Pranarôm enters US market by acquiring Veriditas Botanicals

Brussels, 19 January 2016 – Inula, the Group created through the merger of Pranarôm and HerbalGem, two pioneering laboratories and European market leaders in aromatherapy and gemmotherapy, has acquired Veriditas Botanicals.

For more than 25 years, Pranarôm and HerbalGem have invested to increase global scientific knowledge about essential oils and concentrated bud extracts. With a presence in over 30 countries, particularly in France, Belgium, Spain, Italy and Portugal, the Inula Group has built significant brand equity based on product quality, professional training and a solid scientific basis.

With the acquisition of Veriditas Botanicals, Pranarôm has gained a foothold in the United States and is initiating an ambitious development plan across the Atlantic. Based in Minneapolis, Veriditas Botanicals is one of the most dynamic players in a fast-growing market. Within a few years, it has succeeded in building up solid credibility and a network of loyal distributors and customers.

Sergio Calandri, Group CEO, explains: “We have taken time to get to know each other and to confirm that we share a common passion and vision of aromatherapy. We will pool our strengths together to continue Veriditas’ amazing growth, conquer the US market and work to ensure that the powerful virtues of aromatic plants are known to as many people as possible.”

Melissa Farris, Founder of Veriditas Botanicals, adds: “I am extremely enthusiastic about this project. Pranarôm is the leading European brand in scientific aromatherapy and, just like us, has never compromised the quality of its products or the seriousness of its approach. We will be able to seize the growth opportunity in the USA, in line with our values and our common desire to pursue a rigorous approach to the use of plants for human well-being.”

Through this transaction, the Inula Group is confirming its plan of bringing on board the best companies in the sector, particularly through mergers and acquisitions, to promote improved health through natural therapy.

Dominique Baudoux, President of the Group, concludes: “We are experiencing an amazing market dynamic. Together with Vendis Capital, we are embarking on an ambitious development project, and have found a harmonious way of working together, whereby each party contributes their skills to the company and the project. The results speak for themselves!”

Vendis Capital acquires majority stake in Petrol Industries

Utrecht/Brussels, 12 January 2016 – Vendis Capital, the investment fund specialized in the European consumer brands sector, has acquired a majority stake in Petrol Industries, the fast growing Pan-European affordable fashion brand.

Petrol Industries, headquartered in Tilburg (the Netherlands), develops & markets denim-inspired clothing for men and kids under its well-known Petrol brand. Petrol has experienced significant growth over the past years, driven by its unique brand positioning and excellent international roll-out strategy. Led by the passionate entrepreneurs Pedro van Zon and Elwin Flint, the company has successfully built significant market presence in the major European markets. Vendis Capital and Petrol Industries see strong advantages in leveraging on each other’s competencies in the next phase to further unlock the brand’s potential. Pedro van Zon and Elwin Flint will remain in their role of driving the company forward.

Vendis Capital Partner Vincent Braams: “We are impressed with Petrol, as it has created a unique position in its markets and is popular with a broad range of diverse consumers. There are a lot of opportunities for growth with the strong Petrol brand. The high product quality offered at competitive prices, appeals to a very large group of consumers across Europe.”

“The participation in Petrol perfectly fits the profile of companies we seek to invest in”, Vincent Braams adds. “Petrol is a typical example of an entrepreneurial company that created strong international growth and that can benefit from our expertise in brand building and conquering international markets. Besides providing our experience and knowledge, we are happy to provide growth capital to a management team with a strong vision, seeking to further develop a powerful consumer brand. We look forward to a successful cooperation and are highly enthusiastic about Petrol joining the Vendis family of consumer companies.”

Pedro van Zon, founder of Petrol Industries is pleased with Vendis as its new partner: “We are happy to have Vendis supporting the roll-out of our growth strategy. In Vendis Capital we are delighted to have found a partner that is familiar with the consumer brands industry. With Vendis on board we will be able to better capture the full market potential in our core growth markets, invest in the organization and expand to new markets. We have grown fast in recent years and with our current strategy we will be able to further develop our position in the affordable quality fashion industry in the years to come.”

The participation in Petrol represents the fifth investment of Vendis in the Netherlands. Other investments are eyes + more (optical retail), Yarrah (organic pet food), Hypo Group (equestrian products), and Humanoid (luxury women fashion).

Vendis Capital has recently started its second fund, and has rapidly secured nearly €160m of commitments. Petrol is the first investment in the new fund. Fundraising for Vendis Capital II will close in the course of the coming months.

