Belgian investment fund Core Equity will not take over the Dutch Hema group after all, as an agreement with franchisers about e-commerce could not be reached.
Major online plans
A month ago, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf wrote that Brussels investment group Core Equity wanted to acquire Hema, that an oral agreement had already been reached with British owners Lion Capital and that signatures would soon follow. That turned out to be too optimistic: the same newspaper now reports that the Belgians have stepped away from the negotiating table.
The new investors could not reach an agreement with the franchisers, who earn the lion's share of profit coming from online sales according to the current contracts. According to the Belgians, their audacious plans with Hema's web shop could never become fruitful with such a big part of earnings going to the franchisers.
The disappointing end to the talks is a huge setback for Lion Capital: the British owners have been looking for an interested buyer for ages, and this is already the third time long-time running negotiations fail.