Germany's second largest shoe chain, Reno, is looking for investors and fresh capital to compete with the onslaught of online sellers like Zalando.
Money required for acquisitions
Reno's owner, HR Group, has asked business bank Rothschild to look for a possible investor in order to enable possible acquisitions destined for growth. Former Metro board member Stefan Kaske and the Hamm family own 50 % of HR Group. About a year ago, HR Group tried to acquire its competitor Ludwig Görtz, but lost to investment fund Afinum. Since then, the company felt it could achieve growth mostly through acquisitions and that it needs money from eternal sources for that.
HR Group's search for funds is not a surprise at all, as the German shoe market has undergone sizeable changes ever since Zalando broke through in 2008. Plenty of smaller and middle-sized companies have had to shut down, leading to a drop in shoe stores across Germany from 5,400 to 4,500.
Belgian Erik Van Heuven was its international CEO and global COO from 2009 to 2013 and still advises the Hamm Holding. Under his supervision, Reno was named the Shoe Retailer of the year 2010 in Germany and he is also responsible for the wholesale expansion of Hamm International.