Change Capital Partners sells Hallhuber to Gerry Weber International AG
22nd December 2014
London/Munich, 22 December 2014. Funds advised by Change Capital Partners LLP (Change Capital), the specialist pan-European private equity fund investing in retail and consumer businesses, have today sold their 100% interest in Munich-based Hallhuber Beteiligungs GmbH to Gerry Weber International AG. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Consummation of the transaction is subject to anti-trust approval in Germany and Austria.
Change Capital acquired Hallhuber from Italian fashion company Stefanel in 2009 and during its ownership, transformed the company with a new management team to become the preferred womenswear brand for fashion conscious, modern women in Germany and across Europe, doubling its sales and tripling its profits.
Change Capital laid the foundations for Hallhuber’s success by creating a new management team and devising a business transformation programme, which produced significant improvements across all key areas including store concept, product merchandising, display, and selling. As a result, Hallhuber is well placed to respond to changes in fashion styles and trends with high quality, contemporary and stylish products.
Hallhuber has increased its retail network from under 100 points of sales to 219 and has expanded into a number of new European markets. Today, Hallhuber has points of sale in Germany, Austria, Belgium, the UK, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Hallhuber fashion can also be bought via online platforms in Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland and the UK. Under Change Capital’s ownership Hallhuber has expanded its workforce by more than 500.
Stephan Lobmeyr, Partner of Change Capital Partners, commented: “When we acquired Hallhuber it was an undermanaged brand that was underinvested and performing below its full potential. There was a compelling opportunity to transform the business through restructuring its existing operations, expanding its store network and launch an e-commerce platform. We thank Norbert Steinke, Richard Lohner, Susanne Hallhuber and the entire team for transforming this vision into reality. We are proud of their achievements and are convinced that the next chapter in Hallhuber’s history will be just as successful.”
Dr. David Frink, Chief Financial Officer and Speaker of the Management Board of Gerry Weber International AG commented: “The Hallhuber brands are complementary to our existing Gerry Weber brands, they operate a completely vertical business model and they are ready to move into new European markets. Hallhuber is looking at enormous sales and profit growth potential and its options for further development have barely been tapped. Now we have to work together to make the most of these options.”
Chief Sales Officer Ralf Weber, the Managing Board member in charge of sales and company development throughout the Gerry Weber Group, said: “The Gerry Weber Group already has its own retail spaces in almost all European countries. We will team up with Hallhuber as partners in a professional way in order to support them in building their own network of company-managed retail spaces especially outside Germany. These efforts will benefit from our accumulated expertise and our existing structures.”
Norbert Steinke, CEO of Hallhuber said: “After exciting five years with Change Capital Partners we look forward to entering a new chapter with Gerry Weber. I wish to thank all our employees for their considerable achievements over the past years. We are excited by the prospect of entering the next stage of growth.”
Change Capital was advised by EKAPARTNERS, Leonardo & Co. and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.
About Change Capital Partners
Founded in 2003, Change Capital is a private equity partnership, dedicated to making investments in consumer-oriented businesses across the European lower mid-market. The firm brings both capital and operational experience to enable brands and retail concepts that have established a distinctive customer proposition to secure the next stage in their development.
Change Capital’s team of investment professionals brings together the management expertise of Roger Holmes and founder Luc Vandevelde who led businesses such as Marks & Spencer and Carrefour with the private equity expertise of Stephan Lobmeyr and Steven Petrow from Hicks Muse and Bain Capital respectively.
The firm has so far deployed c. €440 million through 13 acquisitions across Europe. Its portfolio is diversified by geography, sector and investment holding period.
Change Capital Partners is registered in the UK and is authorized and regulated by the FCA.
About GERRY WEBER
GERRY WEBER International AG headquartered in Halle/Westphalia is a worldwide operating company that unites six strong fashion brands under one roof: GERRY WEBER, GERRY WEBER EDITION, GERRY WEBER ACCESSORIES, G.W., TAIFUN and SAMOON by GERRY WEBER. Since its beginning in 1973 GERRY WEBER International AG has become one of the most famous and successful German fashion and lifestyle companies with more than 778 company-managed HOUSES of GERRY WEBER and mono-label stores worldwide, more than 2,770 shop-in-shops as well as brand online-shops in nine countries.
The company constantly continues its path as a global player with more than 5,000 employees worldwide and distribution channels in more than 62 countries and it is one of the largest listed fashion companies in Germany. Within the financial year 2012/13 the MDAX listed company achieved a turnover of EUR 852,0 million. The board of management consists of CSO Ralf Weber, CPO Arnd Buchardt as well as of Dr. David Frink, CFO and spokesman of the board.
Hallhuber GmbH is a fashion company positioned in the attractive premium mid-price segment and has been based in Munich since 1977. The trendy, high-quality womenswear is solely created by the Hallhuber design team manufactured in long-standing cooperation with proven suppliers and exclusively sold in 219 shops (as of November 2014) in Germany, Austria, Belgium, UK, Switzerland and the Netherlands as well as in online shops in Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland and the UK. In 2013 sales amounted more EUR 109m. CEO Norbert Steinke has been working for Hallhuber since 2009, CFO Richard Lohner since 2010. The holding company Hallhuber Beteiligungs GmbH holds 100 percent of the shares of Hallhuber GmbH.