Lion Capital has approached business bank Credit Suisse to look into “strategic options” for Hema, which basically means it has to find an interested buyer for the Dutch store chain.
It is not the first time Lion Capital has been looking for a possible buyer for its Dutch Hema chain. The investment fund paid acquired the chain in 2007, when it Maxeda 1.1 billion euro. Previous attempts, in 2010 and 2014, both failed to generate any leads or an actual sale.
Lion Capital is now considering several options, including a partial sale. It could even bring the company to the stock exchange, through an IPO.
Hema’s improved results are the reason for Lion Capital’s renewed attempt to sell it. Hema recently decided to launch its international store formula in its two largest markets, Belgium and the Netherlands, which proved to be a success. Turnover in 2016 grew nearly 5 % and net losses dwindled, from 72.5 million euro to 26.2 million euro. Turnover in 2017’s first quarter grew another 4.8 % and losses once again shrank, to 12.4 million euro.