BERLIN — Permira Funds has agreed to acquire German omnichannel off-price specialist Schustermann & Borenstein GmbH for an undisclosed sum from Ardian, the independent private investment firm. It is expected that the transaction will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Headquartered in Munich, Schustermann & Borenstein was founded in 1924, and sells more than 3,000 designer brands at reduced prices through its invitation-only web site, Bestsecret.com, as well as in three stores in Munich and Vienna. The two founding families will continue to be invested in the company, Permira said.
This is Permira’s first investment in a consumer tech business in Germany, and the investment firm’s first fashion-related acquisition in Germany since selling its remaining stake in Hugo Boss in March 2015.
“Consumer-tech is a strong focus area today as illustrated by recent (Permira) investments in e-commerce software specialist Magento and leading Polish online market place Allegro,” said Jörg Rockenhäuser, head of the German, Austrian and Swiss region at Permira.
Cheryl Potter, head of the consumer team at Permira, added, “Schustermann & Borenstein has a very exciting and market-leading business model that combines exclusive fashion retail with e-commerce and has huge growth potential. We will bring our extensive knowledge of brands, e-commerce and technology to help the company achieve further expansion in the years ahead.”
According to the most recently released figures, Schustermann & Borenstein generated sales of 256.7 million euros, or $341.2 million in 2014. Dollar figures are converted from the euro at an average exchange for the period to which they refer.
The company has achieved double-digit growth in past years, and in addition to boosting online and off-line potential in Germany, is positioned to step up growth in neighboring countries, Permira noted. In recent moves, Schustermann & Borenstein took over Swiss Online Shopping AG, which operates the Swiss online outlet Fashion Friends and the premium fashion shop Stromberg.ch.
Schustermann & Borenstein’s Bestsecret.com is a closed fashion community, with participation in its off-price designer offerings by invitation only. In addition, membership is predicated on an annual purchase volume of 150 euros. If this sum has not been reached in 12 months, membership is rescinded. As for the daily offers, which include men’s, women’s and children’s fashion as well as beauty and living products from current and past collections, the sales actions are not for a limited time only, but continue till the products have been sold out on the site. The merchandise is shipped from Schustermann & Borenstein’s own warehouse.