Carlyle Group Buys Six Retail Companies From Primondo

The Carlyle Group, through its 5.4 billion euro ($7.2 billion) Carlyle Europe Partners III fund, has acquired six retail businesses from Primondo Specialty Group, a subsidiary of German holding company Arcandor. Financial terms of the deal were not released. The companies acquired include board-sports and street-wear retailer Planet Sports; Danish mail-order business Bon’A Parte; and women’s apparel company Elégance.

PRESS RELEASE
Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group today announces the acquisition of a portfolio of six highly specialized multi-channel retail businesses (the “Group”) from Arcandor AG subsidiary Primondo Specialty Group GmbH, namely Versandhaus Walz, Planet Sports, Bon’A Parte, Elégance, Mirabeau and 50% of Vertbaudet Germany. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Gregor Boehm, Managing Director and co-Head of Carlyle Europe, commented: “The Group has demonstrated very solid performance during the downturn and we are excited about the continued growth potential. Due to its multi-channel platform and strong niche positions in the highly resilient specialty home shopping sector, the Group has strong long-term prospects. We look forward to working with the management team to help the Group reach its full potential, expanding the business in Germany and internationally both through organic growth and acquisitions.”

Matthias Siekmann, Managing Director of the Group, said: “We are exceptionally proud of our latest achievements across our portfolio of specialized multi-channel retail businesses. With our strong brands and our leading e-commerce activities we are particularly well positioned to benefit from the increasing home shopping trend. Carlyle is the perfect partner to provide institutional support for our Group that will facilitate our plans for growth and further enhance our offering to customers. We will be able to build on Carlyle’s comprehensive sector expertise as well as its global reach to achieve our growth ambitions and sustainably develop the business.”

Equity for this transaction comes from Carlyle Europe Partners III (“CEP III”), a €5.4 billion buyout fund focused on investment opportunities in Europe. This is the fifth investment in 2010 for CEP III following B&B Hotel Group (hotel chain) , Giannoni (manufacturer of stainless steel heat exchangers), NBTY (manufacturer of vitamins and nutritional supplements) and Commscope (infrastructure solution provider for communications networks – a deal which is expected to close in Q1 2011).

Further information
Market environment: the European home shopping market

The Group is predominantly active in the European home shopping market. The European home shopping market size is approximately €105 bn and comprises all non-store retail revenues. Home shopping customers shop across multiple non-store retail channels: online (e-commerce), catalogue and TV. Germany is the largest European home shopping market in Europe with a total market volume of approximately €30 bn. The German home shopping market is expected to grow at approximately 4% p.a. from 2010 to 2015 with e-commerce as the key growth driver.

Portfolio of acquired companies

The portfolio of acquired companies comprises six highly specialized multi-channel retail businesses (the “Group”), namely Versandhaus Walz (including Baby Walz, Die Moderne Hausfrau, and other specialized brands), Planet Sports, Bon’A Parte, Elégance, Mirabeau and 50% of Vertbaudet Germany. The seller is Primondo Specialty Group GmbH.

* BabyWalz is one of Europe’s leading baby hardgoods and apparel retailer with more than 80 stores and home shopping operations in Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux. Recently BabyWalz also entered the markets in Denmark and Italy. Die Moderne Hausfrau is a European catalogue and e-commerce business focused on products that make life easier, especially home and garden accessories.
* Bon’A Parte is the leading Danish mail-order business for family apparel with a Scandinavian design. Bon’A Parte has operations in Germany, NL, Denmark, UK and Sweden.
* Planet Sports is Europe’s leading and fast-growing boardsports and streetwear retailer with more than 1 million customers online and currently two flagship stores in Munich and Hamburg.
* Elégance offers prêt-a-porter women’s apparel to customers in Europe via catalogue, e-commerce and more than 40 stores.
* Mirabeau focuses on catalogue and e-commerce sales of high-end Mediterranean furniture and home accessories.
* Vertbaudet Germany is a joint venture with French RedCats Group. Vertbaudet sells an extensive range of fashionable children’s apparel with French design.

The Carlyle Group
The Carlyle Group is a global alternative asset manager with $97.7 billion of assets under management committed to 78 funds as of September 30, 2010. Carlyle invests across three asset classes – private equity, real estate and credit alternatives – in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America focusing on automotive & transportation, consumer & retail, energy & power, financial services, healthcare, industrial, infrastructure, technology & business services, telecommunications & media and aerospace & defense. Since 1987, the firm has invested $64.7 billion of equity in 1,015 transactions. The Carlyle Group employs more than 900 people in 19 countries. In the aggregate, Carlyle portfolio companies have more than $84 billion in revenue and employ more than 398,000 people around the world. Web: www.carlyle.com; Case Studies: www.carlylegroupcreatesvalue.com; Video: www.youtube.com/OneCarlyle