Carlyle to buy Dutch lingerie firm Hunkemoller from PAI: Reuters

Carlyle (CG.O) will buy Dutch lingerie firm Hunkemoller from its private equity owners, the U.S. buyout fund said on Friday.

Founded in 1886, the one-time Amsterdam corset shop has grown into 700 stores across Europe, and has been backed by European private equity firm PAI since 2010.

Terms for the Carlyle deal were not disclosed, but a source familiar with the matter said Carlyle paid around eight times Hunkemoller’s core earnings (EBITDA) of 55 million euros, which would value it at around 440 million euros ($482 million).

Reuters reported in March that PAI was launching a process that could value the firm at around $500 million.

Hunkemoller is the largest high-street lingerie brand in the Benelux region. It was looked at by other private equity firms including Sycamore, which came close to clinching a deal.

But in autumn the seller asked potential buyers to tweak their offers after Hunkemoller’s trading proved stronger than expected, sources told Reuters at the time.

“Lingerie is a very attractive segment in the retail world. It’s less crowded than other categories,” Marco De Benedetti, co-head of Europe at Carlyle, told Reuters. “We think this is a deal that will be attractive for its own merit, but there’s always room to consider other transactions.”

Another upcoming asset in the sector is Women’secret, the lingerie brand of Spanish company Cortefiel, which is set to be sold by its private equity backers.

Carlyle has previously invested in clothing chains including luxury jacket maker Moncler and Italian retailer Twin Set.

The Hunkemoller deal is expected to complete by mid-March 2016.