HARTENBERG’S FIRST INVESTMENT IN E-COMMERCE – ACQUISITION OF ONE OF THE LARGEST ONLINE LINGERIE RETAILERS IN EUROPE
April 3, 2018
Hartenberg and the shareholders of ASTRATEX (the „Company”) signed an agreement on the sale of the majority stake of the Company and mutual cooperation on its further development. The transaction will be completed after the approval of the anti-monopoly office in Czech Republic. For Hartenberg the transaction is a stepping stone into the e-commerce segment.
ASTRATEX is one of Europe’s leading online retailer specialized in lingerie and intimate fashion. The Company primarily sells women’s underwear and swimwear, but it is also active in the bed linen segment through its online store called BONATEX. The Company has been experiencing increasing popularity among female customers which translated into its significant growth and strong market position. The Company is the clear leader in online lingerie markets in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Romania, while recently starting its presence in Hungary, Bulgaria and Austria. Annual sales of the Company grew over 35% and reached close to CZK 600 mil. The Company expects reaching the revenue milestone of CZK 1 billion within 2 – 3 years.
“We’ve been considering an entry in e-commerce space for some time. We had reviewed several potential e-commerce investments before we firstly met with the shareholders of ASTRATEX. We were positively surprised with the unique market position of the Company and solid financial fundamentals, which are not very common in online retailers of the similar size. ASTRATEX is led by a very experienced management team which will continue with European expansion backed by Hartenberg. Although we will focus now on growth of ASTRATEX, we will be actively seeking e-commerce companies like ASTRATEX to build up our presence online”, said Jozef Kováč, Investment manager of Hartenberg Capital.
The founders of ASTRATEX and Hartenberg will also be joined by a group of local entrepreneurs from the e-commerce and online marketing environments, namely Tomáš Fikar, Roman Oravec and Jan Svoboda, who bring strategic, technological and marketing expertise in online retail to the shareholder team.
“By teaming up with Hartenberg we’ve got a strong partner who we believe will fuel even faster growth and development of the Company. We appreciate Hartenberg’s ambitions with their investments to be a noticeable player not only locally but also abroad, which is exactly in line with the long-term strategy of ASTRATEX”, said Petr Vít, founder and CEO of ASTRATEX.
In the transaction, shareholders of ASTRATEX were advised by IMAP Redbaenk (M&A, transaction, financial advisory) and ŘANDA HAVEL LEGAL (legal). Hartenberg was advised by Mikuláš & partners (legal, structuring) and Mazars (financial, tax).