BERLIN — Douglas Holding is selling its jewelry retailer Christ to international investment firm 3i.
Subject to regulatory approval, Al Beauty SCA, a company controlled indirectly by the founding Kreke family and Advent International, will hand over a majority stake in the 220-door jewelry chain to 3i Group for an investment of 214 million euros, $271.2 million at current exchange. The agreement was announced on Monday.
The firm’s retail holdings include luxury lingerie seller Agent Provocateur, Dutch discounter Action and outdoor gear chain GO Outdoors.
In a statement, Peter Wirtz, partner and managing director of 3i Germany, said the plan is to work with Christ to internationalize the brand, expand its store network, and broaden its e-commerce reach.
“Christ is an excellent business, which possesses a strong brand, synonymous with affordable luxury in the jewelry and watch sector in Germany,” commented Wirtz.
A market leader in Germany, Christ also sells in Austria and via online. Its mid-to-upper-price brands include Citizen, Burberry, Thomas Sabo, DKNY, Guess and Swatch, and the retailer also has a series of successful private labels, such as Jette and Sansibar.
In fiscal-year 2013/14, Christ registered revenues of around 400 million euros ($506.9 million at current exchange), the company said. Christ jewellers was founded in 1863.
This is the latest event in a busy year for the Hagen, Germany-based Douglas Group. In March, the firm sold off its confectionery arm Hussel to Emeram Capital Partners, and in June, Douglas Group implemented its planned purchase of France’s Nocibé perfumery chain. Douglas Perfumeries and Nocibé doors add up to 500 perfumeries in France, making the venture the second-largest chain in the country in terms of doors and sales. Financial newspapers and wires in Germany have speculated that Thalia, the Group’s book retailer, and Appelrath-Cüpper, its fashion chain, are also headed for divestment, as the direction of the group is focused ever more tightly on the perfumeries business.
In its most recently released financial reports, Douglas Holding, the parent company of Douglas Group, registered net sales of 3.5 billion euros, or $4.59 billion at average exchange, for its fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2013. Douglas has been owned by Advent International and the Kreke family since May 2013.