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Luxempart doubles return from sale of Zooplus shares



The pandemic has boosted sales at Zooplus, the Amazon of pet food. 2021 is expected to be a record year after a first half-year with revenues of over €1 billion. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The pandemic has boosted sales at Zooplus, the Amazon of pet food. 2021 is expected to be a record year after a first half-year with revenues of over €1 billion. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Investment company Luxempart announced that it will sell part of its shares in online pet shop Zooplus in the context of the takeover by Hellman & Friedman. The sale of the shares will generate €93m, more than double the cost of its investment.

Luxempart in 2016 invested €15m in Zooplus, the German Amazon of pet food founded in 1999. Although it had good prospects, its share price was stuck at €120. The following year, Luxempart strengthened its position in a series of accompanying investments worth €48.44m.

Today, it says it is ready to sell part of its 4.99% stake to Hellman & Friedman, which has made a friendly €3bn takeover bid to acquire a majority stake in the group headed by Cornelius Pratt. In the meantime, Zooplus has taken full advantage of the covid-19 pandemic when pet owners turned to it en masse for food. In 2020, sales jumped by 18% to €1.8bn, with eight million customers in 30 countries.

And 2021 will be even better. The company announced in its half-yearly results on 17 August that it had passed the €1bn mark in revenue over six months. Three days earlier, Zooplus had announced a strategic partnership with Hellman & Friedman, which offered €390 per share to buy 50% plus one share and take the Munich-based company to an even higher level. This represents a 40% increase over the last three months or a 34% increase compared to its all-time high.

Hellman & Friedman, which has nearly $80bn in assets under management, announced in mid-July that it had raised nearly $25bn by injecting $1.8bn into its tenth investment fund. 

For Luxempart, the sale will generate a profit of €93m , or 2.2 times the cost of the investment.

This article was originally published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.