Nordic seals €275m retail deal

The acquisition of Ellos and Jotex comes a few days after the Swedish firm held a €1.7bn first close on its latest fund.

Stockholm-headquartered Nordic Capital has acquired Ellos and Jotex, two Scandinavian home shopping companies, for €275 million. 

Ellos, founded in 1947, is the largest apparel and home brand in Sweden for mail order and online shopping. Jotex, created in 1967, is a home textile and decoration online retailer operating in Sweden, Finland and Norway. Both companies are based in Borås, Sweden.

“Ellos is one of Sweden's best-known brands and, together with Jotex, the Nordic region's leading marketplace for clothing with a broad product range and 4.5 million customers,” said John Hedberg, principal at Nordic, in a statement.

The firm is buying the two businesses from Redcat, a subsidiary of Paris-listed group PPR. The sale comes as the French company is seeking to divest parts of its mail order unit, having reportedly been unable to find a single acquirer for the whole business.

Jotex is a home textile
online retailer

Nordic is no stranger to the retail sector, having invested in Finland’s Tokmanni, Norway’s Europris and Denmark’s Sport-Master last year. Previous investments have also included Swedish clothing company KappAhl. 

The acquisitions of Ellos and Jotex will be made by Nordic’s Fund VII, which is now over 80 percent invested. The vehicle is likely to make one or two more investments before being fully deployed, a Nordic spokesperson told Private Equity International.  

Last week, the firm announced a €1.7 billion first close for its latest buyout vehicle, Nordic Capital VIII. The fund, which was launched in April last year, is expected to reach a final close on €3 billion this summer. 

It was originally aiming for €4 billion, but Nordic reduced its target to between €3 billion and €3.5 billion last October, stating that a prolonged fundraising process would drain too much of the firm’s resources away from investing. 

Fund VII, which closed in 2008 on €4.3 billion, has generated a 3.8x return on all its exited investments, a source said in October.