Robin List teams up with Vendis Capital to further develop Sylphar, a promising OTC company

Deurle (Belgium), 15 May 2017 – Vendis Capital, the private equity fund specialized in the consumer brands sector, invests alongside Robin List and his management team in Sylphar, an OTC company poised for growth.

Sylphar, headquartered in Deurle (Belgium), is a fast-growing OTC company with a portfolio of brands in the oral beauty, oral therapy and medicated skincare market segments.

Sylphar focuses on bringing innovative and consumer friendly products to the market. The company offers teeth whitening products under the leading brand iWhite, an innovative range of solutions for specific skin conditions under the Remescar brand, and oral therapeutics under the Herpatch (cold sores and ulcers) and Shur (bad breath) brands.

Started by Robin List in 2008 as a spin-off from a publicly listed dental company and supported by Dutch private equity fund Concordia, Sylphar has experienced a steep growth curve over the last years through continuous product innovation and geographic roll-out. Present in more than 50 countries worldwide, the company focuses on developing and marketing innovative products that are brought to the market through local distribution partners.

Founder and Group CEO Robin List explains: “Thanks to the hard work of the team, we have built a solid track record of success so far, but I’m convinced there is still much to be done. We have indeed the ambition to build a portfolio of a small number of strategic niche brands that will have a leading position in their respective categories and geographies, be it organically or through acquisitions. We believe Vendis is the right partner to help us achieve that goal.”

Concordia Fund Partner Saskia van Walsum adds: “Concordia Fund has been shareholder in Sylphar since the spin-off in 2008 and it was the start of a new story for the company. Robin List and his team have proven since to be able to develop brands and products as well as the company. To build Sylphar internationally almost from scratch and to handle the growing pains was not an easy road to travel. And being fast growing and successful in 10 years time is a great achievement. Sylphar is now ready for a new shareholder and a new chapter – as is Concordia Fund. Concordia Fund is very well rewarded for this almost 10 year pleasant and constructive partnership.  We thank Robin and the dedicated Sylphar team, and wish the team all the best in this new stage of the company.”

Vendis Capital Partner Cedric Olbrechts concludes: “We have been impressed by the way Robin and his team have managed to develop the company and we are convinced this could just be the start of a fantastic new growth story. Sylphar is a solid growing company evolving in a favorable business environment and well positioned on its key products. It is also a great platform for the acquisitions we will actively look for. We look forward to contribute to the future development of the company and to work with Robin and his great team.”

Vendis Capital supports the growth of Fatboy

Utrecht (NL), 13 April 2017 – Vendis Capital, the private equity fund specialized in the consumer brands sector, invests in Fatboy the Original, a leading design brand, marketing iconic products around the globe.

Fatboy, headquartered in Den Bosch (the Netherlands), develops and markets iconic products such as its signature bean bag, an innovative lighting range and the recently launched Lamzac. Fatboy was founded in 2002 by Alex Bergman, who quickly saw the potential of the innovative bean bag supported by a strong brand. Continuous growth is driven by Fatboy’s successful innovations, unrivalled brand positioning and impressive go-to market platform.

Vendis Capital teams up with management and Richard den Hollander, who will be appointed as CEO, to continue the development of the company. Richard brings significant experience from his past roles at United Biscuits, Pepsico & Tristar and will lead Fatboy in its next growth phase.

Alex Bergman, founder and current CEO of Fatboy, is proud of the successes he has booked in building the Fatboy brand. Alex believes that Vendis Capital is the right partner for Fatboy to secure the continuity of the brand’s success: “We believe in the qualities Vendis Capital will add to Fatboy’s development, supported by their familiarity with the consumer brands industry. Vendis Capital brings a reputation of adding value in companies’ organizations, and we believe they are well underway by involving Richard.”
Alex will continue his contribution to Fatboy’s success, driving the company’s creative process.

