Nov 30, 2018
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Retailer Hema finalizes acquisition by Ramphastos Investments

Nov 30, 2018

Dutch retailer Hema and its new owner Ramphastos Investments announced on Friday 30 November that they have completed the acquisition from former owner, the London-based private equity firm Lion Capital.

Photo: Hema

As a result of the sale, Hema said that it is now able to fully focus on its strategic plans for the future: to further drive Hema’s growth and the reduction of its debt. Under its new ownership, Hema wants to specifically invest in its core markets, which are the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as focus on the growth of its e-commerce and international expansion.

Hema first announced on 18 October that it was in talks with Ramphastos Investment owner and Dutch entrepreneur Marcel Boekhoorn regarding the takeover of the 92-year-old chain, including its debts.

On 6 November, Dutch regulator Autoriteit Consument en Markt (ACM) officially approved the acquisition, saying that it will not result in competition problems for the Dutch market.

The arrival of Ramphastos Investment’s Boekhoorn has already resulted in some changes at the chain. Earlier this week, Dutch financial newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad (FD) reported that Boekhoorn is planning to sell part of the retailer’s store portfolio to franchisees. According to the newspaper, the new owner wants to invest the sale profits in the acceleration of Hema’s international expansion, the newspaper reported, based on information from anonymous sources.

Earlier this month, Dutch media reported that four Hema executives would leave the retailer within the following nine months. Hema said at the time that it chose to cut the management board to simplify the structure of the company in order to operate more effectively. Prior to that, it was reported that Boekhoorn had already taken the first steps to reduce Hema’s debt: following the acquisition, €100 million in loans were repaid and €40 million were put into the retailer’s own capital.

Hema’s former owner Lion Capital acquired the retailer in 2007 for €1.1 billion. Over the past few years, Hema has invested significantly in its brand positioning, retail formats, e-commerce channel and international store expansion. The latter included new market entries in the Middle East and Austria. The retailer had been up for sale since September 2017. Hema and Ramphastos Investments did not disclose any financial details on the transaction.

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