Vendis Capital invests in HUMANOID

Arnhem, 3 September 2015 – Sandra Harmsen and Hans Boelens, HUMANOID’s founders, have teamed up with Vendis Capital, the investment fund specialized in the European consumer sector, and Yvonne van Dormael who will become the new CEO of the company.

HUMANOID was founded in 1981 and has grown into an established Dutch fashion brand, embraced by a large international client base. For more than 34 years HUMANOID has developed inspiring women collections: expressive, creative and authentic, but also modern and comfortable. The collection of HUMANOID is sold online, via its flagship store in Arnhem (NL) and in ‘high-end boutiques’ spread over more than 25 countries, with a strong presence in the Benelux.

The transaction provided Hans Boelens the opportunity to hand over his operational responsibilities as CEO to Yvonne van Dormael. The creative direction of HUMANOID remains unchanged: Sandra Harmsen continues in her role as creative director and, as in previous years, will take care of the look, positioning and identity of the brand and its collections.

“The partnership with Vendis Capital is an important step for HUMANOID”, explains Hans Boelens. “The company is ready for a next growth phase and with the entry of Vendis Capital and their knowledge of the consumer sector, we found the right partner to help us do this”.

“We are very happy with our entry in HUMANOID” explains Michiel Deturck of Vendis Capital. “We were impressed with the strong position of HUMANOID in the attractive affordable luxury segment, the result of a consistent signature and dedicated focus on quality and comfort over the last 30 years. We look forward to working together with Sandra, Yvonne and the rest of the team to support the continued development of the company”.

The participation in HUMANOID represents the last investment of Vendis Capital I. Future investments will be done by Vendis Capital II, the second fund that secured a successful first closing of €125m with a target fund size of €150m. Vendis Capital II invests between €5m and €25m per transaction in companies with sales ranging from €10m to €120m.

Vendis reinforces its team

Vendis Capital Management (“Vendis”), a leading small to mid-market private equity investor specialized in the European consumer sector, is pleased to announce the appointment of two new members of its team. Vincent Braams joins the firm as Partner and will be based in the Netherlands. Catherine Jully, a French national, joins as Investment Analyst.

The appointments follow Vendis’ successful first close on its second fund, Vendis Capital II, at €125 million. The fund has a target of €150 million and follows the same strategy as its predecessor fund, seeking to build value in small to mid-market differentiated consumer companies in attractive sub-segments of the market.

Vincent Braams joins the Vendis team with over 20 years experience in the consumer sector, of which 17 years at established multinationals Nestlé and FrieslandCampina, and 4,5 years as CEO of private equity owned Smartwares (non-food consumer products), where he significantly grew the company through 11 buy-and-build transactions. Vincent will be based in the Netherlands and will facilitate the continued development of Vendis there, together with Michiel Deturck (Founding Partner) and Arjan Elderhorst (Investment Manager) who also cover the Dutch market.

Catherine Jully joins Vendis as Investment Analyst. She worked previously as Analyst at Accurary, a financial consultancy firm, in Paris. She has a master in Finance from HEC Paris and a Bachelor in Law from Versailles University.

“We are very pleased to have both Vincent and Catherine on board,” comments Michiel Deturck, Founding Partner at Vendis. “Vincent, who joins as Partner, comes with tremendous sector experience, both in the food and beverage segment, and in non-food consumer products. The addition of Vincent is an important step for Vendis to even better cover the Dutch market while strengthening at the same time our value added towards our current and future portfolio companies. The appointments of Vincent and Catherine reflect Vendis’ ambition to be the leading consumer-sector specialist investor in the European small to mid-market.”

Vendis secures strong first closing for its Fund II

Brussels, 31 January 2015 – Vendis Capital Management, a leading European private equity investor specialized in the consumer small and mid-market, is pleased to announce that it has secured aggregate commitments in excess of €125 million for its second fund, Vendis Capital II.

Besides commitments from investors in Vendis’ first fund (including EIF, the European Investment Fund, and Korys, the Colruyt family office), the Vendis team welcomes Morgan Stanley AIP as new investor in the fund. The first close puts Vendis Capital II in a strong position to reach its €150 million target. The team might decide to take the fund size beyond that amount.

Consistent with the team’s operating experience and the firm’s overall investment strategy, the new fund will continue to focus its efforts on partnering with small to mid-market differentiated consumer companies in attractive sub-segments of the market, as it has done since its founding in 2009. Vendis Capital II will invest between €5m and €25m per transaction in companies with sales ranging from €10m to €100m. Vendis Capital I, a €110 million 2009 vintage fund, has been successfully deployed through 8 investments in the Benelux and France.

