Online bike and outdoor retailer internetstores AG received an investment of EUR 30,000,000 by EQT Expansion Capital II
Frankfurt, 30 March 2012. internetstores AG (“internetstores” or “the Company”) today announced the significant minority investment by EQT, a leading private equity group in Northern Europe. Acting through EQT Expansion Capital II, EQT invests approx. EUR 30 million in the Company and facilitates the exit of the previous minority shareholder. René Köhler, founder and CEO of internetstores, remains the majority shareholder and will continue his successful work to lead the growth of the Company.
internetstores, founded by internet entrepreneur René Köhler in 2003 and headquartered in Esslingen, near Stuttgart/ Germany, is a leading multi-shop e-commerce retailer in Germany and Europe focusing on the bike and outdoor vertical. With its diversified product range of branded and white-label products, the Company targets mainstream and sport enthusiast customers by its brands fahrrad.de, Brügelmann, Bikeunit and Bikester for bikes as well as CAMPZ for outdoor. As pure-play online retailer, internetstores builds its success on online marketing expertise, strong logistics and a highly committed team. With its international expansion to Austria, Switzerland and France among others, the Company is growing strongly and expects to reach revenues of EUR 60 million in 2011/ 12.
“internetstores is a very well-managed company which has outgrown the venture stage to become a successful and sustainable market leader. The Company is poised to take the next step on its development path and EQT Expansion Capital is proud to be part of it.”
– Hjalmar Winbladh, serial internet entrepreneur and Industrial Advisor to EQT Expansion Capital
“Teaming up with EQT Expansion Capital feels great, I am really impressed by their industrial experience and understanding of our business. Together, we will be able to embark on the next level in internetstores’ life cycle.”
– René Köhler, founder and majority owner of internetstores.
“Understanding retail concepts, sourcing, internationalization, logistic and other organizational processes in a growing business is essential. EQT Expansion Capital will be able to provide industrial expertise from individuals within the EQT Industrial Network with long experience and expertise from those areas.”
– Fabian Wasmus, Director and internet sector specialist at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to EQT Expansion Capital
“With this investment, internetstores has the opportunity to significantly strengthen its market position in the German speaking region and to exploit some of the untapped opportunities in its core business in other European markets. Having won EQT as a strong strategic partner marks a great achievement in the company’s history and I am particularly happy for René and his team to now be able to develop internetstores to the next level together with the new shareholder.”
– Dr. Ingmar Ackermann, CFP Industry Advisor and project leader of this transaction
“Throughout the process, I very much enjoyed working together with CFP, and I felt that I always got the professional support that I needed. In addition, CFP maintains one of the most compelling and value-driven networks in Europe with an excellent platform for the exchange of expertise and know-how.”
– René Köhler, Founder and CEO of internetstores
Corporate Finance Partners – now ACXIT Capital partners – acted as exclusive Corporate Finance Advisor to internetstores and its Shareholders in this transaction.
EQT is the leading private equity group in Northern Europe with close to EUR 18 billion in raised capital and multiple investment strategies. Together with a superior network of independent Industrial Advisors, EQT implements its investment strategy by acquiring or financing good medium-sized to large companies in Northern and Eastern Europe, Asia and the United States, supporting their development into leading companies. Development is achieved by an industrial strategy with focus on growth. Since inception, EQT has invested more than EUR 10.8 billion in around 100 companies and exited close to 50. EQT-owned companies have more than 550,000 employees. EQT Expansion Capital II provides flexible capital solutions in Northern Europe in a variety of situations, such as expansion capital for privately owned businesses, changes in shareholder structure and acquisitions by strategic or financial investors.
EQT Partners, acting as investment advisor to the managers of each EQT fund, has around 120 investment professionals with an extensive industrial and financial competence. EQT Partners and its affiliates have offices in Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Oslo, London, Munich, New York, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Warsaw and Zurich. (www.eqt.se)
internetstores AG has launched a multitude of online shops such as fahrrad.de, fitness.de, CAMPZ and Livingo selling bikes, fitness equipment, outdoor and camping gear as well as furniture and home accessories. Besides these industry shops, the multishop e-commerce company runs two target group bike shops: Bikeunit and Brügelmann. internetstores AG is also operating in other European countries outside Germany with its online shops bikester.fr, bikester.at, bikester.nl and bikester.ch as well as fitster.ch, fitster.at, campz.at, campz.ch, campz.nl and campz.fr. In addition to the virtual shops, internetstores is also running a store with a 1200 m² showroom in Stuttgart, Germany since early 2009 selling primarily bikes and fitness equipment. (www.internetstores.de)
ACXIT Capital Partners is a leading independent corporate finance and investment advisory firm for mid-market clients and entrepreneurs in Europe and beyond. Since 1998, ACXIT offers its clients comprehensive corporate finance advisory services including M&A and capital markets advisory as well as restructuring, equity/debt and strategic advisory. As an independent, privately owned firm we maintain offices and representations in Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Leipzig, Zurich, Hong Kong and New York, as well as strong alliances in France, China and India. (www.acxit.com)
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