EU Commission clears acquisition of TriStyle by investment firm Equistone
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of TriStyle Mode GmbH of Germany by Equistone Partners Europe Ltd. (together with its portfolio companies “Equistone”) of the United Kingdom. Equistone, headquartered in London, is an independent investment firm that invests mainly in medium-sized companies, with a portfolio spanning a number of industries. TriStyle is a Munich-based multi-channel clothing and footwear retailer, with a focus on high quality women’s apparel sold mainly in Germany under the domains “Peter Hahn” and “Madeleine”
The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, because the parties are not active in the same markets. The Commission also took into account that one of Equistone’s portfolio companies supplies shoes at wholesale level. Nevertheless, the impact of the transaction on the market for retail sale of shoes is negligible and numerous alternative suppliers will continue to be active on the market at, both wholesale and retail level. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger procedure.
Equistone acquired on July 27, 2015 Peter Hahn and Madeleine Mode. Equistone Partners Europe Limited (“Equistone”) through its Fund V has acquired a majority stake in TriStyle Mode GmbH. Together, with the company’s management, the mid-market focused private equity firm is buying all the shares in the business. The selling shareholders are Primondo Specialty Group GmbH and Wirth Beteiligungs GmbH.
The fashion group focuses on the over-45 audience via its Peter Hahn and Madeleine Mode womenswear brands. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.
TriStyle distributes its own apparel brands and selected third party brands via catalogues (66%), e-commerce (27%) and retail stores (7%). Key markets include Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands and France, which account for more than 90% of revenues. In the financial year 2013/14, TriStyle generated total sales of €483 million, with Peter Hahn accounting for €321 million and Madeleine Mode for €162 million. In the current financial year both companies are performing well in contrast to wider sector trends.
Michael Bork, Managing Director, Equistone, commented: “The market-leading position of the TriStyle group companies in female fashion for the over 45s was a crucial factor in making this investment. We have clear growth plans for Peter Hahn and Madeleine Mode through an expansion of their customer base, accelerated growth in e-commerce and further integration of the existing sales channels. In addition, it is our aim to acquire more companies in order to strengthen the company’s market position.”
Peter Hahn has been a retailer of both women’s and men’s high quality clothing lines, including its successful own-label brands, for over 50 years. Today, the business markets more than 250 brands, including premium brands such as Escada, Basler and Windsor.
Established in 1977, Madeleine Mode only sells its exclusive own-label brand, offering a wide range of high-quality womenswear in the high fashion segment. Together, Peter Hahn and Madeleine Mode provide a complete product range for the over 45s, covering fashion, shoes, accessories, underwear and home textiles.
“As the management of this business, we chose to invest because we believe in the potential of the business’s target demographic of customers over the age of 45. Equistone is a financially strong partner, and together we will be able to capitalise on the significant market opportunities,” commented TriStyle Director, Thomas Hetmann.
Michael H. Bork and Dr. Katja Mühlhäuser led the deal for Equistone. Advisers to Equistone included: KPMG (Financial and Tax), PWC (Commercial), CMS (Legal, SPA), N+1 (Debt Advisor) and Shearman (Finance).