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Berlin Brands Group raises 700 million USD led by Bain Capital at unicorn valuation

September 1, 2021

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Berlin Brands Group raises 700 million USD led by Bain Capital at unicorn valuation

BERLIN, BOSTON AND LONDON, September 1, 2021 - Berlin Brands Group (BBG), a global e-commerce company, is bringing on board Bain Capital, a private equity heavyweight as an investor. BBG becomes the latest European unicorn with Bain Capital’s acquisition of Ardian’s stake. Furthermore, BBG has secured $700 million of additional equity and debt financing to fund growth and M&A.

This financing follows BBG announcing a $240 million funding round to acquire emerging e-commerce brands, particularly in the US and UK, earlier this year. BBG's capacity for acquiring and scaling successful e-commerce brands is now the largest in Europe and among the largest globally. The Berlin-based company also intends to use its fresh capital to expand its supply chain and logistics infrastructure and further develop its own tech platform.

"With Bain Capital's commitment and the additional funding secured, we have set our next milestone on our path to building a global house of brands," said Peter Chaljawski, CEO of BBG. "This allows us to tackle strategic goals of acquiring and developing brands globally, as well as the operational and logistical expansion. Bain Capital's experience working with founders worldwide will help us continue our evolution as a leading e-commerce company in scaling brands."

"BBG is a disruptive leader in the rapidly changing consumer goods space. Their ability to develop and scale brands that meet current consumer trends through their highly efficient e-commerce platform gives the company tremendous growth potential in a fast-growing market," said Miray Topay, Managing Director at Bain Capital Private Equity. "We have partnered with many founder-led management teams and look forward to helping Peter and his team achieve their goal of becoming a global leader in consumer e-commerce."

Marc Abadir, Managing Director within the Ardian Expansion team in Germany, added: "BBG's management and employees have an outstanding instinct for the trends of the future in the consumer sector and build them at an early stage with brands and products that convince consumers and testers alike. As a platform for well-known e-commerce brands, BBG has also clearly demonstrated its ability to acquire and integrate new brands. As a result, the company was able to increase its sales approximately fivefold during the period of our commitment. We are proud to have accompanied BBG on this path and have enjoyed the very strong partnership with Peter Chaljawski and his team." 

BBG has access to 1.5 billion active e-commerce customers in Europe, the UK, the US, and parts of Asia. The company is on its way to become a 'Global House of Digital Brands'. BBG brands reach customers as they search online in the brand’s own stores, on platforms and marketplaces. BBG's tech platform serves over 100 channels in 28 countries. As BBG's business expands into new markets, the company will continue to invest in its tech platform and its own warehousing and distribution infrastructure, which is particularly important for the integration and development of the newly acquired brands. 

Bain Capital replaces Ardian as a minority shareholder. The majority of the shares are still held by Peter Chaljawski and the executive team. GCA Altium advised on the deal. Deutsche Bank advised Bain Capital on the transaction.

About Berlin Brands Group

Berlin Brands Group (BBG) is a global e-commerce company and one of the pioneers in the direct-to-consumer business. The company currently sells 3,700 products through its 14 own brands (including Klarstein, auna, blumfeldt and Capital Sports) through 100+ channels in 28 countries, with their goal of making a more beautiful and better life possible. BBG is one of the few companies that has been profitable since its inception. The company employs more than 900 people in five countries and generated sales of more than €334 million in 2020 (2019: €217 million). 

BBG currently has a logistics center located in Kamp-Lintfort for Western Europe, another in Bratislava for Eastern Europe, as well as others in Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Istanbul. In Europe, more are planned to follow in Germany, the UK, Spain and France. Against the backdrop of capacity constraints in many European and international warehouses, products of BBG brands will now be shipped from the company's own logistics hubs.

About Bain Capital Private Equity

Bain Capital Private Equity has partnered closely with management teams to provide the strategic resources that build great companies and help them thrive since its founding in 1984. Bain Capital Private Equity’s global team of approximately 560 professionals create value for its portfolio companies through its global platform and depth of expertise in key vertical industries including healthcare, consumer/retail, financial and business services, industrials, and technology, media and telecommunications. Bain Capital has offices in Boston, Chicago, New York,Palo Alto, San Francisco, Dublin, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Munich, Guangzhou, Melbourne, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo. The firm has made primary or add-on investments in more than 1,000 companies since its inception. In addition to private equity, Bain Capital invests across asset classes including credit, real estate, public equity and venture capital, managing more than $140 billion in total and leveraging the firm’s shared platform to capture opportunities in strategic areas of focus. For more information, visit www.baincapitalprivateequity.com.

About Ardian 

Ardian is a world-leading private investment house with assets of US$114bn managed or advised in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The company is majority-owned by its employees. It keeps entrepreneurship at its heart and focuses on delivering excellent investment performance to its global investor base. Through its commitment to shared outcomes for all stakeholders, Ardian’s activities fuel individual, corporate and economic growth around the world. Holding close its core values of excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship, Ardian maintains a truly global network, with more than 780 employees working from fifteen offices across Europe (Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich), the Americas (New York, San Francisco and Santiago) and Asia (Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul). It manages funds on behalf of more than 1,200 clients through five pillars of investment expertise: Fund of Funds, Direct Funds, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Private Debt. www.ardian.com