OpCapita sweeps up AppelrathCüpper from Advent

The German womenswear retailer is one of the remaining assets in the former Douglas Group, which Advent acquired in 2012.

UK-based turnaround firm OpCapita has agreed to acquire German designer womenswear retailer Reiner AppelrathCüpper from global buyout house Advent International, according to a joint statement from the firms.

AppelrathCüpper was once part of the Douglas Group, acquired by the Kreke family and Advent in a take private of the group in December 2012 for around €1.5 billion. The group’s core cosmetics and perfume business, Douglas, was sold to CVC Capital Partners last year in a deal valuing the business at around €2.8 billion. The Kreke family retained a 15 percent stake in the business.

Advent and the Kreke family have attempted to sell AppelrathCüpper several times, including putting the business up for sale in 2014.

Advent invested in the group using capital from Advent Global Private Equity Funds VI and VII. The firm declined to comment on the return from the sale.

Douglas’ other business divisions include CHRIST jewellery stores; Thalia bookstores; and confectioner Hussel.

CHRIST was sold to London listed 3i Group in 2014. 3i invested around €214 million in the company for a majority stake, using capital from its €5 billion Eurofund V, as reported by Private Equity International.

In March 2014 Douglas agreed to offload Hussel to Emeram Capital Partners, a Munich-based firm established in 2012 by two former executives from The Riverside Company and two from Apax Partners.

Following OpCapita’s acquisition of AppelrathCüpper, just Thalia will remain with Advent and the Kreke family, held within holding company Moda Holding.

AppelrathCüpper operates 13 stores across Germany selling high-end brands including Hugo Boss, Burberry, Armani Collezioni, Tommy Holfiger and Marco Polo, as well as its own private label range.

OpCapita intends to drive future growth in the business through expanding its premium brand concept, opening new stores and enhancing the integration of online and offline sales channels, according to the statement. As a non-core part of a large group, AppelrathCüpper has not received much investment, which has hampered growth, the source said.

AppelrathCüpper is the third and final portfolio company in the OpCapita Consumer Opportunities Fund, which closed on just over £100 million in December 2014. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

The fund, which has a two-year investment period, also acquired Spanish frozen food retailer La Sirena Alimentacion Congelada in a deal thought to be worth around €30 million, and German discount clothing retailer NKD, which it acquired for €20 million in November 2013. It is understood that there is some capital remaining in the fund for additional investment into the existing portfolio companies.

It is understood that when OpCapita returns to market with a successor vehicle, it is likely seek to raise a larger sum to invest over a more traditional five-year investment period.

OpCapita declined to comment on fundraising.

Prior to the Consumer Opportunities Fund, OpCapita, which was founded in 2006, invested on a deal-by-deal basis. In 2012 the firm bought GAME Group out of administration and two year later listed it on the London Stock Exchange, delivering a 5.9x return to investors.