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.”

Alpine accelerates its growth with the acquisition of Thunderplugs

Utrecht (NL), 1 November 2019 – Alpine Hearing Protection continues its growth strategy with the acquisition of Thunderplugs/Bananaz (Safe Ears B.V.).

Alpine, headquartered in Soesterberg (the Netherlands), develops and markets premium hearing protection products. Alpine was founded in 1995 by Peter and Lisette de Roode, who quickly saw the potential of innovative hearing protection products supported by a strong brand. At the end of 2018, Vendis Capital came on board as shareholder 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 based on bringing high-quality and innovative products to the consumer through all relevant sales channels. The strong organic growth will now be accelerated further by this acquisition of another successful hearing protection player.

Safe Ears B.V., better known under its brand name Thunderplugs, was founded in 2011 by two young musicians and entrepreneurs,  Koen Brouwer and Quinten Huigen. Their mission was to bring high-quality hearing protection products to the consumer in locations where it was most needed. Over the last number of years they have built a strong position in the so-called Events & Venues channel, with an extensive network of customers, including music clubs, venues and festivals.

Arthur van Keeken, CEO of Alpine, explains: “This acquisition strengthens our leading position in the Events & Venues channel. We strongly value this sales channel in the hearing protection market, on the one hand because it fulfils a direct need of the consumer at that given time, and on the other hand because it is often the first introduction of the (young) consumer to our products. We are also very pleased to welcome the Safe Ears team, led by Wouter Donkers, to our group and to continue to leverage the advice of Koen and Quinten in the future.”

Sylphar confirms its buy & build strategy by acquiring 2 market leading brands in the antiperspirant business, Axitrans and Axideo

Brussels, 30 September 2019 – Sylphar, the fast-growing OTC company which teamed-up with Vendis Capital in May 2017 and acquired Pro Teeth Whitening and Nutravita in September 2018 , builds on its future ambition to become one of the leading branded and omni-channel European player in the consumer healthcare space, by acquiring Axitrans and Axideo, 2 leading brands in the antiperspirant business.

In 2008, Sylphar was founded by Robin List, as a spin-off from a publicly listed dental company. The company offers teeth whitening products under the leading brand iWhite, an innovative range of solutions for specific skin conditions under the Remescar brand, and oral therapeutics under the Herpatch (cold sores and ulcers) and Shur (bad breath) brands. Sylphar focuses on developing and marketing innovative products, whose production is outsourced and that are sold to the market through local distribution partners.

As from the start, Sylphar immediately experienced a year on year double digit growth through continuous innovation and geographic expansion. In 2017, Robin List teamed up with Vendis Capital to further develop Sylphar, with the ambition to build a portfolio of strategic niche brands with the ambition to obtain a leading position in their respective categories and geographies, be it organically or through acquisitions. In July 2018, Sylphar partnered with the founders of Pro Teeth Whitening and Nutravita, two leading digital brands respectively active in teeth whitening and supplements.

On September 17, 2019, the Belgian market leading brands Axitrans and Axideo were acquired by Sylphar, from the Vésale Pharmaceutical portfolio. Both Axitrans and Axideo have a good positioning in the antiperspirant niche market by offering a unique and therapeutic solution for people affected by hyperhidrosis, meaning the hyperactivity of sweat glands leading the body to produce a quantity of sweat greater than normal. Both brands benefit from a very strong brand recognition in Belgium.

Founder and CEO of Sylphar, Robin List comments: “. This acquisition is the second phase within our current buy & build strategy. Sylphar is continuously looking for new acquisitions within the healthcare & cosmetic business with a specific angle on niche and D2C brands. Axitrans and Axideo are a perfect add on to our brand portfolio. Our goal is to further strengthen the antiperspirant business by exploring the products full potential, and looking at geographic expansion.”

Vendis Capital III reaches its €300 million fund target at first Closing

Brussels, 11 July 2019 – Vendis Capital Management, a specialized European private equity investor focused on the small and mid-market consumer sector, is pleased to announce that it has raised €300 million for Vendis Capital III, its third fund since the start of Vendis in 2009. Besides commitments from existing investors in Vendis’ previous funds, Vendis has welcomed new institutional investors and family offices from various geographical areas. Fundraising with new investors started in April this year, and the total fund size target was reached at the first Closing.