Vendis Capital sells participation in ZEB to Colruyt Group

Merchtem, 23 June 2014 – Vendis Capital, the private equity fund focused on the European consumer sector, today announced that Colruyt Group, the Belgian stock-listed retail group, has agreed to acquire a stake of up to 50% in ZEB. More specifically, Colruyt Group will immediately acquire 40% in ZEB and obtains an option to acquire Vendis’ remaining shares before the end of 2014, which would increase Colruyt’s stake to 50%.

Vendis Capital entered into partnership with the dynamic and rapidly-growing retail chain ZEB in December 2009. As part of the transaction new funds were provided to finance ZEB’s growth plan. During the last four and a half years, ZEB expanded its store footprint from 21 to 46 stores. ZEB also invested significantly in its logistics and IT platform, and became a true cross-channel retailer by complementing its store network with an e-shop.

This is the first exit for Vendis Capital, which since its formation in October 2009 has invested EUR 76 million in 8 consumer companies based in Benelux and France. Closing of the transaction is expected to take place during the summer, after clearance from the Belgian anti-trust authorities.

“ZEB is a very dynamic company led by a strong and ambitious management team,” says Willem Van Aelten, one of the founding partners of Vendis Capital. “We thank Luc Van Mol, Isabelle Samson, Tom Vermeylen and the rest of the ZEB team for a very constructive, pleasant and rewarding partnership, and wish the team all the best with its new partner, Colruyt.”

“Vendis Capital was an excellent partner for us during the last five years,” adds Luc Van Mol, founder and CEO of ZEB. “The Vendis team not only supported us in growing our top line, they also encouraged us to scale the company and build the teams for future growth. We now look forward to our new partnership with Colruyt. We are excited to join forces with a very strong retail reference and look forward to our company’s continued growth trajectory.”

“The transaction fits in with our long term vision,” adds Frans Colruyt, COO of Colruyt Group. “We want to offer added value to the consumers in the different stages of their life. With ZEB we move forward in the well-acquainted retail domain. Through our existing retail formulas we already have some experience in textile products. I am convinced we can learn a lot from this young and dynamic player on the textile market.”

Vendis Capital was advised by KPMG Corporate Finance.

Vendis Capital invests in Victoria’s business development

Françoise Kaisin, Victoria’s founder, has teamed up with Vendis Capital, the specialist investment fund for the consumer brand sector.

The Victoria Group was founded in 1991 and is now the Belgian market leader and an important player in France in the jewellery direct sales sector. Victoria designs, produces and distributes, exclusively via its network of sales representatives, classic and trendy jewellery for men, women and children. The jewellery collection includes rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces and pendants, and is rigorously selected to meet the wishes of the public and provide optimum quality, in each product, at the best price.

“We have been impressed by Victoria’s quality of the products and its complete control of the direct sales model,” said Cedric Olbrechts from Vendis Capital. “Françoise Kaisin has created a real jewel here, and we’re convinced that Victoria has strong development potential!”

After several years of strong business development in Belgium and France, Françoise Kaisin was keen to team up with Vendis Capital in order to continue Victoria’s development and ensure the active support of an investor that is recognised for supporting growing companies.

“The presence of Vendis means that I can calmly and confidently deal with the future challenges and developments. I’m relying on them to help me continue Victoria’s development, particularly internationally, and also to continue building a solid platform for the continued success of this wonderful company,” summarises Kaisin.

Vendis Capital’s investment will also enable the Victoria Group to integrate its French business, which until now was partially owned by private individuals. “By integrating our French business into the Group, we will have the means to pursue harmonious and controlled development,” says Kaisin. “We have created a positive, virtuous dynamism which will help us to realise Victoria’s growth potential, especially in France.”

Pranarôm and HerbalGem join forces to establish the leading group specialising in natural therapies

Pranarôm and HerbalGem have joined forces to establish the leading group specialising in natural therapies.

The two laboratories were pioneers in their respective fields of aromatherapy and gemmotherapy. For more than 20 years, Pranarôm and HerbalGem have invested to increase scientific knowledge about essential oils and concentrated bud macerates.

“Pranarôm and HerbalGem have both become leading brands recognised for the quality of their products, the professionalism of their training and a firm scientific foundation. Furthermore, we share the same philosophy and passion for natural therapies,” commented Dominique Baudoux, the Group’s chairman.

The Group will benefit from its own crops and harvesting sites for buds and medicinal plants in Belgium and Madagascar, its two specialist production laboratories in Ghislenghien and Vielsalm, its commercial subsidiaries in France, Belgium, Spain and Italy, an international network of distributors and, most importantly, the trust of millions of consumers worldwide who regularly use the Group’s products.

