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.

Vendis Capital supports the growth of Alpine

Utrecht (NL), 12 December 2018 – Vendis Capital, the private equity fund specialized in the consumer brands sector, invests in Alpine, the leading hearing protection brand, marketing premium products around the globe.

Alpine, headquartered in Soesterberg (the Netherlands), develops and markets premium hearing protection products such as its SleepSoft, PartyPlug, MusicSafe Pro and high-end made 2 measure products. Alpine was founded in 1994 by Peter and Lisette de Roode, who quickly saw the potential of innovative hearing protection products supported by a strong brand. Continuous growth is driven by Alpine’s successful innovations, unrivalled brand positioning and impressive go-to market platform.

Vendis Capital teams up with Peter and Lisette de Roode, management and Arthur van Keeken, who will be appointed as CEO, to continue the development of the company. Arthur brings significant experience from his past roles at Friesland Campina & Nestlé and will lead Alpine in its next growth phase.

Peter de Roode, founder and current CEO of Alpine, is proud of the successes he has booked in building the Alpine brand. Peter believes that Vendis Capital is the right partner for Alpine to secure the continuity of the brand’s success: “We believe in the qualities Vendis Capital will add to Alpine’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 Arthur.”
Peter will continue his contribution to Alpine’s success by driving the company’s innovation process. Peter and Lisette will also take up non-executive board seats, supporting the management in the next growth phase.

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

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

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.