Alexander Matthes appointed as partner

Brussels, April 1, 2021 – Vendis Capital is strengthening its position in the DACH region by appointing Alexander Matthes as Partner

Vendis Capital (“Vendis”), a leading small to mid-market private equity investor specialized in the European consumer sector, has appointed Alexander Matthes as Partner. Alexander will be based in Vendis’ newly established office in Frankfurt and facilitate the continued development of Vendis in the DACH region together with Michiel Deturck (Partner) and Stefan Weimann (Investment Manager).

Alexander joins the Vendis team with over two decades of investment banking experience, of which he focused on the consumer sector for 15 years. Most recently, he was Managing Director at William Blair leading its consumer practice in Europe. Prior to that, he held various positions at Commerzbank, Dresdner Kleinwort and Lazard.

“Alexander’s sector expertise paired with his knowledge of the DACH market make him a great addition to the Vendis team,” comments Michiel Deturck. “The appointment of Alexander and the addition of a Frankfurt office mark an important step for Vendis to even better cover the DACH market and further position us as the partner of choice for consumer companies in that region.”

This makes Alexander Matthes Vendis’ fifth partner, alongside Michiel Deturck, Cedric Olbrechts, Vincent Braams and Mathieu de Medeiros. Vendis now consists of 14 investment professionals of five different nationalities and has invested in 21 European consumer goods companies.

Vendis Capital supports the growth of ECOstyle

Utrecht (NL), 3 February 2021 – Vendis Capital, the private equity fund specialized in consumer brands, invests in ECOstyle, a leading brand of sustainable garden care products with an international presence

ECOstyle, headquartered in Oosterwolde (the Netherlands) in one of the most sustainable buildings in Europe, develops and markets ecologically responsible products mainly for garden care, as well as animal care and livestock. The company was founded in 1967 with the same eco-oriented philosophy that remains up until today, offering high quality and effective naturally-based alternatives to chemical-based products. Since its foundation, ECOstyle has been led successfully by the Zwart family for three generations.

ECOstyle serves gardening consumers and pet owners, as well as professional gardeners and the agriculture and horticulture sectors. It has established leading positions and a local presence in all of their focus markets, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Austria, where it has longstanding relationships with the key garden centers and DIY retailers.

Vendis Capital invests alongside current CEO and family member Jeanine De Vries-Zwart, who will retain a minority stake and transition to a supervisory board role. Martine Olijslagers-Kuip will join as the new CEO, complementing the existing management team consisting of CFO Jehannes Santema and CCO Henny Atsma.

Jeanine de Vries-Zwart is proud of the development of the company over more than 50 years under the ownership of the family and welcomes Vendis Capital as the new owner: “Based on our interactions with Vendis over the past few months, we are very confident to have found the right new owner for ECOstyle who will support the next phase of its development whilst embracing and strengthening the company’s ecofriendly positioning, which has been at the core of our DNA across three generations. We also would like to give a warm welcome to Martine and are convinced that she will bring significant experience in marketing, sales, channel & category development and sustainability from her past roles at Nestlé”.

Vincent Braams, Partner at Vendis Capital: “We are very happy to add ECOstyle to our portfolio of consumer brands. It presents a leading and authentic ECO brand that accommodates to the increasing consumer demand for ecofriendly products in its segments. We thank the Zwart family for their trust and are excited to support the growth of the company going forward together with Jeanine and the management team.”

The participation in ECOstyle represents the third investment within Vendis Capital III, the €300 million fund that was launched in 2019.

Vendis Capital sells its stake in Humanoid

Utrecht (NL), 28 January 2021 – Vendis Capital, the independent private equity firm specializing in the consumer goods sector in Europe, has sold its stake in Humanoid, a women’s fashion brand, to Maikel van den Dungen. Maikel has been in the management of Humanoid ever since joining the company in 2015.

Vendis Capital teams up with founders & management to accelerate the development of Dutch retailer SoLow

Utrecht (NL), 5 January 2021 – Vendis Capital, the consumer sector specialized European private equity fund, invests in SoLow, a Dutch retailer with a fun offering of party, hobby & craft and other non-food articles with affordable pricing.

SoLow, headquartered in Culemborg (The Netherlands), is a uniquely differentiated retailer with a deep assortment in party, hobby & craft as well as a broad offering in other fun non-food articles, all available at affordable prices. The company was founded in 2003 by the brothers Danny and Francois Dame, who started selling these products from a stall on local street markets. Building on their success, they started opening permanent stores under the SoLow brand. Since then they have delivered considerable growth in both absolute and like-for-like sales. The company currently operates 35 SoLow stores throughout the Netherlands.

