Enterprise Investors cleans up with Wema

Warsaw-based Enterprise Investors has taken a 60 percent stake in Polish bathroom retailer and wholesaler Wema in a deal that values the company at €77m. The acquisition follows figures last week showing that the flow of capital into emerging markets private equity is rapidly accelerating.

Enterprise Investors' Polish Enterprise Fund VI (PEF VI) has invested €46 million ($70 million) for a 60 percent stake in Wema, a bathroom retail and wholesale operation based in Rumia, Poland. The original family founders will retain the remaining 40 percent.

Following the transaction, the firm’s 18 Polish retail outlets will be overhauled, while the wholesale business

Wema: tapping up some
new capital

will continue to operate unchanged. Last year Wema’s sales totalled around €60 million with a net profit of €5 million.

Enterprise Investors has a history of retail experience in Central and Eastern Europe. Last year the firm acquired 100 percent of flooring company Sklepy Komfort, which has over 100 stores throughout Poland, and the PEF V portfolio contains Nay, the largest retailer of white and brown goods in Slovakia.

Last week PEO reported on figures released by the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association showing that fundraising for emerging markets private equity in the first half of 2008 totalled $35 billion, a 68 percent increase over the amount raised during the same period in 2007.