Vendis Capital partner Vincent Braams: “Fatboy fits Vendis’ investment criteria very well; it presents a leading brand offering iconic products through a strong go-to market platform, well positioned for further growth. We are excited about partnering up with Fatboy and are confident to grasp the available growth potential together.”

The participation in Fatboy represents the fifth investment in Vendis Capital II, the €180 million fund that was launched in 2015.

Vendis-backed NOPPIES acquires QUEEN MUM

Amsterdam (NL), 23 February 2017 – NOPPIES, the leading specialised maternity wear and baby fashion brand, has acquired QUEEN MUM, a specialised maternity wear company in the Netherlands.

NOPPIES, which was acquired by Vendis Capital in May 2016, develops and markets specialised maternity wear and baby clothing under the NOPPIES, SUPERMOM and IMPS&ELFS brands. With the acquisition of QUEEN MUM, NOPPIES adds another strong brand to its portfolio. Based in Amsterdam, QUEEN MUM is a maternity brand that combines high quality with trend-setting basics and novelties from fashion items.

Anne-Gien Haan, CEO of NOPPIES: “QUEEN MUM is a fashionable brand that has built a strong position in premium maternity wear. We are pleased to join forces; our businesses are mutually reinforcing and can achieve accelerated growth together. Together we can invest more in brands, the development of leading collections, quality, logistics and social responsibility. With the brands NOPPIES, SUPERMOM, IMPS&ELFS and QUEEN MUM we can offer a full brand portfolio, resulting in a better performance and service to our consumers and customers.”

Renee Bino and Erzsebet Weber, founders of QUEEN MUM: “Joining forces with NOPPIES is a major step forward. NOPPIES has a strong position in the market for maternity wear with various brands. We are confident that QUEEN MUM will benefit from the economies of scale NOPPIES offers in the field of multi-channel sales, sourcing, procurement and operational processes. Together we can strengthen our brands, expand our service and improve the cooperation with our international customers.”

This second add-on acquisition of NOPPIES confirms the buy-and-build strategy that has been identified as one of its growth pillars.

Vendis Capital sells organic pet food brand Yarrah to AAC Capital

Harderwijk, Amsterdam, January 5th, 2017 – Vendis Capital (“Vendis”) announced today that they have sold their stake in Yarrah Organic Petfood (“Yarrah”), the European market leader in organic pet food, to AAC Capital (“AAC”), a leading Benelux mid-market buyout firm.  The management team of Yarrah, led by CEO Bas van Tongeren, will invest alongside AAC.

Yarrah is the leading organic pet food brand in Europe with a complete range of organic products for cats and dogs. All products are certified organic, which means all animal and plant ingredients need to live up to the highest quality restrictions as required by the organic seal, meaning a.o. no exposure to chemical additives or preservatives, no use of hormones, but also high animal welfare standards for livestock used. The company supplies dry food (in bags) and wet food (both multi serve in cans and single serve in aluminium trays).

There is a trend towards pet owners feeding their cats and dogs organic food, driven by consumers who are becoming increasingly conscious of their own health and nutrition. Yarrah is ideally positioned to leverage on this trend as the European market leader in the organic pet food niche. Since Yarrah was founded in 1992 by Jan-Jaap Roelevink, the company expanded its footprint beyond the Netherlands and currently serves health conscious pet owners in its core markets Germany, France and the Netherlands.

This is the fourth platform acquisition for AAC’s Benelux focussed Fund, and matches perfectly with AAC’s philosophy of supporting local champions in their growth ambitions.

Bas van Tongeren, CEO Yarrah, says: “We are proud of the partnership with Vendis, through which we have successfully grown further in the organic market, and laid the foundation for our ambitions into pet specialty. In AAC we have found the perfect partner to support us in the next leg of our journey. The partnership with AAC will allow us to expand into upcoming organic markets and accelerate our expansion in the pet retail channel.”

