CVC Capital Partners acquires perfume retailer Douglas

CVC Capital Partners acquires perfume retailer Douglas

UK private-equity firm CVC Capital Partners has acquired Europe’s leading perfume retailer, Douglas.

The deal, reportedly worth around €2.8bnn (US$3.1 bn), was finalized a few days after the German perfume company announced plans for an initial public offering.

Founded in Hamburg in 1821, Douglas operates more than 1,700 stores in 19 countries. It was previously bought from founders, the Kreke family, by US private equity firm Advent International in 2012 for €1.5bn (US$1.9bn).  

The Kreke family has agreed with CVC to reinvest in Douglas through a joint holding company owned by CVC and the Kreke family. Dr Henning Kreke will continue to serve as CEO of Douglas.

Douglas posted sales of about €2.5bnn in the 2014 financial year. The company controls about 17 per cent of the European perfume chain market.

Søren Vestergaard-Poulsen, Managing Partner at CVC, commented, “We are delighted to have come to an agreement to acquire Douglas together with the Kreke family. Douglas is a market leader with attractive growth prospects due to its strong management team, extensive store network, leading online presence and dedicated employees. We are very much looking forward to working with the family and the management to grow this European Beauty champion further over the long term.”

Dr Henning Kreke, CEO of Douglas and a representative of the Kreke family, said, “Over the past two years, Douglas has become the largest specialist beauty retailer in Europe. It is renowned for its clear customer focus, an innovative product portfolio and an impressive in-store and E-Commerce presence.

“We thank our employees for their continuous commitment and Advent International for the valuable support in aligning our business and positioning it for further growth. We look forward to partnering with CVC as a reliable and strong long-term partner who will support the company with additional industry expertise and financial resources, to ensure our continued growth.”

Douglas is the second investment by CVC in the Selective Beauty Retail market, following the firm’s investment in Matas, Denmark’s leading health and beauty chain in 2012. CVC acquired a majority stake in Matas and Søren Vestergaard-Poulsen served as the chairman of the board of Matas Group until the successful IPO on the Nasdaq OMX Copenhagen in 2013, through which CVC gradually sold its stake.