Fashionable EQT takes on second clothing company

BTX consists of 15 individual clothing brands – all positioned in the “value for money” segment of the market. During the past 15 years BTX has moved from being a production company to being primarily a wholesaler, with more than 95% of its production outsourced. BTX has 78 own stores, primarily in the Nordic region, and more than 8,000 points of sales across Europe.

CBR is one of the fastest growing women’s clothing companies in Europe with a network of 850 store partners, which operate free standing stores, more than 1,500 shops-in-shops (for example in large department stores), and 5,600 multi label partners, which sell CBR products together with other brands. CBR’s three brands, Street One, Cecil and One Touch, generated sales of over € 600 million in 2006 (+9.5% compared to 2005) and the company has more than 500 employees. CBR services its customers with 12 collections per year and delivers superior speed from product design to points of sale, giving a high level of design security.

It is possible the EQT can find synergies between these two businesses and that BTX could supply clothing for the CBR brands or that the two business can share distribution channels for geographical expansion. Sumeet Gulati, partner at EQT Partners, said: “CBR fits in well with EQT V’s strategy to invest in companies of high quality and with substantial growth and development potential. CBR is a market leader and we will assist the company to further develop its position in the future. We are committed to supporting CBR’s strategy, investing in growth, new products, geographical expansion and a strengthened market leadership to realize CBR’s full potential.”

CBR was acquired from its original founders by Cinven and Apax at the end of 2004. Christian Dosch, partner at Cinven, said: “Our growth strategy for CBR has delivered real value. We have expanded the business and enhanced its internal structures. CBR has now established a much stronger competitive position which is opening up further growth opportunities. CBR has been an extremely successful investment for us and we wish the company, its management and staff continued growth in the future.”

Christian Näther, managing partner at Apax added: “Vertical integration, an extremely fast time-to-market process and a strong focus on close cooperation with partners have all contributed to the success of this investment.”