Marc Staal, Chairman at AAC, says: “Yarrah is operating in a growing ‘on-trend’ niche market as the European specialist in organic pet food. Bas van Tongeren and his team have a clear vision and philosophy: providing a healthy and sustainable pet food alternative to what is currently on offer in the market. Yarrah takes a leading role in pure organic pet food; food that’s not only better for pets, but for all animals. Yarrah’s view on its future business development, both in terms of geographies, distribution channels and new product development are well defined and being executed with high momentum. AAC is excited to be partnering with Yarrah and keen to facilitate Bas and his team to deliver upon their continuing growth ambitions.”

Michiel Deturck, Partner at Vendis, says: “Yarrah is a leading brand operating in a fast-developing niche. We are very happy that Yarrah found a strong partner with AAC that can support the next growth phase of the company. We want to thank the management team for a very pleasant and successful partnership and wish the team all the best with its new partner.”

Vendis Capital was advised by Stamford Partners.

Vendis-backed NOPPIES acquires IMPS&ELFS

Amsterdam (NL), 15 December 2016 – NOPPIES, the leading specialised maternity wear and baby fashion brand, has acquired IMPS&ELFS, a sustainable baby and kids clothing company in the Netherlands.

NOPPIES, which was acquired by Vendis Capital in May 2016, develops and markets specialised maternity wear and baby clothing under its NOPPIES and SUPERMOM brands. With the acquisition of IMPS&ELFS, NOPPIES adds a leading sustainable baby and kids clothing brand to its portfolio. Based in Amsterdam, IMPS&ELFS is a trend-setting brand (with a story-telling, creative & technical design), bringing innovation and inspiration to the world of babies and children through premium clothing.

Anne-Gien Haan, CEO of NOPPIES: “IMPS&ELFS is a strong and innovative brand that over a period of 20 years has built a strong position within premium children’s wear. We are very pleased to join forces. We are confident that our businesses will be mutually reinforcing and that we can achieve accelerated growth together. Together, we can invest more in our brands, the development of leading collections, best of class multi-channel offering and social responsibility.”

Fons Cohen, founder and CEO of IMPS&ELFS: “Joining forces with NOPPIES is a major step forward. NOPPIES has a strong position in the market for maternity and children’s wear with the brands NOPPIES and SUPERMOM. We are confident that IMPS&ELFS will benefit from the economies of scale NOPPIES offers in the field of multi-channel sales, sourcing, procurement and operational processes.”

This transaction confirms the buy-and-build strategy that has been identified by NOPPIES as one of its growth pillars.

Vendis Capital takes participation in X²O and Overstock

Oostkamp (Belgium), 20 October 2016 – Vendis Capital, the private equity firm that specialises in European consumer brands, is taking a minority interest in Legio Group. Legio Group unites the retail concepts X²O, Overstock Garden and Overstock Home.

Today, Vendis Capital and Legio Group announced their collaboration. Vendis Capital, the private equity firm with an exclusive focus on the consumer sector, is taking a substantial shareholding in Legio Group. With this investment, Vendis wants to support the group’s further development. Under the leadership of its CEO and founder Jan Ollevier, Legio Group is the parent company behind the retail concepts X²O, Overstock Garden and Overstock Home.

X²O is a leading retailer in bathroom furniture and fittings. With as many as eighteen branches in Belgium already, the retailer recently took its first steps into the Netherlands where it now has three shops. Overstock Garden is the Belgian market leader for selling high-quality garden furniture and related products. Overstock’s interior range was recently given its own shop concept with the creation of Overstock Home; which now has a total of thirteen sales outlets. Legio Group was set up in 2004 by Jan Ollevier, the Group’s CEO and has its head office in Oostkamp (Belgium).

Michiel Deturck, partner from Vendis Capital, says: “We are very happy with our investment in Legio Group. Since it was founded, the group has followed an impressive growth trajectory and has obtained a key position in the Belgian bathroom and garden furniture market in a relatively short time. We are strongly convinced of the value proposition for the consumer and of the further roll-out potential both in Belgium and internationally. We have been following Jan and his team for a while and we are looking forward to being able to make a contribution to the company’s future development.”