The Vendis team combines a long investment experience with a solid operational expertise in the consumer sector. This allows the team to successfully spot promising consumer brands and retailers and to work in partnership with strong management teams to execute growth strategies focused on launching new product lines, on developing new sales channels, or on expanding into new countries.

This approach has led to good results in the past years. The first fund Vendis I (2009, €110 million) has realized several very successful exits. The second fund Vendis II (2015, €180 million) is now also fully invested in 9 companies, after its latest investment in the French jewelry brand L’Atelier d’Amaya, announced last month.

Vendis III will continue with the same strategy to invest in small to mid-market growth companies in attractive sub-segments of the consumer sector in Benelux, France, DACH and Scandinavia. Vendis will further expand its team to reinforce its investor presence in these key geographies and to support the portfolio companies in their international growth.

Amaya and Laure de Gorostarzu partner with Vendis Capital to support the development of L’Atelier d’Amaya

Brussels, 19 June 2019 – Vendis Capital, the private equity fund specialized in consumer brands, joins forces with Laure and Amaya de Gorostarzu, co-founders of the jewellery brand L’Atelier d’Amaya.

Bordeaux-based L’Atelier d’Amaya designs and markets an extensive range of silver and golden jewellery, combining timeless products with trendy creations and allowing customers to customize their jewels.

Founded in 2007 by mother-daughter duo (respectively Laure and Amaya), L’Atelier d’Amaya opened its first store in Bordeaux in 2009. Driven by the quality of its products and the constant focus on customer satisfaction, the brand has gained strong traction and builds a privileged relationship with its customers who identify themselves with the values of authenticity, simplicity and proximity, conveyed by the brand.

L’Atelier d’Amaya has become a truly omnichannel brand, going to market through a network of 8 stores in France, as well as online through its own website and its presence on social media, establishing a direct relationship with its customers and a strong attachment to the brand.

After years of strong growth, Amaya and Laure were keen to team up with Vendis Capital in order to accelerate the development of L’Atelier d’Amaya and to ensure the active support of a seasoned investor with a deep understanding of building consumer brands.

Amaya de Gorostarzu, co-founder: “We are very happy to welcome Vendis Capital. By combining our strengths, we will have the necessary resources to achieve our ambitions and have full confidence in our ability to expand swiftly in France and internationally to fully realize the growth potential of L’Atelier d’Amaya.”

Laure de Gorostarzu, co-founder, adds: “Thanks to the work of our team, we have built a strong track record of success in recent years and we are convinced that the partnership with Vendis Capital will allow us to tackle the future challenges and developments.”

Mathieu de Medeiros, partner at Vendis Capital concludes: “We admire the way Amaya and Laure have succeeded in building a brand that perfectly resonates with the expectations of the modern customer in just a few years time. We are convinced of the power of the omnichannel strategy and look forward to this partnership with Laure, Amaya and their team and to contribute to the future development of this unique company. “

Mathieu de Medeiros appointed as Partner

Brussels, 15 March 2019 – Vendis Capital is strengthening its position in France by appointing Mathieu de Medeiros as partner in charge of the French market.

Vendis Capital herewith reaffirms its ambition to provide entrepreneurs and businesses with the value added of a European sector fund and the cultural and geographic proximity of local teams.

After starting his career with Société Générale and spending 4 years in M&A with JPMorgan in Paris, Mathieu de Medeiros joined Vendis Capital at its inception in 2009. During these last ten years, Mathieu has contributed to Vendis Capital’s success by his work on projects including Inula (Pranarôm, HerbalGem, Biofloral, Veriditas), Alexandre de Paris, Mazarine, Victoria and Sylphar.

Cedric Olbrechts, founding partner of Vendis Capital: “We have seen an enormous success at Vendis in these past years and will continue to develop ambitiously in France. From this point of view, we will be building our Paris office further in the months to come, under Mathieu’s leadership”.

This makes Mathieu de Medeiros Vendis Capital’s fourth partner, alongside Michiel Deturck, Cedric Olbrechts and Vincent Braams. Vendis Capital now consists of 16 professionals of four different nationalities and has invested in 17 European consumer goods companies.