Ratos acquires 30% of the shares in renowned Swedish design company Gudrun Sjödén Group AB for SEK 150 million, based on an enterprise value of SEK 725 million. Ratos also signs an agreement for an option to increase ownership with an additional 40% in 2018.
Founded in 1976 Gudrun Sjödén is an international design company and fashion retailer, known for its unique, colourful style and strong emphasis on quality and sustainability. The company employs 400 staff and reported pro forma sales for 2015 of SEK 715 million.
The Gudrun Sjödén brand is sold and marketed globally through 21 of its own stores in seven countries, online and through mail order, with online being its largest distribution channel.
Ratos invests in mid-sized Nordic companies and will invest alongside the founders, Gudrun and Björn Sjödén, who will continue to own 70% after the transaction. As part of transaction, Ratos has signed an agreementfor an option to increase its holding by a further 40% in 2018. The acquisition is subject to approval by the relevant authorities and is expected to be completed in the third quarter.
Gudrun Sjödén, Founder and Managing Director at Gudrun Sjödén, commented:“I have been looking for an investment partner that has the relevant expertise and experience to enable our organisation to grow in order to realise the brand’s full potential. We recognise that Ratos is an established and responsible investor and believe that their experience of active ownership, their strong value foundation and their clear sustainability profile will benefit us as we continue to grow and develop”
“It’s been very exciting to work with Gudrun Sjödén, both the company and Gudrun herself, over the past few years. We’re convinced that partnering with Ratos will provide support in a new growth phase, especially considering the company’s clear focus on e-commerce. This deal proves Livingstone’s position as a leading advisor in brands, e-commerce and retail in the Nordics,” said Thomas Karlsson, Partner at Livingstone.
“In spite of the ongoing global turbulence, plenty of successful Scandinavian consumer brands are doing well. The interest is strong for this kind of company from both financial and strategic investors, and at Livingstone we expect to see more deals in this sector in the coming year,” added Henrik Widlund, Director at Livingstone.