Apr 11, 2018
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Hema owner struggles with sale of chain

Apr 11, 2018

British investment company Lion Capital, which is the owner of Dutch retailer Hema, is currently struggling with the sale of the chain.

Hema children clothing department - Photo: Hema

Potential buyers have questioned the strength of the retail chain following its recovery. They believe that the seller is giving too rosy a picture of the retailer and therefore asking too high a price in return, sources familiar with the matter told Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad (FD).

In September 2017, the retailer first announced that it is exploring the options of a possible sale. In December 2017, it was reported that Hema received a joint no-obligation bid from Dutch investors Gilde Buy Out Partners and Alpinvest. Lion Capital, allegedly required at least € 1 billion for Hema, according to reports at the time. A source told FD: “They may try an IPO if a sale does not deliver enough,” as published in the newspaper on 21 December 2017. Hema CEO Tjeerd Jegen had previously not ruled out an IPO.

Negotiations have been running low for some time now. According to FD, potential buyers believe that the growth of Hema is accompanied by the growth of the economy, which raises the question of how well the retail chain will perform if the economy falters again.

Hema expects that it will be able to give an update on the sales process in the summer.

Hema first opened its doors in 1926 in Amsterdam. Today, the chain operates more than 700 stores in 9 countries and employs 19,000 people. The offer consists of 32,000 of its own-brand products, which include apparel, beauty products and food.

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