Germany’s Internetstores Taken Over by Retail Giant Signa
ESSEN/ESSLINGEN, Germany – Signa Retail, a 3 billion euro retail giant in Germany, is taking over one of Europe’s bigger bicycle and outdoor e-commerce companies Internetstores Holding GmbH. Internetstores sells online bikes and products under the brands Addnature, Bikster, Brügelmann, Campz, Internetstores and Fahrrad.de.
Internetstores‘ founder René Marius Köhler and investor EQT Expansion Capital II are selling the entire company to Signa Retail. Financial details about the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is subject to approval from the relevant antitrust authorities.
‘Department store and retail experts’
Signa Retail comprises of a number of independent German retail companies including KaDeWe Group, Karstadt Sports, Karstadt Warenhaus GmbH, Outfitter.de, Dress-for-less as well as the joint venture with ‘EATALY’. “All six businesses are run by a team of seasoned department store and retail experts. These six companies have a total of over 20,000 staff at more than 100 locations, and combined annual revenue of around 3 billion euro, making Signa Retail one of Germany’s largest retailers,” is noted on the company website.
According to Internetstores the transaction is the next logical step in the company’s growth strategy. Since it was founded in 2003 by René Marius Köhler the company has been one of the few profitably growing German e-commerce companies. Swedish investment fund EQT Expansion Capital II took over a 34% share in Internetstores in 2012.
Early this year there have been rumours that owner EQT wanted to sell their stake in Internetstores after strengthening the company’s position as a leading European online retailer for the bicycle and outdoor sectors successfully. The company says that this has been established “By emphasizing technology and logistics as well as by a systematic focus on efficient internationalization.”
This internationalization took place by opening shops in seven new European countries and by the takeover of Addnature. This is the online market leader in Sweden for outdoor products. Internetstores claims that it has achieved annual growth of approximately 30% since 2012.
‘Successful joint development’
“Based on the combination of online and offline competencies and channels, the two partners are confident of a successful joint development. Internetstores will preserve its independence,” is noted in a press release.
Internetstores founder René Marius Köhler, who will stay with the company as chairman of the board, states further “This is an important strategic step for both parties. After several successful years of profitable growth with EQT, we are now happy to have found a new strong partner in Signa Retail for the next phase of the Internetstores development.”
Former MD e-Commerce & internationalization Markus Winter succeeded Köhler as CEO on 1 October while the companies’ two MD’s Bernd Humke (CFO) and Ralf Kindermann (COO) will remain at the same position at Internetstores.