Two American private equity firms, Carlyle and Sycamore, are left as the possible buyer of lingerie chain Hunkemöller.
500 million euro
Sycamore currently holds the highest bid on the chain, but the bidding process has not finished yet, which means that Carlyle could still steal away the chain from under Sycamore's nose. It would be Sycamore's first European company if it wins the bidding war.
French investment firm PAI recently asked business bank JP Morgan to find a possible buyer for its property and the current owner wants some 500 million euro for the chain.
Growth too slow
Originally, there were some dozen possible buyers, but many of those withdrew their interest once they saw the chain's disappointing results, mainly its slow growth.
Hunkemöller was part of Vendex KBB, which is now Maxeda, up until 2011 when it was sold to PAI Partners for 265 million euro. Over the past few years, the chain had a very aggressive expansion strategy, designed to make it Europe's largest lingerie chain. The number of stores doubled to 650 stores.