THE LARGEST lingerie chain based in the Benelux, and one of the largest in Europe, Hunkemöller was acquired by US investment fund Carlyle from French PAI Partners. An anonymous insider valued the deal at EUR 440m, which represents eight times the operating profit of EUR 55m. Although it is based in the Netherlands, Hunkemöller generates around half of its sales in Germany, where it operates 185 outlets. A top manager of Carlyle in Europe, Marco de Benedetti, told press agency Reuters that lingerie remained an attractive retail segment because the sector was not yet overcrowded.
Considering the future growth opportunities of the Hunkemöller chain, the reported purchase price makes the acquisition a highly promising investment for the US fund.