Vendis Capital sells its stake in innovative optical retailer eyes + more to 3i backed Hans Anders

Diegem (BE), Son (NL), December 8, 2018 – Vendis Capital (“Vendis”) and the founders and managers of eyes+more announced today that they have sold eyes + more to 3i-backed Hans Anders, the market leading value-for-money optical retailer in the Benelux and Sweden.

eyes + more is an innovative optical retail concept operating 170 stores in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria.  By applying a value-for-money strategy based on simple and transparent all-in prices, eyes + more is able to market prescription eyewear similar to fashionable accessories, a concept that differs significantly from competitors.

The company was founded in the Netherlands in 2005 by Eric Ezendam and Ad Mathijssen, both experienced eyewear professionals.  After a first phase of rapid growth, Vendis Capital took a majority stake in 2010.  At that time, the company had 27 stores in the Netherlands and 39 franchise stores in Germany.  Since then, the growth has continued and resulted in the buy-back of the German master franchise, market entry in Austria and Belgium and continuous investments in the operations and store roll-out.

By acquiring eyes + more, Hans Anders expands its footprint to five countries, thus creating a leading European optical retail platform in the North-West European value-for-money segment.  Hans Anders envisages to continue to roll-out the eyes + more concept.

Michiel Deturck, Partner at Vendis Capital, says “During our investment period, the company has more than doubled in size and profitability through fast organic growth.  It was a privilege to help the founders and the management to develop this innovative concept and to support its international roll-out in four countries.  We are very happy with the development of the company and would like to thank everybody within the company who contributed to the success story of eyes + more.  We strongly believe in the concept’s innovativeness and are convinced that by joining forces with Hans Anders the company is well placed to continue its successful growth story”.

Bart van den Nieuwenhof, CEO Hans Anders, says: “eyes + more is a great strategic fit for Hans Anders and the acquisition will transform our company into a European platform, making it the leading North-West European optical retailer in the growing value-for-money segment. We look forward to working with our new colleagues at eyes + more.”

Boris Kawohl, Partner, 3i Private Equity, added: “This is an important acquisition for Hans Anders and fits well with 3i’s investment strategy of driving international growth in the value for money space. eyes + more is already a successful business and very closely aligned with Hans Anders in terms of its value-for-money positioning. It brings a strong geographical fit and an organic growth platform in the sizeable German optical retail market.”

Vendis Capital was advised by Simmons & Simmons (legal), GCA Altium (corporate finance), EY (financial and tax) and EY Parthenon (strategy).

Completion of the transaction is subject to customary approvals from competition authorities.

Kamera Express acquires Foto Konijnenberg

Utrecht (NL), 7 December 2018 – Kamera Express, the Benelux’s leading photo and video equipment retailer, has acquired Foto Konijnenberg, an internationally oriented omni-channel player in the same industry.

Kamera Express, the investment platform of Vendis Capital in this market since March 2018, has been a leading photo and video specialist in the Netherlands and Belgium for more than 20 years. Through its own webshops and 18 brick-and-mortar stores, Kamera Express provides consumers with a winning combination of a very wide range and the best service at the lowest prices.

The acquisition of Foto Konijnenberg will give rise to a combined group with 21 stores in 3 different countries (the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany) and webshops in 10 different countries (all in the EU). As part of the transaction, Harold Konijnenberg, CEO of Foto Konijnenberg, will join the management of Kamera Express with a focus on Strategy and Integration.

Harold Konijnenberg, CEO of Foto Konijnenberg: “Foto Konijnenberg offers expert advice, excellent service and an extensive product range. All Foto Konijnenberg employees have a passion for photography and videography. This is a perfect match with the core values of Kamera Express, making this transaction a logical next step in our development”.

Ben Cornelisse, CEO of Kamera Express: “Growth is an integral part of Kamera Express’ strategy. In 2018, we took further steps in our international expansion with the opening of a second store in Belgium (Ghent). The acquisition of Foto Konijnenberg now adds another 3 new stores in 3 different countries. Together with Foto Konijnenberg’s webshops in 10 European countries, this creates a solid base for further international growth. This acquisition is therefore a perfect fit with our strategy of building the leading European omni-channel player organically and through acquisitions”.

