19. maj 2008Polaris Private Equity and AAC Capital Partners have picked a team of experienced players to develop BabySam into a leading retailer in the Nordic region.
Polaris Private Equity and AAC Capital Partners have completed their acquisition of the majority shareholding in the BabySam chain of stores. Members of the executive board and board of directors have been appointed.
Claus Jensen will be taking over as the new CEO. He has held the position of CEO of Fakta A/S, where in 2000/01 he implemented a turnaround that turned losses into profits, resulted in growth by way of 130 new stores over a six-year period, generating record-profits along the way. In addition to his experience from FDB and COOP, Claus Jensen has extensive branding and retail experience from senior management positions with Inspiration, DressPartner/Din Tøjmand and Sadolin.
“I look forward to this task,” Claus Jensen said. “BabySam has every means necessary to succeed with its growth plans, and I’m confident that I have a great deal to contribute in terms of creating growth through value-based management, delegating responsibility, building trust and sharing knowledge.”
Finn Petersen has been appointed CFO. He comes from a position as CFO of Matas, where he was part of the entire process of restructuring and selling the chain. Uwe Koch, BabySam’s former CEO, will stay on as a member of the management team as Purchasing Manager.
BabySam’s chairman is Sanna Suvanto-Harsaae, who has been the CEO of the Scandinavian arm of Reckitt Benckiser, the major British manufacturer of household articles. Her other previous workplaces include Synoptik. She is also a board member of the Nordic logistics business Jetpak, in which Polaris acquired a majority interest in 2005, and she serves on the board of five other Danish, Swedish, German and Finnish companies.
“As part of my board duties, I provide strategic insight for company expansions or turnarounds,” said Sanna Suvanto-Harsaae. “I know the agenda in private equity-owned businesses, and the expansion we are facing in BabySam is a very exciting task.”
Other board members include Lars Frederiksen, who was chairman of the Matas chain when it was sold, and its current deputy chairman, and Peter Jalsøe of BabySam, who represents the former owners who have invested in the company.
Jan Johan Kühl, managing partner of Polaris said: “I am very pleased that we have been able to put together such a strong management team. The aggregate skills of our executive board and board of directors combine well-documented and extensive knowledge of retail development with solid insight into the Nordic market. This is exactly what we need in order to accomplish our goals of developing BabySam into a leading baby equipment retailer in the Nordic region. BabySam is to spearhead the Nordic consolidation by acquiring competing businesses and opening new stores, and we have set up the team to implement that strategy.
For further information, please contact:
Jan Johan Kühl, Managing Partner, Polaris, tel +45 2325 3266
Sanna Suvanto-Harsaae, Chairman of BabySam, tel +45 2063 3617
Claus Jensen, CEO of BabySam, tel +45 4034 1674About Polaris Private Equity
Polaris Private Equity is a private equity fund investing in mature small and medium-sized businesses in Denmark and Sweden with a sound development potential and revenue of EUR 25-250m. To date, Polaris has invested in 18 businesses, eight of which were resold at a decent profit. Polaris has also made a number of additional investments in its portfolio companies
The first Polaris fund of approximately EUR 210m is fully invested, while the second fund – Polaris Private Equity II, holding capital commitments of approximately EUR 270m – is in the process of being invested. In addition to BabySam Fund II has invested in ten businesses to date: Danish Hansen & Pedersen/Tøjeksperten, Skamol A/S, Hamlet Protein A/S, Color Print A/S and Swedish Fiskarhedenvillan AB, Frösunda AB, Emotron AB, AddPro AB and Jetpak AB.
The investors in Polaris include A. P. Møller-Mærsk, Danske Bank, ATP Private Equity, PFA Pension, Lærernes Pension, Topdanmark, PensionDanmark, Kirk Kapital, Sparekassen Sjælland, Bagger-Sørensen Gruppen, Merchant Mid Cap Nordic and Icelandic company Glitnir. About BabySam
BabySam, the leading baby equipment retailer in Denmark, is a chain of 31 stores in Denmark, two in Iceland, one in Greenland and one in the Faroe Islands. Established in 1976, the chain generates annual revenue of DKK 500 million. BabySam is the clear market leading provider of high-quality baby equipment in Denmark and the largest supplier in the Nordic region. Polaris Private Equity and AAC Capital Partners hold a majority shareholding in the company. BabySam has shared procurement, warehouse and marketing facilities. In addition, BabySam is the owner of Odder Barnevognsfabrik A/S, Denmark’s only manufacturer of prams.Download press release here