Funds managed by Equistone Partners Europe Limited acquired majority stake in POLO Motorrad und Sportswear GmbH

  • Equistone takes overt multi-channel retailer of motorcycle clothing and accessories
  • Further growth is planned through market consolidation, strategic acquisitions and expanding the network of stores
  • POLO Motorrad’s online trading and business to business channel are expected to be strengthened

Munich/ Jüchen, 4-2-2015 — /EuropaWire/ — Funds managed by Equistone Partners Europe Limited (“Equistone”) have acquired a majority stake in POLO Motorrad und Sportswear GmbH (“the Company” or “POLO Motorrad”) for an undisclosed amount. Headquartered  in Jüchen, North Rhine Westphalia, POLO Motorrad develops and sells motorcycle clothing and accessories. Products are retailed via a network of stores as well as via online channels, mobile applications and catalogues. The company is amongst Germany’s leading, nationwide retailers in the industry. POLO Motorrad is being sold by a consortium of investors around a majority shareholder, PARAGON PARTNERS, and co-investors, Tempus Capital and SM Investment Ltd. The transaction is subject to regulatory and competition clearances.

Since it was founded in 1980, the trading company for POLO Motorrad has continuously expanded its network of stores, first in Germany and later in Switzerland. Today, the eighty-two German stores and seven Swiss stores, as well as orders from all over Europe, are supplied from a company warehouse in Jüchen via online shopping outlets, mobile applications, catalogues and business to business channels. The POLO Motorrad range currently comprises over 20,000 products. Besides selling high-quality, third party brands, POLO Motorcycle also manufactures own-label products. With its proprietary brands such as FLM, PHARAO, THERMO BOY, SPIRIT MOTORS and Q-BAG, POLO Motorrad continues to set European clothing sector standards for quality, variety and reliability.

Following a difficult trading period and the Company’s subsequent insolvency in 2011, POLO Motorrad was successfully reorganised. The principal developments achieved included the appointment of a new management team led by CEO Dr. Michael Kern, the repositioning and strengthening of the Company’s brands, the streamlining and redesign of the Company’s range of proprietary brands and increased productivity. These measures led to a strong growth in turnover and a clear and sustainable increase in profitability. In the past financial year (October 2013 to September 2014) POLO Motorrad generated revenues of around €114 million.

Michael Kern, Chief Executive Officer of POLO Motorrad, commented: “With the successful reorganisation of POLO Mottorrad, we have put the company back on a course of growth and expansion. As a multi-channel retailer of motorcycle accessories and clothing, we are active in an attractive growth market and have established ourselves as the leading European supplier of branded products in Europe, as the Company has grown to be a renowned label for motorcyclists and bike enthusiasts. We welcome this partnership with our new shareholder Equistone, with whom we will continue to consistently accelerate our profitability and growth in all sales channels, via our stores, online trading and with our customers and clients. We are really looking forward to working with Equistone to support this next stage of the Company’s development.”

Dirk Schekerka, Managing Partner of Equistone Partners Europe in Germany, added: “We are pleased to have invested in an established, medium-sized company that shows high growth potential in an attractive market from a solid founding. Over the last few decades, POLO Motorrad has built up a strong brand image, which distinguishes itself through great authenticity, high quality and popularity with a large customer base. POLO Motorrad offers an excellent platform for driving forward the consolidation of a fragmented market, expanding the network of stores and further strengthening online activities. As well as the wide range of third party products, the Company’s strong proprietary brands, such as FLM, Pharao and Nexo, offer an excellent basis for this. We are really looking forward to working with the Company’s excellent management team to continue to drive the Company’s growth going forward.”

The transaction was led by Dirk Schekerka, Alexis Milkovic and Katja Mühlhäuser from Equistone.

Equistone was advised by Pöllath + Partners (Legal M&A, LDD and Structure), Deloitte (FDD and TDD), N+1 (Debt Advisor), Latham (Legal Financing Advice) and Goetzpartners (CDD).

Notes to Editors

About Equistone Partners Europe www.equistonepe.com

• Equistone Partners Europe Limited is an independent investment firm owned and managed by the former executives of Barclays Private Equity.
• In January 2013, Equistone successfully completed the final closing of Equistone Partners Europe Fund IV with total capital commitments of €1.5bn.
• The Company is one of Europe’s leading investors in mid-market buyouts with a successful track record spanning over 30 years, with more than 350 transactions completed in this period.
• Equistone has a strong focus on change of ownership deals and aims to invest between €25m and €125m of equity in businesses with enterprise values of between €50m and €300m.
• The Company has a team of 31 investment professionals operating across France, Germany, Switzerland and the UK, investing as a strategic partner alongside management teams.
• Equistone Partners Europe Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

About POLO Motorrad und Sportswear GmbH
POLO Motorrad und Sportswear GmbH is among the leading suppliers of motorcycle clothing, motorcycle accessories and motorcycle technology in Europe. The Company employs around 800 staff at eighty-two locations in Germany and seven in Switzerland. It sells a range of high performance products (over 40,000 items). In addition to this, the company offers an efficient mail order service and an extensive online shop.

For further information please visit: www.polo-motorrad.com

For more information please contact:

Equistone

Germany: IRA WÜLFING KOMMUNIKATION GmbH Dr. Reinhard Saller : +49. 89. 2000 30-38, reinhard.saller@wuelfing-kommunikation.de

UK: Instinctif Partners Ross Gillam : +44 (0)207 457 2020, ross.gillam@instinctif.com

 

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