Vendis Capital agrees to sell Inula, the European leader of natural therapies, to Ardian

Paris, October 3, 2018 – Ardian, a world-leading private investment house, today announces that it has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Inula Group from Vendis Capital, Dominique Baudoux (Founder & Chairman) and Sergio Calandri (CEO).

Inula Group was created following the merger of Pranarôm and HerbalGem, two pioneering laboratories specialized in natural therapies, founded in 1985 and 1986 respectively. Inula is a key player in the herbal remedies market, specializing in fast growing sub-sectors such as aromatherapy, gemmotherapy and Bach flowers, through three brands: Pranarôm, HerbalGem and Biofloral. Thanks to its strong scientific approach and the quality of its products, the Group has experienced significant growth over the past years and is now present in more than 25 countries, with leading positions in France, Belgium, Spain, Italy and the USA.

As part of this transaction, Sergio Calandri, CEO of Inula, will reinvest alongside Ardian. Vendis Capital and Pranarôm’s Founder, Dominique Baudoux, should also continue to support the Group.

Bruno Ladrière, Managing Director, Ardian Buyout, and Daniel Setton, Director, said: “We are pleased to be partnering with Inula’s team and we thank them for the confidence they expressed during this operation. We look forward to supporting them in the next phase of the company’s development, helping them reinforce Pranarôm, HerbalGem and Biofloral in their segments in Europe and globally. This transaction is a good example of Ardian’s expertise in supporting SMEs in their ambitious growth strategy.”

Cedric Olbrechts, Partner at Vendis Capital and Dominique Baudoux Founder & Chairman of Inula said: “During our seven-year partnership, we worked together to create a strong dynamic, respecting the role and skills of each other. As a result, the Group has become a leader in natural medicines in Europe, has expanded its international presence, has opened new distribution channels and has developed new products, under the brand Pranarôm but also thanks to the successful integrations of HerbalGem, Biofloral and Veriditas. We are very happy and proud to have achieved the plan we set up in 2011. All these successes belong above all to the high quality and passionate team led by Sergio Calandri. We would like therefore to warmly thank everyone for their commitment, work and talent.” Dominique Baudoux, added: “It quickly became clear to me that Ardian was the right partner to support the Group, because, more than any other potential partner, their approach is in line with the core values which have guided us since the creation of the company.”

Sergio Calandri, CEO of Inula, said: “We have achieved strong growth over the past years, establishing our brands as leaders across Europe and overseas as well as successfully integrating selected acquisitions. The key points that differentiate our approach (the quality of our products, our scientific approach, our focus on client training and the control of all the stages of the manufacturing process) will remain the key pillars of our future development. Ardian is the ideal partner to accompany Inula on this next development phase, thanks notably to its strong experience in the healthcare sector and its international network.”

Sylphar partners with Arash and Babak Peyami and welcomes two digital native brands in its portfolio, Pro Teeth Whitening and Nutravita.

Deurle (Belgium), 6 September 2018 – Sylphar, the fast-growing OTC platform which teamed-up with Vendis Capital in May 2017, has acquired Pro Teeth Whitening and Nutravita, two digital native brands respectively active in teeth whitening and food supplements.


Founded by two young entrepreneurs, Arash and Babak Peyami, Pro Teeth Whitening and Nutravita are two UK-based ecommerce companies which, within a few years, have succeeded in building leading positions online in their respective categories.

Pro Teeth Whitening offers premium and 100% natural teeth whitening products based on the scientifically proven properties of activated charcoal. Nutravita designs and distributes a range of 100% natural supplements which help you on your journey for a healthier mind, body & soul. All products are made in UK.

Arash and Babak Peyami join the management of Sylphar and will lead the ecommerce efforts of the group going forward.

Founder and CEO of Sylphar, Robin List explains: “We are very happy to welcome Arash, Babak and their teams to the group and are convinced that the companies and people involved complement each other perfectly.  Arash and Babak will bring their unique experience and knowledge of ecommerce and will benefit from our product range, innovation capabilities and the full support of our organization.”

