May 13, 2019

Hartenberg acquires a majority stake in HFF a.s., a company operating the largest retail chain of florists in the Czech Republic, from the founders, who will remain in the co-owner role while mutually cooperating with Hartenberg going forward. The presence of Hartenberg as a strategic partner helps enable the company to realize its long-term planned expansion. Hartenberg intends to build on the recent success of the company, thus retaining the whole management team including the founder in their current roles. The acquisition of HFF, which is a result of a continuous and thorough search for promising investment opportunities within the FMCG sector in the CEE region, represents the seventh standalone investment project in the history of Hartenberg. The transaction will be closed after the approval by the Czech Antimonopoly Office.

With consolidated revenues exceeding CZK 1 billion, and more than 900 employees, HFF is the leading player on the Czech market with freshly cut flowers, potted flowers and complementary goods. HFF serves the entire retail florist’s value chain starting with the direct purchase of flowers at flower auctions in the Netherlands and from growers in South America, Africa, Israel and other countries, to the subsequent import, warehousing, and final delivery to customers. Since the opening of the first florist in 1996 in Brno, the company has grown to become the largest retail chain with more than 190 outlets and countrywide coverage operated under the “Flamengo květiny” brand.

Our investment into Flamengo fits nicely into our long-term strategy to invest into companies with strong market position and a stable and successful management team. We are pleased that we can finally announce an investment into the traditional retail business in its pure form which is a sector that we are very experienced with. We are convinced that we can unlock and fully utilize the potential of the company for an additional extensive organic and acquisition driven growth in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia. We truly appreciate the commitment of the founders who managed to grow the company into a market leading position during the last 20 years and we are thrilled to take part in this success story going forward”, commented Jozef Janov, Managing Partner and co-owner of Hartenberg.

“As we were looking for a strong and responsible partner to support further growth of the company alongside our family, we are proud to announce that we have agreed on a long-term partnership with Hartenberg. Our family managed to build a clear market leader from one single flower shop some 20 years ago and for the next chapter in the history of the company we decided to team up with a strong financial investor that is able to accelerate further growth of the company by providing necessary know-how with management of an international expansion to our mutual project. Among the true value added that we appreciated the most, and that eventually lead to our decision to take Hartenberg on board, were their straightforwardness, effective way of communication and the personal engagement of the individual team members into the project management” said Ján Balko Jr., co-owner and member of the Board of Directors, on behalf of the founders.

According to Hartenberg, the ultimate goals of the owners are to secure sustainable growth of the company, strengthen its market position on the core domestic market and achieve expansion abroad. During the initial phase of implementation of the strategic plan, the owners intend to focus on an organic expansion to Slovakia via the rollout of the successful business model supported by appropriate acquisitions. The emphasis is put also on further development of the e-commerce sales channel in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The final strategic goal of the company is to maintain its position of a stable and sought-after employer and reliable business partner for its customers and suppliers.

HFF was advised by KPMG, which provided both transaction and legal advisory. On behalf of Hartenberg the law firm Mikuláš & partneři led the transaction advisory and legal due diligence, while the financial and tax due diligence was handled by consultant firm Mazars.