Sep 1, 2017
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Equistone buys DefShop streetwear brand

Sep 1, 2017

Equistone Partners Europe, one of the continent’s major mid-market private equity investors, is buying a controlling stake in German multichannel streetwear and hip-hop retailer DefShop for an undisclosed sum.


The investors are acquiring the stake from founder Alexander Büchler and his family and they will retain a minority shareholding, while the brand’s management team will also acquire a stake in the business.

DefShop currently employs around 180 people and has almost a million customers across Europe with revenues this year expected to be around €64 million.

The deal isn’t quite finalised yet with anti-trust authorities needing to scrutinise it first. But assuming it goes through (probably by the end of this month), the new owners plan to build on the current growth plan with a focus on its B2B operations, on the further internationalisation of the business, strategic add-on acquisitions, and the strengthening of its own-brand strategy.

All of which underlines just how complex the business is and just how much potential it has.

DefShop was founded in 2006 in Berlin by Büchler and now has two multibrand stores, but a much bigger online operation. The company sells around 350 brands with around 25,000 different items from labels including Adidas, Nike, Jack & Jones, Fila, New Balance, Champion and Converse.

It also operates its own labels under it Herobrands umbrella, including DNGRS, Just Rhyse, and Bangastic. And it offers licensed brands such as Thug Life and Eckô. These are distributed through the B2B platform Roadmap1, through which DefShop also connects to its network of large-scale European retailers that includes Amazon, eBay, Vaola, and Rakuten.

Alexis Milkovic, Partner at Equistone, said: “DefShop has grown impressively within an extraordinarily exciting segment of the fashion industry and is regarded by teenagers and young adults as an institution and style authority for streetwear and hip-hop clothing.”

Meanwhile CEO Büchler added: “We know that we have a middle-market investor with strong capital reserves and expertise in the retail and fashion industries by our side. We plan to continue driving the expansion of DefShop within this hugely promising market.”

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