Arash Peyami adds: “We are excited to become part of the Sylphar family. By combining our strengths, we are giving ourselves the means to match our ambitions and to further accelerate both the growth of Pro Teeth Whitening and Nutravita offline and the roll-out of Sylphar’s products online.”

Babak Peyami concludes “It is a major step forward for us; we have been impressed by the professionalism and acumen of the Sylphar team which gives us nothing but confidence for working together in the future.”

The acquisition of Pro Teeth Whitening and Nutravita 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 Robin List and Vendis Capital together agreed on.

Vendis Capital supports the growth of Kamera Express

Utrecht (NL), 23 February 2018 – Vendis Capital, the private equity fund specialized in the consumer sector, invests in Kamera Express, a leading omnichannel retailer in the market for photo and video equipment in the Netherland and Belgium.

Kamera Express, headquartered in Capelle aan de IJssel (the Netherlands), is the market leading retailer in photo and video equipment in the Benelux. The Company operates 16 superstores, of which 15 in the Netherlands and 1 in Belgium, together with a successful webshop. Kamera Express was founded in 1995 by Peter Merceij, who quickly saw the potential of large superstores in combination with a strong online sales and information channel (webshop). Continuous growth is driven by opening as well as acquiring additional new stores. Today Kamera Express offers the consumer a winning combination of information, assortment, service and competitive pricing.

Vendis Capital teams up with the existing management team of Kamera Express, consisting of Ben Cornelisse (CEO), Jeroen Klein (Marketing) and Joop Peekstok (Finance & IT), who all have significant experience in the photo retail market as well as in operating and rapidly growing the Kamera Express business.

Ben Cornelisse, CEO of Kamera Express, is proud of the successes he and his team have booked in developing Kamera Express into the market leader in its field in the Benelux. He believes that Vendis Capital is the right partner for Kamera Express to continue this success: “The qualities of Vendis Capital, amongst others their familiarity with the retail industry and experience with expanding leading retail formulas internationally, will add to Kamera Express’s further development”.

Vincent Braams, Partner at Vendis Capital: “Kamera Express fits Vendis’ investment criteria very well; it presents a leading retailer with a strong and winning formula that is well positioned for further growth. We are excited about partnering with Kamera Express and are confident to grasp the available growth potential together.”

The participation in Kamera Express represents the seventh investment within Vendis Capital II, the €180 million fund that was launched in 2015.

Vendis-backed NOPPIES welcomes the German Alvi brand in its portfolio

Utrecht (NL), 7 February 2018 – NOPPIES, the leading specialised maternity wear and baby fashion brand, has acquired Alvi, the leading premium baby sleeping products company in Germany.

NOPPIES, which was acquired by Vendis Capital in May 2016, develops and markets specialised maternity wear and baby clothing under the NOPPIES, Queen Mum, IMPS&ELFS and Supermom brands. All this to build and support the strategy of providing confidence and joy for mums and mums-to-be.

With the acquisition of Alvi, NOPPIES adds the market leading baby sleeping products brand in Germany to its portfolio. Alvi is a heritage brand and offers a full assortment in the baby sleeping segment, including sleeping bags, bedding and textiles.  The Alvi company is the first German acquisition in Vendis’ current investment fund.

Anne-Gien Haan, CEO of NOPPIES: “Alvi is a strong heritage brand known for its high-quality baby sleeping products, and as a result has a market leading position in its segment in the German market. We are very pleased to combine our forces and are confident that our businesses will be mutually reinforcing and therefore can achieve accelerated growth together. Combined, we can invest more in our brands, benefit from mutually reinforcing assortments and a best in class multi-channel offering throughout Europe and beyond.”

This transaction once more confirms the buy-and-build strategy that has been identified by NOPPIES as one of its growth pillars.

Robin List teams up with Vendis Capital to further develop Sylphar, a promising OTC company

Deurle (Belgium), 15 May 2017 – Vendis Capital, the private equity fund specialized in the consumer brands sector, invests alongside Robin List and his management team in Sylphar, an OTC company poised for growth.

