Palamon Capital Partners has led a transaction to acquire a majority interest in beauty e-commerce specialist feelunique.com. The transaction was agreed at an enterprise value of 26 million pounds ($41.7 million).
Palamon Capital Partners (“Palamon” or the “Firm”), a pan-European growth investor, led the transaction to acquire a majority interest in beauty e-commerce specialist feelunique.com (“feelunique” or the “Company”), one of Europe’s fastest growing on-line beauty retailers. The transaction was agreed at a head-line enterprise value for feelunique of £26 million.
feelunique is a leading on-line retailer of premium products in haircare, skincare, cosmetics and fragrances, selling full-permissioned stock from almost all of the major brands including Dior, Lancôme, Clarins, Guerlain, Yves Saint Laurent, Benefit and Kerastase. The Company has built a strong reputation for its customer service and website editorial content, which is directed by Newby Hands, a beauty journalist and Harper’s Bazaar Beauty Director-at-Large. It was founded in 2005 and employs more than 125 staff at its headquarters and logistics centre in the Channel Islands.
Palamon will purchase a majority shareholding from the founders and earlier-stage investors and will provide further capital to support the Company’s growth plan. Sirius Equity will invest alongside Palamon in the transaction. Following Palamon’s investment, Sirius co-founders Robert Bensoussan will join the Board of the Company as Chairman and Jim Sharp will join the Board as a Non-Executive Director. Mr Bensoussan also is Chairman of L K Bennett, a board member of Interparfums and former investor in and CEO of Jimmy Choo.
Palamon’s and Sirius’ investment stems from the strong underlying growth in the on-line beauty retail segment driven by the increasing shift in consumer spend to on-line, as occurred in the fashion retail sector. feelunique is also taking significant market share by progressively expanding its product range and increasing loyalty through its customer-centric model. This has driven growth in Company sales by more than 40% per year to more than £30 million of annual revenue.
Dan Mytnik, Partner at Palamon commented: “We are delighted to be investing in feelunique, a high growth business that is ideally placed to benefit from the fast expanding on-line retail beauty sector with its established platform, a strong business model and entrepreneurial management team. We are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with founders, Aaron Chatterley and Richard Schiessl, and to welcome Robert Bensoussan and Jim Sharp to the Board. The expertise of Robert and Jim in the luxury branded sector will be invaluable in taking the business to the next level.”
Aaron Chatterley, CEO of feelunique, said: “We are excited to have gained the backing of Palamon whose expertise in the on-line retail space convinced us that they would be ideal partners. Given our ambitious growth plans and the size of the opportunity, it was important to partner with a firm that had both the financial resources and a clear vision of how the market will evolve. We now look forward to working closely with our new partners as we turn our vision of expansion into reality.”
Robert Bensoussan, newly appointed Chairman of feelunique commented “feelunique has developed an incredibly strong platform through the hard work of Aaron and Richard and their team. We believe there is a very exciting opportunity to develop the business and I am excited to be partnering with Palamon and the management team to help the business fulfil its potential”.
Palamon identifies and invests in high growth services businesses across Europe, the majority of which are founder-led and sourced directly by the Firm’s strong proprietary deal flow network. Since the Firm’s inception in 1999 Palamon’s portfolio companies have achieved revenue growth on average of 20% per annum.
Palamon Capital Partners
Tel: +44 20 7766 2000
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: +44 20 7638 9571
Palamon Capital Partners
Palamon Capital Partners, LP is an independent private equity Partnership founded in 1999, which is focused on providing equity for European growth services companies. Palamon, as a pan-European investor, originates, executes and manages investments in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Norway, and Sweden. The Firm targets investments in companies where it can be the lead private equity provider and where it can provide strategic direction and partner with management to help build equity value. The Firm manages Palamon European Equity, L.P. and Palamon European Equity II, L.P. with commitments of €1.1 billion.
For more information on Palamon refer to www.palamon.com.
feelunique was founded in 2005 and operates out of Jersey in the Channel Isles. It offers a wide range of premium branded beauty products of 18,000 products from over 500 brands including top brands such as including Dior, Lancôme, Clarins, Guerlain,Yves Saint Laurent, Benefit and Kerastase. The Company has two beauty boutiques, two spas and a hair salon in Jersey and Guernsey and has a significant on-line presence serving customers across the UK and also is attracting European customers. The Company has revenue of over £30 million and was recently named in The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 companies of 2012; the second consecutive year in which the Company has been listed.
For more information on feelunique refer to www.feelunique.com.
Sirius Equity was founded in 2008 by Robert Bensoussan and Jim Sharp to make investments in the branded luxury goods and high end retail sectors. Its investments include LK Bennett, the English affordable luxury brand, and Jeckerson, the Italian premium sportswear brand.
Palamon advisers to the transaction:
· Slaughter & May, Legal due diligence & contract, David Wittmann
· PWC, Financial due diligence, Philip Hines
· OC&C, Commercial due diligence, Alex Birch
· Javelin, Operational due diligence, Michael Fine
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