Maxeda sells Hema to Lion Capital for €1.1bn

Private equity-owned Maxeda has disposed of Hema, selling the Dutch department store to retail specialist Lion Capital. Maxeda continues to prove a successful investment for the consortium of KKR, Cinven, AlpInvest and Permira that recapitalised the retail group last year.

European mid-market firm Lion Capital has bought Dutch department store group Hema from private equity-owned Maxeda for an undisclosed sum. A source close to the deal said the price was around €1.1 billion ($1.5 billion).

Dutch department store Hema: Lion Capital’s latest buy.

Sales at Hema have grown during the last 3 years to more than €1.3 billion in 2006 with annual double digit profit growth. Hema has around 10,000 employees. It also has approximately 300 stores in the Netherlands, 50 in Belgium and a presence in both Germany and Luxembourg.

A Maxeda spokesman said: “We sold the company because Lion Capital offered a fair price and it committed to the company’s overseas expansion.”

Private equity ownership of department stores has been in the spotlight since the IPO for £1.675 billion ($3.3 billion, $2.5 billion) of Debenhams by the TPG, CVC Capital Partners and Merril Lynch Private Equity consortium saw its share price collapse by over a third.

The high street in general has proved popular with private equity, Permira and Apax Partners are currently auctioning New Look for around £1.8 billion, with interested parties including a pairing of Warburg Pincus and TPG, while BC Partners and Landmark Group are both preparing solo bids.

Maxeda is owned by a consortium of KKR, Cinven, AlpInvest and Permira. It had a successful recapitalisation last year giving total proceeds of 1.2 times to Permira investors according to figures published by SVG Capital in March.

Citigroup Global Markets and ABN AMRO acted as financial advisors to Maxeda. Clifford Chance served as legal advisor to Maxeda and SJ Berwin and Nauta Dutilh acted as legal advisors to Lion Capital.