Bluegem buys Pool Service

Bluegem Capital Partners has acquired Pool Service, an Italian provider of professional hair care products. No financial terms were disclosed.

PRESS RELEASE

30 July 2019 – Bluegem Capital Partners, the European mid-market fund focused on consumer brands, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Pool Service, the leading Italian professional hair care group and owner of the iconic Medavita brand, from the private equity house Accord Management and the Cattaneo family.

Headquartered near Milan, the group is a leading developer and manufacturer of premium professional hair care products under both own and third party brands. The most prominent of the own brands is Medavita, with a history of over 50 years and known for its high efficacy, scientific formulas of its full range of professional haircare products.

The Group has strong R&D capabilities in new products development and formulation leveraging on a highly skilled team of technical experts and long-term relationships with leading global accounts. Pool Service has a proprietary portfolio of over 10,000 formulations, with 700 new products developed in 2018.

In 2018 the group generated sales of approximately Euro 40 million, exporting to over 70 countries worldwide (60% of total sales). Today the group has 132 employees distributed over three locations near Varese and Milan.

Stefano Banfo, the current CEO and shareholder of the group will reinvest into the business and remain as CEO to lead its expansion in the coming years.

“It is a tremendous opportunity for Pool Service and Medavita to partner with Bluegem, a fund specialised in developing leading consumer brands internationally”, said Stefano Banfo, Shareholder and CEO of Pool Service and Medavita. “This investment launches a new phase of development for our company.”

“We are thrilled to be able to partner with Stefano Banfo and his team and we see numerous growth opportunities for the business both in Italy and abroad“, said Emilio Di Spiezio Sardo, Partner of Bluegem, further adding: “This investment will be the first one of Fund III, which will have a first close in the coming months.” Constantin Rojahn, Director of Bluegem, commented:

“We are excited to complete our third investment in the beauty industry in less than two years. We view this acquisition as the basis of a haircare platform and are actively looking to consolidate the market by acquiring additional leading independent haircare brands.” Bluegem acquired German skincare brand QMS Medicosmetics in 2017 and make-up brand Iconic London in 2018.

Deloitte Financial Advisory advised Bluegem as buy-side financial advisor in the transaction while Latham & Watkins and Studio Gattai, Minoli, Agostinelli Partners acted respectively as Bluegem’s legal and tax advisors. PwC acted as debt advisor, New Deal Advisors carried out the financial due diligence and Willis Towers Watson completed the insurance due diligence.

Lincoln International acted as sell-side financial advisor, while Pedersoli Studio Legale performed the vendor legal and tax due diligence and acted as legal advisor for the shareholders.

Goetzpartners and Deloitte carried out respectively the vendor commercial and financial due diligence.

BLUEGEM CAPITAL PARTNERS
Bluegem is a London based, pan-European, mid-market private equity Fund specialised in consumer brands. Established in 2007, Bluegem has over €550 million of assets under management across two funds. In addition to its investments in the beauty industry, the Bluegem portfolio includes other leading brands such Dr. Vranjes Firenze (home fragrances), Mamas & Papas (baby products), Lateral (tapas chain), Jack Wills (apparel), Big Fernand (burger chain) and Light & Living (lighting and home accessories). Bluegem recently sold its stake in Liberty London and successfully exited its investment in hobby craft group DMC earlier this year. For more information please visit www.bluegemcp.com

ACCORD MANAGEMENT
Accord Management, established in 2009, is an Italian private equity house founded by Stefano Banfo, Maurizio Spampinato, Gianluca Bolla and Vittorio Riccardi, specialized in private equity investments in small and medium Italian companies with a strong industrial approach.
Poolservice was acquired in 2012 from the Cattaneo family, who remained active in the business, and Medavita is part of the group since 2015.