Vendis Capital teams up with the two brothers to further accelerate the growth and development of the company. To do so a new management team comprising a mix of current and new employees is formed. This team will be led by Gert-Jan Becks (CEO). Gert-Jan brings significant experience from his past roles at amongst others Swinkels Family Brewers, Bacardi-Martini and Nestlé.

Danny Dame, co-founder, and current CEO of SoLow, is proud of the successes he and his team have made in building the SoLow format. He believes that Vendis Capital is the right partner for SoLow to continue this success: “The qualities of Vendis Capital, amongst others their successful track-record within the retail industry and experience with optimizing and rolling-out retail formats, will add to Solow’s further development”

David de Graaf, Investment Director at Vendis Capital: “SoLow fits Vendis’ investment criteria very well; it presents a retailer in the large and growing non-food discount segment with a differentiated format that is well positioned for further growth. We are excited about partnering with SoLow and look forward to bring its unique offering to more and more customers.”

The participation in SoLow represents the second investment within Vendis Capital III, the €300 million fund that was launched in 2019.

Vendis Capital sells its stake in ferm LIVING to Maj Invest Equity

Brussels, 22 December 2020 – Vendis Capital announce that they have reached an agreement with Maj Invest Equity, thereby ma­king Maj Invest Equity the new majority shareholder of ferm LIVING, which Trine Andersen founded in 2006 and where she will remain the company’s Creative Director and continued partner.

ferm LIVING has built a strong international retail distribution network in more than 60 countries, and the company has strengthened their organization and supplier base since Vendis Capital joined as an investor in 2016. As a design brand, ferm LIVING is now stronger than ever and has in recent years enjoyed significant growth in sales channels across geographies and product categories, which has shown in the company’s financial results.

“ferm LIVING has grown to become a strong international design brand with a large community of followers. We are happy and proud to be able to continue developing the company that we have built together with our fantastic team. The partnership with Maj Invest Equity will help us to continue this journey, where we do what we do best: inspire our consumers and create collections of furniture, accessories and lighting for all rooms in the home on a larger international scale,” says Trine Andersen.

Michiel Deturck, Partner at Vendis Capital, adds.: “During our investment period, ferm LIVING has gone through a fantastic development, with the drive and cohesion that characterizes a great team, working together under the leadership of founder Trine Andersen of CEO Peter Vedel. We are proud that we have been able to support ferm LIVING during the last five years, and we believe the company is now very well placed to continue its successful growth story. We wish the whole ferm LIVING team and Maj Invest all the best for the next phase.”

“With its unique, warm design universe, ferm LIVING is spot on in the international design trend, and ferm LIVING has hereby built a strong brand, also internationally, and has positioned itself intelligently and effectively within the fast-growing online segment. The ferm LIVING brand is bigger than the business, and we will utilize this impressive brand position to continue the journey of growth and intensify the internationalization,” adds Erik Holm, Managing Partner in Maj Invest.

Peter Vedel concludes: “We have been very pleased with our cooperation with Vendis Capital and we have had a good journey together the past 5 years. We have managed to profitably grow the ferm LIVING brand and business, while at the same time strengthen our organization and ways of working to ensure a scalable company for the future.”

The transaction will be executed in the coming days.

Maxime Buhler and Samuel Carré partner with Vendis Capital to accelerate the development of Pokawa

Brussels, 7 September 2020 – Vendis Capital, the private equity fund specialized in consumer brands, joins forces with Maxime Buhler and Samuel Carré, co-founders of Pokawa, the leading Poke Bowl concept in France.

Based in Paris and founded in 2017 by Maxime Buhler and Samuel Carré, Pokawa is the leading fast-casual restaurant chain in France for poke bowls, an exotic dish from Hawaiian inspiration, made from rice, marinated fish, fruits and vegetables.

Surfing on the growing appetite of consumers for healthy food, Pokawa offers customised dishes, made to order with simple and fresh ingredients. The brand stems from the travels of its co-founders and has developed around an exotic universe, matching with the expectations of the new consumer. In 2019, Pokawa received the award for the most ordered dish worldwide on the Deliveroo platform, namely the “Super Protein Poke”, which demonstrates the relevance of the offering.

Pokawa has experienced a steep growth curve since its inception and now counts 27 mostly self-owned restaurants across France but also internationally, with first openings in Belgium and Luxembourg. Together with its on-site and take-out catering, Pokawa has also become the benchmark on delivery platforms. Thanks to its hybrid model, between retail and digital, Pokawa emerged stronger from the Covid period and is now positioned as the growing brand in the sector.

