It seems the sale of Dutch store chain Hema is not going all too well. According to local business paper FD, there are only two or three interested parties. Not a single strategic partner seems interested, only investment firms.
“Bids without obligation”
The first bidding round for Hema ended last Friday and according to Dutch business paper FD, Dutch investment firm Gilde Buy Out Partners and (former optician chain Hans Anders’ owner) private equity firm Alpinvest both tabled a bid without obligation for the chain with some 700 stores in seven countries. A British investor, Clayton Dubilier & Rice, allegedly also presented an indicative bid. Another foreign bidder may also have tabled a bid.
“This shows the interest for Hema is rather meek”, the business paper writes. “Not a single strategic partner, someone from the same industry, presented itself. Other financial companies that have expressed an interested, including Advent, PAI, Towerbrook and Dutch HAL, all backed down. Advent and PAI were at least expected to bid as well.”
It is not clear which companies did actually place a bid. Hema’s current owner, British Lion Capital, hopes to get at least 1 billion euro for the chain it acquired in 2007. Some experts feel that sum is “rather high”, especially since its past quarter was the first in five years with a net profit.