Hema finally finds new owner


Dutch retailer Hema has finally found a new owner: Ramphastos Investments. This investment company in the hands of Dutch enterpreneur Marcel Boekhoorn has paid an undisclosed amount for the internationally successful chain.


"Best scenario for Hema"

New owner Boekhoorn has shares in thirty companies in various sectors, with (locally) well-known names such as retailer Bakker Bart, telecom operator Telfort and High Tech Campus Eindhoven. Hema's CEO Tjeerd Jegen calls this "the best scenario for Hema, our customers, employees and franchisees: Marcel Boekhoorn and his team have shown in recent years that they are involved in their participations, stimulate entrepreneurship and have a strong investment vision."


Hema had been for sale since September 2017, and earlier this year the acquisition by Belgian investor Core Equity Holdings fell through: partly because of the franchisers' dissatisfaction with the division of certain costs (e.g. that for e-commerce). These franchisers were now involved in the takeover talks and have agreed to the new deal, for which the CEO thanks them explicitly. He feels the future is now more secure, as all ongoing lawsuits have been stopped and the cancellation of franchise contracts has been revoked.


Hema currently has 750 stores and over 19,000 employees in nine countries and is supposed to have cost around a billion euro, which is the estimated amount Core Equity was going to pay last year. In 2007, Lion Capital bought Hema for 1.1 billion, but rather devalued the chain's worth through inserting a lot of debts in it, which during the financial crisis were quite damaging. No wonder that in the next few years, the new owner vows to "significantly reduce debts and to increase investments".