Building on their success and the growth of their concept, Maxime Buhler and Samuel Carré have chosen to join forces with Vendis Capital in order to plan for an ambitious development.

Maxime Buhler, co-founder, says : « It is with great pleasure that we welcome Vendis Capital to the Pokawa adventure.  As we share the same vision and ambition for Pokawa, we will now work together in order to consolidate our leadership position in France and accelerate our growth internationally».

Samuel Carré, co-founder adds : « This partnership with Vendis Capital validates the fantastic work carried out by the entire Pokawa team for nearly 3 years and will allow us to approach a new phase of the brand’s development in Europe in an ambitious way ». Mathieu de Medeiros, partner at Vendis Capital, concludes: « We are impressed by the entrepreneurship and agility shown by Samuel and Maxime in the development of Pokawa and by the resilience of the business model during the Covid period. We are dedicated to supporting talented entrepreneurs in ambitious growth plans across Europe.  Maxime and Samuel fitting in perfectly with this philosophy, this partnership happened naturally. Their trust honours us and we are very happy to be able to contribute to Pokawa’s development ».

Sylphar achieves further strategic milestone in building a leading omni-channel consumer health company through the acquisition of Alpha Foods

Deurle (Belgium), May 14th 2020 – Sylphar, the fast-growing OTC company that teamed-up with Vendis Capital in May 2017 with the ambition to accelerate its growth, both organically as well as through acquisitions, has made a further step towards becoming one of the leading European omni-channel players in the consumer healthcare space through the acquisition of Alpha Foods, a German digital-native brand of food supplements and vegan nutrition

Founded by Wolfgang Dorfner, Alpha Foods designs, markets and distributes a range of nutritional supplements and vegan nutrition products that are sold exclusively online, through the company’s own web shop as well as through Amazon. Wolfgang’s past experience at both Facebook and Google have enabled him to gain a unique understanding of these online platforms and has allowed him to build a true Alpha Foods community online.

Wolfgang will join Sylphar in order to further drive the growth of Alpha Foods as well as extend his online expertise to the other brands within the group.

Founder and CEO of Sylphar, Robin List explains: “We are extremely happy to welcome Wolfgang in the Sylphar organization and are looking forward to continue growing the Alpha Foods in the years to come. The acquisition reinforces the existing group presence in the fast growing food supplement and vegan nutrition category. I’m convinced that this partnership is a true win-win situation in which Wolfgang will bring his unique online expertise to our group and benefit from the full support of our organization in order to scale up Alpha Foods.”

Wolfgang Dorfner adds: “I’m very excited to join the Sylphar family. Having run Alpha Foods by myself since launching it in 2016, I’m truly looking forward to the experience and support of Sylphar’s team in order to continue the Alpha Foods journey, as well as support the group’s other brands in their digital initiatives wherever I can.”

The acquisition of Alpha Foods perfectly matches Sylphar’s strategy to become one of the leading branded and omni-channel European players in the consumer healthcare space and confirms the buy & build ambitions of both partners Robin List and Vendis Capital.

Alpine Hearing Protection confirms its ambitious expansion strategy with a second add-on acquisition

Utrecht (NL), 6 March 2020 – Alpine, the leading hearing protection brand, is further expanding its leading position through the acquisition of Acoufun. The acquisition strengthens Alpine’s position in France across various important sales channels including concert halls, festivals, music stores, supermarkets, pharmacies and audiologists. In addition, it is also a major step forward as the leading hearing protection provider at events with the addition of Formula 1®, MotoGP™ and 24h du Mans ®, covering races in Europe and across the rest of the world.

Alpine, headquartered in Soesterberg (the Netherlands), develops and markets premium hearing protection products. At the end of 2018, Vendis Capital was brought on board as shareholder by founders Peter and Lisette de Roode, and Arthur van Keeken was appointed as CEO. All this with a straightforward ambition: to build the winning and largest brand in hearing protection.

Alpine’s strategy is a combination of well-defined organic growth initiatives, bringing high-quality and innovative products to the consumer through all relevant sales channels, and selective buy-and-build to accelerate this growth. This led to Alpine completing its first add-on acquisition in the Netherlands in 2019, with the successful integration of Thunderplugs, and Alpine has now taken its inorganic expansion internationally with the acquisition of Acoufun.

