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EQT Expansion Capital II invests in online bike and outdoor retailer internetstores AG

  • EQT Expansion Capital II acquires a minority stake and provides growth capital to one of the leading German online bike and outdoor retailers internetstores AG
  • Internet entrepreneur and founder René Köhler remains majority owner whilst the minority investor is bought out
  • EQT Expansion Capital II to provide industrial expertise from the broad EQT Industrial Network to facilitate accelerated growth and international expansion

EQT Expansion Capital II (“EQT Expansion Capital”) has agreed to invest EUR 30 million in one of the leading German online bike and outdoor products retailer internetstores AG (“internetstores” or the “Company”). As part of the transaction EQT Expansion Capital will become a substantial minority investor and will provide expansion capital to internetstores. The founder, René Köhler, remains majority owner and will continue his successful work to lead the growth of the Company. EQT Expansion Capital will facilitate the exit of previous minority owner, which will be bought out entirely.

internetstores was founded in 2003 in Stuttgart by internet entrepreneur René Köhler. Since then, the Company has developed into a leading online bike and outdoor retailer with a large variety of brands covering a vast assortment of over 50,000 products, targeting mainstream and sport enthusiast customers. internetstores, driven by its brands fahrrad.de, Brügelmann, Bikeunit and Bikester for bikes as well as CAMPZ for outdoor, has a leading position in its key market Germany and continues to gain an international market share, for instance in Switzerland, Austria and France. internetstores is a pure-play online retailer, building its success on online marketing expertise, strong logistics and a highly committed team.

“internetstores is a very well-managed company which has outgrown the venture stage to become a successful and sustainable market leader. The Company is poised to take the next step on its development path and EQT Expansion Capital is proud to be part of it”, says Hjalmar Winbladh, serial internet entrepreneur and Industrial Advisor to EQT Expansion Capital.

“Teaming up with EQT Expansion Capital feels great, I am really impressed by their industrial experience and understanding of our business. Together, we will be able to embark on the next level in internetstores’ life cycle”, continues René Köhler, founder and majority owner of internetstores.

internetstores, headquartered in Stuttgart, is growing strongly and aims at revenues of EUR 60 million in 2011/2012. The Company focuses on the bike and outdoor market, both of which are growing at a rate of between 4 and 10% per annum in its core markets. internetstores’ accelerated growth and expansion further leverages on the high annual conversion from offline to online shopping.

“Understanding retail concepts, sourcing, internationalization, logistic and other organizational processes in a growing business is essential. EQT Expansion Capital will be able to provide industrial expertise from individuals within the EQT Industrial Network with long experience and expertise from those areas”, says Fabian Wasmus, Director and internet sector specialist at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to EQT Expansion Capital.

Contacts:
EQT Expansion Capital II spokesperson
Johan Hähnel
Communications & PR
+46 8 506 55 334

About EQT
EQT is the leading private equity group in Northern Europe with close to EUR 18 billion in raised capital and multiple investment strategies. Together with a superior network of independent Industrial Advisors, EQT implements its investment strategy by acquiring or financing good medium-sized to large companies in Northern and Eastern Europe, Asia and the United States, supporting their development into leading companies. Development is achieved by an industrial strategy with focus on growth. Since inception, EQT has invested more than EUR 10.8 billion in around 100 companies and exited close to 50. EQT-owned companies have more than 550,000 employees.

EQT Expansion Capital II provides flexible capital solutions in Northern and Eastern Europe in a variety of situations, such as expansion capital for privately owned businesses, changes in shareholder structure and acquisitions by strategic or financial investors.

EQT Partners, acting as investment advisor to the managers of each EQT fund, has around 120 investment professionals with an extensive industrial and financial competence. EQT Partners and its affiliates have offices in Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Oslo, London, Munich, New York, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Warsaw and Zurich.

More information can be found on www.eqt.se