Sylphar, headquartered in Deurle (Belgium), is a fast-growing OTC company with a portfolio of brands in the oral beauty, oral therapy and medicated skincare market segments.

Sylphar focuses on bringing innovative and consumer friendly products to the market. 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.

Started by Robin List in 2008 as a spin-off from a publicly listed dental company and supported by Dutch private equity fund Concordia, Sylphar has experienced a steep growth curve over the last years through continuous product innovation and geographic roll-out. Present in more than 50 countries worldwide, the company focuses on developing and marketing innovative products that are brought to the market through local distribution partners.

Founder and Group CEO Robin List explains: “Thanks to the hard work of the team, we have built a solid track record of success so far, but I’m convinced there is still much to be done. We have indeed the ambition to build a portfolio of a small number of strategic niche brands that will have a leading position in their respective categories and geographies, be it organically or through acquisitions. We believe Vendis is the right partner to help us achieve that goal.”

Concordia Fund Partner Saskia van Walsum adds: “Concordia Fund has been shareholder in Sylphar since the spin-off in 2008 and it was the start of a new story for the company. Robin List and his team have proven since to be able to develop brands and products as well as the company. To build Sylphar internationally almost from scratch and to handle the growing pains was not an easy road to travel. And being fast growing and successful in 10 years time is a great achievement. Sylphar is now ready for a new shareholder and a new chapter – as is Concordia Fund. Concordia Fund is very well rewarded for this almost 10 year pleasant and constructive partnership.  We thank Robin and the dedicated Sylphar team, and wish the team all the best in this new stage of the company.”

Vendis Capital Partner Cedric Olbrechts concludes: “We have been impressed by the way Robin and his team have managed to develop the company and we are convinced this could just be the start of a fantastic new growth story. Sylphar is a solid growing company evolving in a favorable business environment and well positioned on its key products. It is also a great platform for the acquisitions we will actively look for. We look forward to contribute to the future development of the company and to work with Robin and his great team.”

Vendis Capital supports the growth of Fatboy

Utrecht (NL), 13 April 2017 – Vendis Capital, the private equity fund specialized in the consumer brands sector, invests in Fatboy the Original, a leading design brand, marketing iconic products around the globe.

Fatboy, headquartered in Den Bosch (the Netherlands), develops and markets iconic products such as its signature bean bag, an innovative lighting range and the recently launched Lamzac. Fatboy was founded in 2002 by Alex Bergman, who quickly saw the potential of the innovative bean bag supported by a strong brand. Continuous growth is driven by Fatboy’s successful innovations, unrivalled brand positioning and impressive go-to market platform.

Vendis Capital teams up with management and Richard den Hollander, who will be appointed as CEO, to continue the development of the company. Richard brings significant experience from his past roles at United Biscuits, Pepsico & Tristar and will lead Fatboy in its next growth phase.

Alex Bergman, founder and current CEO of Fatboy, is proud of the successes he has booked in building the Fatboy brand. Alex believes that Vendis Capital is the right partner for Fatboy to secure the continuity of the brand’s success: “We believe in the qualities Vendis Capital will add to Fatboy’s development, supported by their familiarity with the consumer brands industry. Vendis Capital brings a reputation of adding value in companies’ organizations, and we believe they are well underway by involving Richard.”
Alex will continue his contribution to Fatboy’s success, driving the company’s creative process.

Vendis Capital partner Vincent Braams: “Fatboy fits Vendis’ investment criteria very well; it presents a leading brand offering iconic products through a strong go-to market platform, well positioned for further growth. We are excited about partnering up with Fatboy and are confident to grasp the available growth potential together.”

The participation in Fatboy represents the fifth investment in Vendis Capital II, the €180 million fund that was launched in 2015.

Vendis-backed NOPPIES acquires QUEEN MUM

Amsterdam (NL), 23 February 2017 – NOPPIES, the leading specialised maternity wear and baby fashion brand, has acquired QUEEN MUM, a specialised maternity wear company in the Netherlands.

