BERLIN — Fresh off of Friday’s announcement that it would re-enter the stock market after two years of restructuring and streamlining, Douglas AG said Monday it would instead be sold to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners. Advent International currently holds 80 percent of Douglas, while the founding Kreke family holds the other 20 percent, the result of a 2012 privatization.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval; the purchase price was not disclosed.
Douglas chief executive officer Henning Kreke said, “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.”
According to CVC, the Kreke family has agreed to reinvest through a joint holding company, and Kreke will stay on as ceo. The Krekes will retain a 15 percent stake. The deal does not include the other retailers formerly under the Douglas Group umbrella, Thalia booksellers and the AppelrathCüpper fashion chain, which were allotted to separate holding companies in October.
Douglas is one of the largest perfumery chains in Europe, with 1,700 stores in 19 markets, including those held under the Nocibé name in France, which were acquired last year. Pro forma annual sales for Douglas for 2013-14 were reported to be about 2.5 billion euros, or $3.39 billion.
CVC’s current diverse holdings include BJ’s Wholesale Club in the U.S., Sunrise telecom in Switzerland, and Formula One commercial sports rights management in the U.K. The company was previously involved in the selective beauty market, owning a majority stake in Danish health and beauty retailer Matas from 2007 until its IPO in 2013. Last year, it sold the salon and professional beauty business Colomer Group to Revlon.
“Douglas is a market leader with attractive growth prospects due to its strong management team, extensive store network, leading online presence and dedicated employees,” commented Søren Vestergaard-Poulsen, managing partner at CVC. “We are very much looking forward to working with the family and the management to grow this European Beauty champion further over the long-term.”