Equistone-backed GALA Kerzen acquires majority stake in JuwelKerze
GALA Kerzen (“the Group”), a leading manufacturer of candles backed by Equistone Partners Europe (“Equistone”), today announces its continued expansion and the establishment of a strong strategic partnership with digital and e-commerce capabilities through the acquisition of a majority stake in the Berlin-based candle manufacturer JuwelKerze GmbH ("JuwelKerze" or “the company”). This follows GALA Kerzen’s recent acquisition of a majority stake in Indian manufacturer Ramesh Flowers. Through these acquisitions, GALA Kerzen is positioning itself widely and developing significant synergies within a global network. The founders of JuwelKerze, Martin Werle and Marius Stolarski, will retain a shareholding in the company as well as receiving a significant interest in the GALA Kerzen group. The financial terms of the deal are undisclosed and completion remains subject to the approval of the relevant competition authorities.
In partnership with JuwelKerze, GALA Kerzen will focus on expanding the company’s online sales activities. The Berlin-based company is a strongly positioned e-commerce retailer, selling scented candles with pieces of jewellery hidden inside them under the established brand names of JuwelKerze and JewelCandle. The start-up has achieved strong growth in recent years, driven from the outset by a sophisticated digital strategy, and has built a strong brand and community, primarily through Europe-wide cooperation with influencers and engagement with over one million fans and followers on social media. “We have really great customers who are very closely connected with JuwelKerze and we value that hugely,” says Martin Werle, CEO of JuwelKerze.
JuwelKerze sells products through different online platforms in Germany, France, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands and the UK, selling candles under the JewelCandle brand in non-German-speaking countries. The company employs c.50 people across two locations in Germany and one in Poland.
Dirk Langhammer, Managing Director of GALA Kerzen, said: "The acquisition of a majority stake in JuwelKerze puts us in a great position for the future. It is an established online retailer that will help us to access the e-commerce sector even more effectively. We would also like to sell what is already a very well-known product to our existing customers on the high street. The high scalability of the business model and JuwelKerze’s specialised range opens up a whole range of new opportunities for GALA Kerzen."
Martin Werle added: "Through this strategic partnership we’ve achieved an instrumental part of our vision of a globally successful candle brand. JuwelKerze gains a global production and distribution network and GALA Kerzen grows through the extension of its digital capabilities, which are underrepresented in the candle market. It’s a great synergy for both sides."
Equistone acquired GALA Kerzen in 2016 as part of the candle manufacturer’s succession plan. It acquired the candle manufacturer with the aim of driving the growth of the company through strategic acquisitions.
Dirk Schekerka, Country Head of Equistone in the DACH region, commented: "JuwelKerze is the second acquisition of a majority stake by GALA Kerzen in a matter of weeks. With Ramesh Flowers we have expanded the product range and the target markets beyond Europe. Ramesh’s production sites also provide the whole group with greater flexibility and a broader product portfolio. JuwelKerze sells its bejewelled scented candle collection very successfully via sales platforms in Germany and Europe. We have therefore found the right partner to strengthen GALA Kerzen‘s sales activities in the European online retail market. We look forward to continuing the company’s growth towards becoming a global leader in the candle, scents and decorative products market.“
Dirk Schekerka, Leander Heyken and Tanja Berg represented Equistone in this transaction. Equistone was advised by P+P Pöllath & Partners (Legal), PwC (Commercial), Watson Farley (Tax) and KPMG (Financial). The shareholders of JuwelKerze were advised by goetzpartners Corporate Finance (M&A), AFR (Legal) und GKK (Financial & Tax).
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