“This is a major step forward in the expansion of Pranarôm and HerbalGem. By combining our strengths, we are giving ourselves the means to match our ambitions, and intend to continue to develop and promote the powerful properties of essential oils and buds,” added Sergio Calandri, the Group’s CEO.

With this merger, the Group is setting itself the task of promoting improved health for all through nature, and is planning to bring on board the best companies in the sector, particularly through acquisitions.

“The establishment of a leading natural therapy group is a major step in a broader and ambitious growth plan. It is the embodiment of a vision and ambition we have shared with Dominique Baudoux since the start of our partnership in 2011. We are very happy to welcome Sergio Calandri and his teams to this new group, and are convinced that the companies and people involved complement each other perfectly,” concluded Cedric Olbrechts, Partner at Vendis Capital.

Vendis Capital invests in Mazarine

Paris, 14 March 2013 – The communications agency aimed at the luxury industry, Mazarine, is joining Fondations Capital and its co-investor Vendis Capital following a secondary MBO transaction.

Aimed exclusively at the luxury consumer industry, Mazarine serves more than 80 of the most prestigious brands, including Chanel, Cartier, Louis Vuitton and Van Cleef & Arpels. Since its launch in 1992, the agency has gradually developed five business areas (starting with publishing, followed by design, events, digital and advertising) by setting up or taking over a dedicated entity. In the space of five years, its turnover rose from EUR 27 million to EUR 82 million in 2012, partly due to the acquisition of La Mode en Images in 2010, followed by that of Mademoiselle Noï in 2012.

Mazarine was founded and is led by Paul-Emmanuel Reiffers, who is re-investing in the business alongside Fondations Capital and Vendis Capital.

“Since 2010, our business has grown by more than 25% per annum, mainly driven by digital and events, especially internationally,” comments Paul-Emmanuel Reiffers. With offices in Beijing and Hong Kong since 2011, the Paris agency is planning to continue its expansion in Asia, aiming to set up offices in Shanghai within two years. “Asia is the largest source of growth for the luxury industry. Compared to Europe, the communication budgets there are very high,” continues the director. With 240 employees, Mazarine also has plans to expand into the United States and Brazil, and can rely on its new shareholders to finance its external growth.

Mazarine represents Vendis’ second equity participation in France in quick succession, following that of the Bailly Group, which owns Alexandre de Paris.

Vendis Capital invests in Alexandre de Paris

Paris, 11 March 2013 – The Bailly Group, historical partner of Monsieur Alexandre, the iconic hairdresser to the stars and high society, creator of haute coiffure and founder of the world-famous brand Alexandre de Paris, has just acquired the brand, which the group operated for over 40 years for hair accessories and ornaments.

A member of the Vendôme committee, the Bailly Group was until now the exclusive licensee of the brand. The Group embodies the heritage of a unique French craftsmanship in luxury hair accessories and is distributed throughout the world in more than 20 countries and over 100 stores. Alexandre de Paris has its own stores in Paris, London and Hong Kong, while in the rest of Europe, Asia (Japan, China, Taiwan), Russia and South America (Brazil) the distribution takes place via a network of distributors. This growing international success is notably due to products that continue to be entirely handmade and which are recognised for their great technical and aesthetic qualities, thanks to a creative team headed by Fabienne Bailly.

On this occasion, the group partners with the private equity fund, Vendis Capital, specialised in the distribution sector and consumer brands. Vendis contributed the funds necessary for this acquisition and took a participation in the company in order to accelerate its development, particularly in emerging countries.

Sébastien Bailly, founder and CEO of the Bailly Group, stated: “It is a fundamental step that has been taken today for the Bailly Group. Not only are we becoming the full owner of our brand, but we are entering into a partnership with Vendis, a professional investor that has already proven its added value. I therefore enthusiastically welcome them in order to accelerate our growth by further deploying our store model. “

“Fabienne and Sébastien Bailly have been able to successfully transform the company from a simple factory for the production of high-quality accessories into a veritable brand offering luxury in hair accessories.” explains Cedric Olbrechts, Partner of Vendis Capital Management.

Jean Cailliau, Paris-based Advisor of Vendis Capital Management, adds: “For us, the Bailly Group and Alexandre de Paris are shining examples of quality and creativity Made in France, which will continue to demonstrate rapid growth in a new sector of luxury products.”

This investment is the sixth investment of Vendis Capital and the fund’s first investment in France, where its management company opened a representative office in 2012.<