Vendis Capital sells participation in ZEB to Colruyt Group

Vendis Capital sells participation in ZEB to Colruyt Group

Merchtem, 23 June 2014 – Vendis Capital, the private equity fund focused on the European consumer sector, today announced that Colruyt Group, the Belgian stock-listed retail group, has agreed to acquire a stake of up to 50% in ZEB. More specifically, Colruyt Group will immediately acquire 40% in ZEB and obtains an option to acquire Vendis’ remaining shares before the end of 2014, which would increase Colruyt’s stake to 50%.

Vendis Capital entered into partnership with the dynamic and rapidly-growing retail chain ZEB in December 2009. As part of the transaction new funds were provided to finance ZEB’s growth plan. During the last four and a half years, ZEB expanded its store footprint from 21 to 46 stores. ZEB also invested significantly in its logistics and IT platform, and became a true cross-channel retailer by complementing its store network with an e-shop.

This is the first exit for Vendis Capital, which since its formation in October 2009 has invested EUR 76 million in 8 consumer companies based in Benelux and France. Closing of the transaction is expected to take place during the summer, after clearance from the Belgian anti-trust authorities.

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.

“ZEB is a very dynamic company led by a strong and ambitious management team,” says Willem Van Aelten, one of the founding partners of Vendis Capital. “We thank Luc Van Mol, Isabelle Samson, Tom Vermeylen and the rest of the ZEB team for a very constructive, pleasant and rewarding partnership, and wish the team all the best with its new partner, Colruyt.”

“Vendis Capital was an excellent partner for us during the last five years,” adds Luc Van Mol, founder and CEO of ZEB. “The Vendis team not only supported us in growing our top line, they also encouraged us to scale the company and build the teams for future growth. We now look forward to our new partnership with Colruyt. We are excited to join forces with a very strong retail reference and look forward to our company’s continued growth trajectory.”

“The transaction fits in with our long term vision,” adds Frans Colruyt, COO of Colruyt Group. “We want to offer added value to the consumers in the different stages of their life. With ZEB we move forward in the well-acquainted retail domain. Through our existing retail formulas we already have some experience in textile products. I am convinced we can learn a lot from this young and dynamic player on the textile market.”

Vendis Capital was advised by KPMG Corporate Finance.