Verdane acquires portfolio of three successful consumer companies from UK-based Langholm Capital to drive online and international growth
Verdane, the Northern European specialist growth equity investor, has announced its majority acquisition of a portfolio of three companies: WoolOvers, a British lifestyle brand; Purity Soft Drinks, the U.K.-based company behind brands such as Juice Burst and Firefly; and Lumene, a Nordic natural skincare and beauty brand, from Langholm Capital (“Langholm”), a London-based mid-market private equity firm. The portfolio has combined run-rate revenues and EBITDA of approximately EUR 155 million and EUR 14 million respectively. Verdane sees great growth potential in all three companies and will support the companies by leveraging more than two decades of experience investing in and building omni-channel consumer companies.
The transaction marks Verdane’s second portfolio investment in the U.K., following a portfolio acquisition from Eden Ventures in 2020, which included the Bristol-based retail software company Brightpearl. Verdane, which opened its London office in 2018, intends to build on the acquisition of WoolOvers, Purity Soft Drinks and Lumene and continue to expand its operations in the U.K.
Emanuel Johnsson, Partner at Verdane in London commented: “We are very happy with this quite complex, yet constructive GP-to-GP led portfolio deal with Langholm. This transaction was tailored to address several stakeholders including Langholm, minority shareholders, existing debt providers, as well as the management teams in each of the three companies. We now look forward to partnering with the management teams and supporting them in the next phase of growth – we have already identified several value creating initiatives where our in-house team of operational experts are engaged.”
Founded in 1989, WoolOvers is a British lifestyle brand, designing and selling quality natural knitwear in the U.K., U.S., Germany, and Australia. In 2020, the company acquired Pure Collection and is today operating both brands in parallel. Both of which have experienced substantial growth in the past 12 months. Verdane will support WoolOvers in the next phase of growth by strengthening the company’s online capabilities, levering its loyal customer base to grow its product offering, and further drive geographical expansion.
Purity is a U.K. based leading manufacturer of juices and juice drinks. As one of the oldest companies in the UK, dating back to 1892, Purity started supplying soft drinks by horse drawn dray in and around Wednesbury, where their drinks became a local favourite. Today, Purity is catering two brands: JuiceBurst, a natural juice drink and Firefly, a premium healthy botanical soft drink. Verdane will accompany Purity as it leverages its existing distributor and retailer network and strengthens its digital presence to help drive sales and boost its online brand awareness.
Founded in 1970 and headquartered in Finland, Lumene is a leading natural skincare and make-up business that develops and distributes a range of sustainable health and beauty products across its international markets. With 390 employees globally, the company has an established presence in Finland, Sweden, Russia and the U.S., with expanding operations in the U.K. and China. Lumene holds a strong and recognisable brand in its home market and has witnessed significant momentum recently thanks to growing consumer demand for sustainable cosmetics and natural Nordic beauty products. Verdane will support Lumene in its international growth and will particularly help the company expand its digital capabilities and D2C ambitions, and in doing so help to further consolidate its leading position in its home market and abroad.
Mike Lester, CEO at WoolOvers, commented: “The last couple of years have been busy for WoolOvers, as we continued to grow as an apparel and footwear brand, and we are thankful to Langholm for helping us reach our current stage of growth. We are excited to be partnering with an investor like Verdane that has significant experience supporting consumer and lifestyle brands. Our team is looking to make the most of a dynamic and expanding market, and I believe that we are well-positioned to do so as we enter this partnership.”
Sarah Baldwin, CEO at Purity Soft Drinks, commented: “Purity is an established brand that has over the years become a favourite of schoolchildren and families across the U.K. We are grateful for the support we received from the Langholm team, who helped us scale our operations and key retailer partnerships. Partnering with Verdane, we will seek to capitalise and grow our already strong physical presence and augment our online capabilities, and we are confident that we have found the right partner to continue our development as a consumer brand leader.”
Johan Berg, CEO at Lumene commented: “Since 1970, Lumene has had an extensive journey to become one of the leading Nordic cosmetics brands, and the market leader in Finland. The past few years have been particularly transformational for our business, as we moved closer to our Nordic and natural roots and expanded into new dynamic markets like China and the U.K. We would like to thank Langholm Capital Partners for their support in our journey to date. As we continue our international expansion and look to bolster our online capabilities, we are excited to be partnering with Verdane, an investor who shares our values and vision of helping everyone to achieve their own idea of beautiful, sustainably.”
Bert Wiegman, Managing Partner at Langholm Capital Partners, commented: “We want to thank the Lumene, Purity Soft Drinks and WoolOvers teams for their productive partnerships with the Langholm team, and look forward to continue following their respective journeys as minority shareholders as we work together with Verdane to accelerate their growth journeys.”
As part of its Verdane Capital strategy, Verdane has a mandate of acquiring portfolios of companies, and has significant expertise in such investments, having completed 45 portfolio acquisitions since 2003.
The investments in Lumene, WoolOvers and Purity were made by Verdane Capital X, which closed at 6 billion SEK in February 2019. Financial terms for the transactions are not being disclosed.