In a statement, it was revealed that the three parties had decided not to pursue an IPO in order to accommodate the Kreke family’s desire to develop the business in a private setting.

Dr Henning Kreke, CEO of Douglas and a representative of the Kreke family, said: “Over the past two years, Douglas has become the largest specialist beauty retailer in Europe. It is renowned for its clear customer focus, innovative product portfolio and an impressive in-store and ecommerce presence. We thank our employees for their continuous commitment and Advent International for the valuable support in aligning our business and positioning it for further growth. We look forward to partnering with CVC as a reliable and strong, long-term partner who will support the company with additional industry expertise and financial resources, to ensure our continued growth.”

Douglas generated sales of approximately €2.5bn in 2013/2014 and an adjusted EBITDA of €256m. The retailer’s online offering, which spans 15 countries and has reached a market share of over 50% in Germany, contributed more than 8% of the Company’s total consolidated sales in 2013/2014.

Douglas continues to have a strong bricks-and-mortar presence with more than 1,700 stores across 19 countries. This figure was boosted by the acquisition of French beauty retailer Nocibé last year.

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