NOPPIES, which was acquired by Vendis Capital in May 2016, develops and markets specialised maternity wear and baby clothing under the NOPPIES, SUPERMOM and IMPS&ELFS brands. With the acquisition of QUEEN MUM, NOPPIES adds another strong brand to its portfolio. Based in Amsterdam, QUEEN MUM is a maternity brand that combines high quality with trend-setting basics and novelties from fashion items.

Anne-Gien Haan, CEO of NOPPIES: “QUEEN MUM is a fashionable brand that has built a strong position in premium maternity wear. We are pleased to join forces; our businesses are mutually reinforcing and can achieve accelerated growth together. Together we can invest more in brands, the development of leading collections, quality, logistics and social responsibility. With the brands NOPPIES, SUPERMOM, IMPS&ELFS and QUEEN MUM we can offer a full brand portfolio, resulting in a better performance and service to our consumers and customers.”

Renee Bino and Erzsebet Weber, founders of QUEEN MUM: “Joining forces with NOPPIES is a major step forward. NOPPIES has a strong position in the market for maternity wear with various brands. We are confident that QUEEN MUM will benefit from the economies of scale NOPPIES offers in the field of multi-channel sales, sourcing, procurement and operational processes. Together we can strengthen our brands, expand our service and improve the cooperation with our international customers.”

This second add-on acquisition of NOPPIES confirms the buy-and-build strategy that has been identified as one of its growth pillars.

Vendis Capital sells organic pet food brand Yarrah to AAC Capital

Harderwijk, Amsterdam, January 5th, 2017 – Vendis Capital (“Vendis”) announced today that they have sold their stake in Yarrah Organic Petfood (“Yarrah”), the European market leader in organic pet food, to AAC Capital (“AAC”), a leading Benelux mid-market buyout firm.  The management team of Yarrah, led by CEO Bas van Tongeren, will invest alongside AAC.

Yarrah is the leading organic pet food brand in Europe with a complete range of organic products for cats and dogs. All products are certified organic, which means all animal and plant ingredients need to live up to the highest quality restrictions as required by the organic seal, meaning a.o. no exposure to chemical additives or preservatives, no use of hormones, but also high animal welfare standards for livestock used. The company supplies dry food (in bags) and wet food (both multi serve in cans and single serve in aluminium trays).

There is a trend towards pet owners feeding their cats and dogs organic food, driven by consumers who are becoming increasingly conscious of their own health and nutrition. Yarrah is ideally positioned to leverage on this trend as the European market leader in the organic pet food niche. Since Yarrah was founded in 1992 by Jan-Jaap Roelevink, the company expanded its footprint beyond the Netherlands and currently serves health conscious pet owners in its core markets Germany, France and the Netherlands.

This is the fourth platform acquisition for AAC’s Benelux focussed Fund, and matches perfectly with AAC’s philosophy of supporting local champions in their growth ambitions.

Bas van Tongeren, CEO Yarrah, says: “We are proud of the partnership with Vendis, through which we have successfully grown further in the organic market, and laid the foundation for our ambitions into pet specialty. In AAC we have found the perfect partner to support us in the next leg of our journey. The partnership with AAC will allow us to expand into upcoming organic markets and accelerate our expansion in the pet retail channel.”

Marc Staal, Chairman at AAC, says: “Yarrah is operating in a growing ‘on-trend’ niche market as the European specialist in organic pet food. Bas van Tongeren and his team have a clear vision and philosophy: providing a healthy and sustainable pet food alternative to what is currently on offer in the market. Yarrah takes a leading role in pure organic pet food; food that’s not only better for pets, but for all animals. Yarrah’s view on its future business development, both in terms of geographies, distribution channels and new product development are well defined and being executed with high momentum. AAC is excited to be partnering with Yarrah and keen to facilitate Bas and his team to deliver upon their continuing growth ambitions.”

Michiel Deturck, Partner at Vendis, says: “Yarrah is a leading brand operating in a fast-developing niche. We are very happy that Yarrah found a strong partner with AAC that can support the next growth phase of the company. We want to thank the management team for a very pleasant and successful partnership and wish the team all the best with its new partner.”

Vendis Capital was advised by Stamford Partners.