Jan Ollevier, founder of Legio Group, adds: “We think that with Vendis we have the right partner on board to further the group’s development. Vendis specialises in the consumer sector and has a great deal of experience in rolling out successful retail concepts, both nationally and internationally.”

Legio Group represents the fourth investment for Vendis Capital II, which was launched in 2015 and for which Vendis managed to secure €180 million in capital commitments. Since it was founded at the end of 2009, Vendis has made thirteen investments; in more recent years these have primarily been in consumer brands without retail operations. Legio will add yet another retail concept to their portfolio.

The deal is subject to the usual conditions, including approval by the competition regulation authorities.

Vendis Capital sells its participation in Alexandre de Paris to the Japanese group Yagi Tsusho

Brussels, 13 September 2016 – Vendis Capital has announced that it will transfer its interests in the Bailly group, global leader in luxury hair accessories under the Alexandre de Paris brand, to the Japanese group Yagi Tsusho.

Vendis Capital invested in the Bailly group in 2013, a.o. to support the purchase of the Alexandre de Paris brand, for which the Bailly group up until then had been the exclusive licensee. Strengthened by this transaction, the Bailly group accelerated the development of its distribution in Asia, and continued its internationalisation.

The strong presence of the brand in Asia, the technical and aesthetic qualities of the products and the unique expertise of French production have organically attracted the attention of the Japanese Yagi Tsusho group, who now has acquired the stake held by Vendis Capital. The transaction, which was mutually agreed between all parties, will allow the Bailly group to accelerate its ambitious development in Asia. The operation will effectively allow the Bailly group to work closely together with a strategic player in one of the most important regions for the Alexandre de Paris brand.

Sébastien and Fabienne Bailly state: “We would like to thank Vendis for their support over the last three years. We are excited about this new partnership with Yagi Tsusho, who are the reference group for brand distribution in Asia. Together, we will continue to make the Alexandre de Paris brand shine”.

Cedric Olbrechts adds: “The entry of Yagi Tsusho into the company’s capital is an incredible development opportunity for Alexandre de Paris. This new partnership will bolster the increasing strength of both the company and the brand, who will be able to benefit from the support of the Yagi Tsusho group. We wish Sébastien and Fabienne Bailly good luck in this new stage of the history of Alexandre de Paris”.

Vendis Capital to nurture further growth NOPPIES

Utrecht (NL), 1 June 2016 – Vendis Capital, the investment fund specialized in the European consumer brands sector, has acquired NOPPIES, the leading specialized maternity wear and baby fashion brand.

NOPPIES, headquartered in Lelystad (the Netherlands), develops and markets specialized maternity wear and baby clothing under its well-known NOPPIES and SUPERMOM brands. NOPPIES was founded in 1991 by Norbert Mutsaerts, who as a pioneer understood pregnant women’s desire to wear fashionable and functional clothing during pregnancy. Continuous growth is driven by NOPPIES’ unrivalled brand positioning, product performance and its excellent international omni-channel roll-out strategy.

Vendis Capital teamed up with Anne-Gien Haan, who will be appointed as CEO, in pursuing the acquisition. Anne-Gien brings significant experience from her past roles at Unilever, Hema and Noosa and will lead NOPPIES in its next growth phase.

Vendis Capital partner Vincent Braams: “Acquiring NOPPIES is a perfect example of our investment strategy; it presents a market leading brand in an attractive niche market, well positioned for further growth. We look forward to a successful cooperation and are highly enthusiastic about NOPPIES joining the Vendis family of consumer companies. Besides providing our experience and knowledge, we are keen to provide additional growth capital facilitating add-on acquisitions as part of a possible buy & build strategy.”

