Summit buys minority stake in Vente-Privee.com(2)

US buyout firm Summit Partners has taken a minority stake in private internet sale company Vente-Privee.com, as European internet companies show signs of recovery following European venture capitalist Index Ventures’ successful sale of Last.fm to US television network CBS.

Summit Partners has bought a 20 percent stake in private internet sale website Vente-Privee.com for an undisclosed sum. 

Vente-Privee.com holds events on the internet that last 24 to 48 hours and allow its members to purchase high-end goods at discount rates. It employs more than 600 people and is headquartered in Saint-Denis outside Paris.

Scott Collins, managing director of Summit Partners’ London office, said Vente-Privee.com invented the on-line private sale market and his company planned to expand the company into other markets.

Collins will join the Vente-Privee.com board along with Tom Roberts, a Boston-based managing partner at the buyout firm, and Christian Strain, vice-president of the London office. Latham & Watkins served as legal counsel, and Deloitte served as financial counsel to Summit Partners.

The business is already active in France, Spain and Germany. Until Summit’s investment, Vente Privee.com was owned entirely by its original founders chief executive Jacques-Antoine Granjon and several others.    

After the difficult years that followed the dotcom crash, the European internet sector has enjoyed some notable success recently – including the sale of Index Ventures-backed Last.fm to CBS, which netted the venture capitalist $56 million profit.  

Summit has invested in various internet companies, including mobile phone content provider Jamba! and booking company Web Reservations International. The buyout firm carries out buyouts and minority investments with typical transaction sizes ranging from $50 million to $300 million.