EQT Expansion Capital II sells entire equity stake in German leisure restaurant chains Sausalitos Holding GmbH to Ergon Capital Partners III

  • EQT Expansion Capital II exits the investment in Sausalitos Holding GmbH by selling its 47% equity stake and being repaid the outstanding Expansion Capital Facility
  • Sausalitos expanded its store network by 9 new stores, introduced various sales initiatives and substantially strengthened its operational platform during EQT Expansion Capital II’s investment period

Stockholm, 30-5-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — EQT Expansion Capital II Limited (“EQT Expansion Capital II”) has agreed to sell Sausalitos Holding GmbH (“Sausalitos” or “the Company”), one of the leading German leisure restaurant and bar chains to Ergon Capital Partners III (“Ergon Capital”).

“Sausalitos is among the leading German leisure restaurant chains, differentiating itself with a dynamic and trendy appearance. The leisure restaurant chain segment is an attractive part of the German gastronomy market and has shown substantial growth and increased market share over the last years. With a highly attractive store pipeline, Sausalitos is ideally positioned to capitalize on the underlying market trend. Under joint ownership of the founder Thomas Hirschberger and EQT Expansion Capital II, management has been strengthened and a strong operational platform has been built. This now enables the Company to transition into the next phase of growth”, says Michael Föcking, Partner at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to EQT Expansion Capital II.

Sausalitos operates 27 restaurants in Germany and offers its customers a unique experience through the combination of lifestyle concept, innovative cocktails, international cuisine and high quality service. Through its innovative marketing, including social media coverage and frequent promotions, Sausalitos has achieved above market like-for-like sales growth of 25% in the last 3 years. Since EQT Expansion Capital Il’s investment, Sausalitos expanded its store network by 9 new stores, introduced various sales initiatives and substantially strengthened its operational platform, thereby growing the top line by 10% CAGR over the last 5 years.

Management (including Gunilla Hirschberger, COO of Sausalitos and Thomas Hirschberger’s wife) will continue to run the business after the completion of the transaction.

Gunilla Hirschberger said: “Over the last couple of years we have succeeded in building a strong brand, a loyal customer base and continuously innovating the Sausalitos concept. In combination with our attractive pipeline of new stores to be opened, we are well positioned to materially increase the number of stores in Germany and to also expand abroad. We are glad to have Ergon Capital as a new partner who will continue to back our strategy and growth plans.”

The transaction is subject to approval from the German competition authority and is expected to be completed in July 2014.

Contacts:
Michael Föcking, Partner at EQT Partners, investment advisor to EQT Expansion Capital II, +49 (69) 247 045 0
EQT Press Department +46 8 506 55 356

About EQT
EQT is the leading private equity group in Northern Europe, with portfolio companies in Northern and Eastern Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 25 billion and over 500,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.

More information can be found on www.eqt.se

About Sausalitos Holding GmbH
Sausalitos is one of the leading casual gastro pub chain with 27 locations in Germany. Sausalitos stores have a common branding and interior design following a leisure-like Southern-style theme. The company offers its customers a great variety of food and drinks. Products are positioned in the mid-to-higher price segment. The company targets consumers in the 18-30 age range, mainly students and young professionals. Sausalitos generates 100% of its sales in Germany and operates its own restaurants as well as franchises. The company is headquartered in Munich and employs c. 900 part- and full-time staff. Sausalitos was founded in 1994 by Thomas Hirschberger.

More information can be found on www.sausalitos.de

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