Acoufun, founded in 2006 by Amaury Silvestre de Sacy, is a leading hearing protection player in France. It has a long heritage of selling earplugs and earmuffs to both adults and children at concert halls, venues, festivals and music stores and has more recently expanded into other sales channels in France including supermarkets, pharmacies, audiologists, etc. In addition, Acoufun has built a leading position at car and motorcycle racing events globally, selling hearing protection at Formula 1®, MotoGP™ and 24h du Mans ® races amongst others.

Arthur van Keeken, CEO of Alpine, comments: “This acquisition confirms our strong international growth ambitions. It provides us with an excellent combined market position in France, as well as a global stage at the various races to strengthen our brand awareness. We are grateful for what Amaury and his team have achieved and look forward to welcoming them to our group.”

Amaury Silvestre de Sacy, founder of Acoufun, adds: “We are excited to become part of the Alpine family. By joining forces, we can leverage our existing customer relationships to strengthen Alpine’s position as the leading hearing protection brand. I look forward to pursuing the numerous new growth opportunities in France and abroad with the support of the Alpine organisation.”

Vendis Capital is strengthening its position in the Nordics by appointing Christian Riisberg as Senior Advisor

Brussels, 13 January 2020. Christian Riisberg, an experienced investor in consumer goods companies, has been appointed Senior Advisor reinforcing the Vendis team, notably Joris Van Troos and Cedric Olbrechts in the Nordic countries.

Christian, a Dane living in Sweden since many years, will facilitate the continued development of Vendis in the Nordics.  He brings extensive knowledge from his roles as founding partner of Alipes AB, a consumer goods fund in the Nordics, as well as being board member in a variety of consumer goods companies.

“Christian’s sector expertise, his knowledge of the Nordic market and our common vision convinced us that Christian would be a great addition to the team. Following our investment in ferm LIVING in Copenhagen, we are convinced that Vendis has a role to play for consumer goods companies in the Nordics and we want to further invest in the region”” explains Cedric Olbrechts, one of the founding partners of Vendis.

For additional information, please contact:

Cedric Olbrechts    –    Tel. +32 476 70 62 82     –    co@vendiscapital.com

Christian Riisberg   –    Tel. +46 704 82 55 41     –    cr@vendiscapital.com

Kamera Express expands its service offering by acquiring Budgetcam and Profotonet

Utrecht (NL), 18 December 2019 – Kamera Express, Europe’s leading photo and video equipment specialist, has acquired Budgetcam, the market leading rental company for photo- and video equipment in the Netherlands, and Profotonet, a leading producer of high-quality prints.

Kamera Express, based in Capelle a/d Ijssel (The Netherlands), has been the leading photo and video specialist in the Netherlands and Belgium for more than 20 years. Through its own webshops and 24 brick-and-mortar stores, Kamera Express provides consumers with a winning combination of a wide product range and the best service at the lowest prices. Vendis Capital, being shareholder since the beginning of 2018, aims to build the European market leader in this attractive niche market. With the earlier acquisition of Foto Konijnenberg at the end of 2018, this strategy accelerated by adding brick-and-mortar stores and webshops in several European countries (The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Spain, Italy and Luxembourg).

In addition to hardware, the range of Kamera Express also includes various related products and services, such as insurances, trainings and travel options. The aim of this broad and high-quality offering is to be able to serve as good and complete as possible both professional customers and hobbyists and thereby strengthening its position as the specialist in photo and video equipment. Kamera Express has evolved from a retailer to a fully-fledged consumer platform that offers information, products, services and a community to its target group. As part of this strategy, the acquisition of Budgetcam and Profotonet further strengthens the platform with rental equipment and high-quality photo prints. Both services resonate well with the needs of the different Kamera Express target groups.

Budget Cameraverhuur B.V., better known under its brand name Budgetcam, was founded in 2003 by Bjinse van der Zwaag. In the years that followed, Budgetcam grew strongly to become the leading rental company of photo and video equipment in the Netherlands with a total of 8 branches.

Profotonet B.V., founded in 1951 and under the leadership of Richard Berlijn, recently grew into a strong provider of various types of prints (photo prints, albums and wall decoration). The company is positioned within the premium segment of the market and differentiates itself with the high quality of its prints.

Ben Cornelisse, CEO of Kamera Express: “With the addition of Budgetcam and Profotonet we can further strengthen the services we provide to our customers and thus our position as the specialist in photo and video in Europe. We are grateful to both Bjinse and Richard for the leading positions both companies have achieved in their segments. We look forward to adding them to the Kamera Express platform and to accelerating their growth through the combination.”