Litorina IV LP (”Litorina”) has entered into an agreement to divest its majority investment in Eton, a leader in the global market for premium men’s shirts to EQT VII (“EQT”).
Eton, headquartered in Gånghester outside Borås, Sweden, was founded in 1928 by the Davidson family. The company has stayed true to its focus on men’s shirts throughout its history, branching out only into directly linked accessories. Over the years, Eton has expanded internationally and this year the company will deliver one million shirts to customers across 43 countries with USA being the single largest market.
Litorina became the new majority shareholder in Eton in 2012 when the founding Davidson family looked for a partner to provide resources for the continued strategic expansion of the company.
“We chose to invest in Eton because of the high quality platform CEO Hans Davidson had been able to establish with support from the founding family, with a stable underlying business, a well-recognised brand and with continued attractive growth opportunities. During Litorina’s ownership, we have primarily focused on adding resources and supporting management in developing and executing on the growth plan. Following significant investments in the organisation, further development of the go-to-market strategy and launch of Eton’s own online store, Eton has increased its number of employees by 90% since our investment while also increasing profitability. We are very pleased to see how Eton, as a consequence, has been able to grow its turnover from c. SEK 300m in 2011 to c. SEK 650m in the twelve-month period to November 2015 and operating profits have increased threefold during our holding period”, says Harold Kaiser, Partner at Litorina Capital Advisors AB, advisor to Litorina IV LP. “Today, Eton has an even stronger position in the market for premium men’s shirts and is well equipped to continue its strong development under EQT’s ownership”.
“Litorina has, as an active owner, provided valuable support during this important growth phase. I am now looking forward to continue developing Eton as a leading international shirt maker together with EQT”, says Hans Davidson, CEO of Eton.
The transaction is subject to approval from the competition authority in Austria and is expected to close in early 2016.
Nordea has acted as financial advisor, Sundling & Wärn as independent advisor, Mannheimer Swartling as legal advisor, and PwC has provided transaction services to the sellers in the transaction.
For further information, please contact:
Harold Kaiser, +46-708-543800, Partner, Litorina Capital Advisors AB
Hans Davidson, +46-33-204601, CEO, Eton AB
Eton, founded in 1928, is a leading international brand in the market for premium men’s shirts. The products are sold through Eton Brand Stores and the proprietary online store, as well as through department stores and multi-brand stores, at 1,300 points of sale in 43 markets worldwide. The company is headquartered in Gånghester outside Borås, Sweden, and has annual sales of c. SEK 650m. For more information, please visit www.etonshirts.com.
Litorina, founded in 1998, focuses on acquiring and industrially developing companies together with their management teams. Litorina offers broad and deep expertise both via its own organization and through its network of industrial advisors. Litorina Capital Advisors AB serves as an investment advisor to Litorina’s funds. Litorina is backed by a number of reputable institutions that have jointly invested approximately SEK 4.8 billion in Litorina’s four funds. For more information, please visit www.litorina.se.
EQT, founded in 1994, is a leading global private equity group with approximately EUR 29 billion in raised capital. EQT has portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 17 billion and 140,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership. For more information, see www.eqt.se.