Private equity firm Sycamore Partners has acquired EMP Merchandising Handelsgesellschaft mbH for an undisclosed price.
EMP is a Germany-based multichannel retailer of rock music- and entertainment-inspired apparel and accessories. The retailer will operate as an independent business under Sycamore’s umbrella. Ernst Trapp, EMP’s chief executive officer, and Jan Fischer, EMP’s chief financial officer, will stay on at the company and manage the business.
Peter Morrow, managing director at Sycamore, said the private equity firm is looking forward to “forging closer relationships with our music and entertainment industry partners on a global basis.”
Trapp said, “Sycamore has extensive multichannel retail experience and knowledge of the music- and entertainment-inspired apparel and accessories world. We believe this makes them an ideal partner as we look to grow our business.”
EMP has been in business since 1986. It has a presence across 17 European countries, including Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the U.K., Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the Nordic region. It also operates four stores in Germany and Austria.
Sycamore’s other entertainment retail holding is Hot Topic, a mall and Web-based specialty chain that is a key retail partner to the music and entertainment industries.
Besides Hot Topic, other assets under Sycamore’s umbrella include Coldwater Creek, the Kasper Group, Kurt Geiger, MGF Sourcing, Nine West Holdings Inc., The Talbots Inc. and Torrid. The company is an investor in Aérospostale Inc. and Pathlight Capital.
Sycamore is based in New York. The firm manages more than $3.5 billion in capital, with expertise in the retail and consumer space. Founded by Morrow and Stefan Kaluzny, who were at Golden Gate Capital, the firm last month was said to be eyeing an offer for Belk Inc. that could value the department store chain at up to $3.5 billion. Such an offer, if it were to materialize and be accepted, would be the firm’s largest deal to date.