EQT snaps up German photo gallery network

This is the third investment from EQT’s mid-market fund, which is currently in market attempting to raise $1 billion for cross-border expansion investments in Europe and Asia.

EQT Partners has agreed to acquire Avenso, a leading gallery network and online retailer for photographic art in Germany. 

Details of the transaction were undisclosed. 

Avenso, established in 2004 by two art collectors in Berlin, offers art photography from a diverse selection of works by over 160 established artists. It has 24 galleries worldwide: 16 in Germany and others in cities such as Vienna, Zurich, London, New York and Paris. It has more than 1,400 works available as original photographs. Avenso also offers custom-made mounting and framing services, both for private customers and professional photographers.

EQT plans to develop the international footprint of Avenso, as well as expanding its growing online activities. 

“The product and service offering are very suitable for many more markets, which will facilitate the further growth of Avenso. We are happy to partner with the founders of this well positioned business,” Rolf Hagemann, EQT Industrial Advisor, said in a statement. 

It is understood EQT made the investment from its mid-market cross-border expansion vehicle, which is currently in market to raise approximately $1 billion. EQT declined to comment on fundraising. 

In April this year, EQT Partners merged its expansion capital fund team and Greater China fund team to help Northern European mid-market companies expand into China and Southeast Asia, a source with direct knowledge of the matter confirmed to Private Equity International at the time. The vehicle, which is led by Jan Ståhlberg, partner and head of EQT mid-market, also helps Asian-based business expand into Europe. 

The combined fund will total about $1 billion, based “entirely” on the firm’s estimated deal flow – it expects to make 10 to 15 investments from the fund. It is understood the fund has made two investments so far: in July, EQT used the vehicle to invest in IP-Only, a provider of high capacity fibre-based data communication and data centre services in Sweden, and in August, it invested €36 million in Swiss Smile, a Swiss dental chain.