Spain’s Privalia picks up 100% of Germany’s leading online clothing and apparel retailer

Privalia Venta Directa, S.L. has acquired 100% of Dress for Less, one of Germany's leading online clothing and apparel retailers, from Palamon Capital Partners. Privalia is a leading private online sales club with market leading positions in Spain, Italy, Brazil and Mexico. Palamon Capital Partners is a pan-European private equity firm.

Dress for Less operates a distribution platform in the open site, discount and full price segments. It has more than 500,000 active customers and a total customer base of 1 million in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Commenting on the acquisition, Lucas Carne and Jose-Manuel Villanueva, Co-Founders of Privalia said the acquisition marks a significant step for the firm. Dress for Less is a leading online retailer in Germany and the biggest and fastest growing economy in the EU, they noted. There are significant strategic and operational synergies in this partnership, said the two.

This acquisition brings a significant geographic expansion, a leadership position in Germany and expands the Privalia business model, providing Privalia with a large and effective channel for the private sales return stock, they added.

Mirco Schultis and Holger Hengstler, Managing Partners of Dress for Less said Privalia is a very fast growth business and becoming part of it marks an important move. Privalia has ambitious plans for continued expansion and Dress for Less will benefit greatly from the combination, they said.

The investment is to be funded via a combination of €88 million of new equity provided by General Atlantic LLC, a leading global growth equity firm, Highland Capital Partners LLC, Index Ventures LLP and Insight Venture Partners, a debt facility and shares. Post the transaction, Dress For Less founders and managing partners Mirco Schultis and Holger Hengstler will become significant shareholders in Privalia.

This acquisition marks Privalia's first entry to the German market, and follows the company’s completion of a €70 million financing in October 2010. The financing was one of the largest capital raises in the private online sales sector globally. The previous financing targeted expanding Privalia’s leadership into new markets organically and through acquisitions. It was supported through equity investment by General Atlantic, Index Ventures and Highland Capital Partners.

Privalia is based in Barcelona, Spain and is the market leader in each country in which it currently operates: Spain, Brazil, Italy and Mexico. The firm was advised on the transaction by Jefferies International Limited, the global securities and investment banking firm and legal advisers Garrigues and Ashurst.

14th March 2011

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