Hema acquisition approved by Dutch regulator

Dutch regulator Autoriteit Consument en Markt (ACM) officially approved the acquisition of Dutch retailer Hema by Ramphastos Investments, the investment company of Dutch entrepreneur Marcel Boekhoorn.

Paul Loeff, VAB; Tjeerd Jegen, ceo Hema; Marcel Boekhoorn, owner Hema - Photo: Paul Ridderhof

On 18 October, retailer Hema announced that it was in talks with Boekhoorn to take over the chain, including debts, from the London-based Lion Capital, for an undisclosed amount. According to the ACM, the acquisition of the retailer will not result in competition problems for the Dutch market.

Local media report that the new owner already took its first steps to reduce Hema’s debt. Following the acquisition, €100 million in loans were repaid and €40 million were put in the retailer’s own capital.

In addition to reducing the debt, Hema said earlier that together with Boekhoorn it will focus on further investments in the Dutch market, online growth, international expansion and the improvement of its profitability in the coming years. In order to develop itself into a global brand, Hema is looking for opportunities to work together with international partners to accelerate its international expansion.

Boekhoorn’s Ramphastos Investments was founded in 1994 and currently has (predominantly majority) interests in more than 30 companies in various sectors. Boekhoorn is known for leading several companies to growth, expansion and market leadership, pursuing a buy-and-build strategy and attracting new customers, business partners and management teams.  Examples of successful investments include bakery chain Bakker Bart; mobile telecommunication company, Telfort and High Tech Campus Eindhoven.

Hema, founded in 1926 in Amsterdam, offers 30,000 of its own products and services, including apparel, beauty and home products. The retailer operates more than 750 stores in nine countries and two continents and employs more than 19,000 people.

Former owner, Lion Capital, purchased Hema in 2007 for €1.1 billion. The chain has been on sale since September 2017.
 

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