Maarten Millenaar, current CEO of NOPPIES, is proud to have successfully led NOPPIES in recent years and to see Vendis Capital secure the continuity of the brand’s success: “As for NOPPIES’ founder, Norbert Mutsaerts, NOPPIES also became a baby of mine, therefore I am delighted to have Vendis Capital taking over and enabling the next phase of growth. We have significant trust in Vendis Capital, supported by their familiarity with the consumer brands industry. Vendis Capital brings a reputation of adding value in companies’ organizations, and we believe they are well underway by involving Anne-Gien.”

The participation in NOPPIES represents the twelfth investment in the consumer sector since the start of Vendis Capital in 2009 and the third investment this year. Other investments include amongst others Yarrah (organic pet food), Inula Group (essential oils / gemmotherapy), eyes + more (optical retail chain), Petrol Industries (denim-inspired fashion) and ferm LIVING (design home furnishings). Vendis Capital has recently closed its second fund, rapidly securing €180m of capital commitments. NOPPIES is the third investment in the new fund

Vendis announces final closing of Vendis II Fund at €180 million

Brussels, 24 May 2016 – Vendis Capital Management, a leading European private equity investor specialized in the consumer sector, is pleased to announce that it has closed the fundraising for its second fund, Vendis Capital II, with aggregate commitments reaching the fund’s hardcap of €180m, ahead of its original €150m target.

Vendis II has been able to attract a significant number of reputable new investors, including institutional investors, family offices and consumer sector entrepreneurs. We are also excited that a large majority of the investors in the first fund have committed again to Vendis II.

The new fund deployed already 20% of its capital earlier this year through investments in Petrol Industries, a denim-inspired Dutch fashion brand for men and kids, and ferm LIVING, a Nordic brand of design accessories and furniture. A third investment is likely to be announced very soon.

Building on the success of Vendis I, Vendis II pursues its strategy to focus on consumer brand companies and is widening its scope in size of investments as well as in geographic span: the invested amount now ranges from €5m to €40m per transaction, in companies with sales ranging from €10m to €120m; and besides Vendis’ historical markets where the team is present through local offices (Belgium, the Netherlands and France), Vendis now also looks to invest in Germany and Scandinavia.

Vendis Capital supports the growth of ferm LIVING

Brussels/Copenhagen, 1 February 2016 – Today Trine Andersen and Vendis Capital announced that they have concluded a partnership to support the further growth of ferm LIVING, a leading Danish brand of design home furnishings.

ferm LIVING was founded 10 years ago as a small wallpaper business by Trine Andersen, a talented graphic designer. Since then, the company has evolved into a leading Danish brand of design accessories and furniture for every room in your home.  The range includes furniture, textiles, decorative objects, wallpaper, designs for the kitchen, bathroom and office as well as a large collection for kids.  Products are sold in specialist design stores all over Europe and distributed via ferm LIVING’s own sales force or through agents.  ferm LIVING favours “honest” materials that have been used by craftsmen for millennia and prefers sustainable and organic alternatives where feasible.

Founder Trine Andersen believes she has found in Vendis the right partner to assist her bringing the company to the next stage of development: “The partnership with Vendis is an important step for ferm LIVING”, says Trine.  “I could use a partner to help me with the challenges that a fast growing company typically faces.  Vendis does not only have experience with supporting growth, they also have a deep understanding of consumer brands, and they have a very international approach. These are important assets for me to support the further international development that ferm LIVING wants to do. Bringing aboard a knowledgeable partner also allows me to focus on what I am truly passionate about: creating beautiful and functional design objects”.

“We are truly impressed by the way ferm LIVING has managed to develop over the past few years”, Michiel Deturck, Partner with Vendis adds.  “In less than ten years, ferm LIVING has grown from a small home-based business into a company with a broad and balanced portfolio of successful design products. ferm LIVING is already present in several key European markets, but still has substantial growth potential. We look forward to contribute to the future development of the company and to work with Trine and her great team.”

The participation in ferm LIVING is already the 11th investment in a European consumer company by the Vendis Capital team, which started end 2009. After successfully investing its first fund, the team launched its second fund in 2015. ferm LIVING is the second investment in the new fund.