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.

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.