FNG may keep the e-commerce platform Ellos (for now) after all: the fashion group, formerly also the owner of Brantano, is paying the disgruntled former owner Nordic Capital 100 million euros. Together they will ensure a relaunch.
Settlement of 100 million
There is, at least, one fewer player claiming Ellos, the last jewel in FNG’s crown: a settlement agreement has been reached with former owner Nordic Capital. FNG promises to pay Nordic Capital, albeit in the future, a sum of 100 million euros: 60 million euros of the purchase price which was still outstanding and 40 million euros for “the outstanding claims related to the acquisition documents,” the ex-Brantano parent announces.
This will end the lingering legal dispute, with Nordic Capital still demanding money after FNG’s bankruptcy, which it had never seen at the time of the acquisition. However, FNG is still in dire straits, with both the banks and duped investors also claiming their share of the cake. To be able to bring 100 million euros to the table, a “strategic capital review” has therefore been agreed upon: with the support of Nordic Capital, it is time to relaunch Ellos.
The relaunch should provide Ellos with the “best possible setting, capital structure and opportunities for future and further expansion,” it sounds. Both Ellos Group’s outstanding credit line and the outstanding amounts under the form of “senior secured bonds” would remain secure. Only once these debts are refinanced, or repaid, does FNG have to pay out the 100 million to Nordic Capital.
At FNG, there is a great relief. CEO Paul Lembrechts stresses that as an e-commerce player, thanks to Covid, Ellos achieved record-breaking sales of around 316 million euros last year. “After a strong year in a growing market, we will review the strategic options,” said Lembrechts. “With this settlement, we can now fully dedicate our time and effort to the further development of Ellos Group’s profitable and financially solid business.” The agreement does still need to receive approval from the Belgian courts, which should happen within the next two weeks.