Bain Leads $700 Million Funding in Berlin Brands Group

(Bloomberg) — Private equity firm Bain Capital is buying a minority stake in Berlin Brands Group and will lead a $700 million debt and equity investment to fund the e-commerce company’s expansion. 

Bain has agreed to buy out Ardian’s stake of more than 40% in the company, while Chief Executive Officer and founder Peter Chaljawski will retain a majority of its shares, he said in an interview. 

Investors are riding the e-commerce boom by putting billions of dollars into firms like Berlin Brands that buy direct-to-consumer businesses that sell on Inc. and other platforms. The purchase by Bain values the company at more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion), a Berlin Brands spokesman said, confirming an earlier Bloomberg News report. 

Founded in 2005, Berlin Brands has developed a portfolio of 14 online brands selling goods ranging from sports equipment to home appliances. 

The company raised $240 million in debt in April to pay for more acquisitions. Chaljawski said the latest funds will be used to accelerate purchases of online retailers and build out Berlin Brands’s distribution network. 

“That’s really huge firepower into the company,” he said in an interview. “The speed at which we acquire is accelerating from quarter to quarter.”

Competitors that buy online brands have also been attracting investor interest in recent months. On Wednesday, Olsam Group announced it raised $165 million in equity and debt financing to buy e-commerce businesses. Berlin-based SellerX said last month it raised 100 million euros. 

Berlin Brands says it’s been profitable since its founding, with more than 900 employees across five countries and sales last year of over 334 million euros.

“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,” Miray Topay, a managing director at Bain Capital Private Equity, said in a statement. 

(Corrects headline, first paragraph on Bain’s role in $700 million funding)

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