Silverfleet Capital to buy Masai

Silverfleet Capital has agreed to acquire Danish women’s wear clothing brand Masai Clothing Company ApS. No financial terms were disclosed. BlueBay and Lloyds Bank will provide the debt funding for the transaction.


Silverfleet Capital, the European private equity firm, has today announced its agreement to acquire Masai Clothing Company ApS, a Danish womenswear clothing brand. This is the first investment that Silverfleet has made from its new €850 million fund, Silverfleet Capital II, which closed last month.

Masai is headquartered in Copenhagen and wholesales and retails its own-designed clothing in over 25 countries around the world. Its core markets are the Nordic Region (where it has 18 retail outlets in Denmark, Sweden and Norway), UK and Germany and its clothing can be purchased at 1,340 points of sale as far away as Australia, USA and Canada. Masai has a unique brand positioning combining design, quality and comfort. The company’s dedicated team of in-house designers produces four garment collections per year for a loyal customer base of fashion-conscious women. Retail sales for the brand worldwide are approximately €105 million.

Silverfleet Capital will acquire a majority interest in Masai from the founders, Hans and Nina Rye, the brother and sister team who founded the business 23 years ago. The existing management, led by CEO Sune Bjerregaard, will continue to lead the business and will acquire a minority interest in Masai. Debt financing for the transaction is to be provided by BlueBay and Lloyds Bank. Completion is subject to obtaining clearance from the competition authorities and is anticipated shortly. The consideration for the transaction has not been disclosed.

Silverfleet’s investment will allow the business to deepen Masai’s penetration into existing markets and to expand into new geographies where there is considerable potential for growth.

Sune Bjerregaard, CEO of Masai, commented on the investment by Silverfleet: “We are delighted to partner with Silverfleet. We felt they were the right partner for us to help us grow even further, particularly as they have extensive experience of investing in retail and consumer related businesses and a significant track record of helping companies to expand internationally”.

Gareth Whiley, Partner at Silverfleet Capital with responsibility for the retail sector and the Nordic region, led the transaction and will join the Board as a Non-Executive Director along with Mark Piasecki, Principal at Silverfleet. Gareth Whiley commented: “We are very excited about this new investment. Masai has a strong and differentiated brand and we look forward to working with the management team to build on what has already been achieved and to accelerate growth further.”

The Silverfleet Capital team that worked on the transaction also included Rob Knight and Sumit Dheir who are based in Silverfleet Capital’s London office. Silverfleet Capital was advised by Handelsbanken (corporate finance), Accura and Latham & Watkins (legal), Deloitte (financial and tax due diligence and tax structuring), OC&C (commercial due diligence), Intuitus (IT due diligence) and Willis (insurance due diligence).

Silverfleet has been an active investor in the Nordic region and Masai is its third Danish transaction in the last two and a half years. It has also invested in Phase One, the leading medium format digital camera systems and image processing software manufacturer; and Cimbria, one of the leading global manufacturers of seed and grain processing equipment.

About Silverfleet Capital
Silverfleet Capital has been an active European mid-market private equity investor for 30 years and currently manages around €1.6 billion. A network of offices in London, Munich and Paris enables Silverfleet Capital to execute complex, multi-jurisdictional investments and then achieve value creation through its “buy-to-build” investment strategy. This investment strategy means working with companies to create value by accelerating their growth through investment in new products, production capacity or people, or rolling out successful retail formats or through making follow-on acquisitions. Since 1990 Silverfleet Capital has invested €3 billion in 115 businesses.

Silverfleet focuses on four sectors: business & financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and retail, leisure & consumer products. Over the last ten years 33% of invested capital has been invested in businesses headquartered in Germany, 27% in the UK, 22% in the Nordic region and 18% elsewhere mainly in France and the Benelux. Silverfleet’s existing portfolio includes well-known brands such as OFFICE, the young fashion footwear retailer and La Fée Maraboutée, a wholesaler & retailer of women’s fashion. Kalle, the producer of artificial sausages casings, Cimbria, a seed & grain processing equipment manufacturer and Ipes, the fund administrator and service provider focused on private equity are examples of other current portfolio companies.

Silverfleet Capital has a consistently strong investment track record. Most recently Silverfleet successfully exited Aesica, the leading pharmaceutical CDMO business (3.3x cost). Other notable exits include Sterigenics International Inc., the world’s leading medical device sterilization company*; Histoire d’Or, the European jewellery retailer (3.2x cost); TMF, the global independent administrators (6.1x cost) and Phadia, the world’s leading allergy diagnostics company (4.8x cost).
*Money multiple not disclosed for legal reasons

About Masai
Masai Clothing Company was founded in 1992 by brother and sister Hans Rye and Nina Rye. Today, the clothing is retailed by more than 1,340 independent fashion shops and department stores in 25 countries and by 18 concept stores, 12 in Denmark, 5 in Sweden and 1 in Norway.

Masai designs and markets clothing for the adult and fashion-conscious woman, who prefers a relaxed and individual style.

The interesting and varied silhouettes together with the many high-quality fabrics give the unique expression, which characterise Masai. For further information: