Exit: Nord Holding sells RUF Group to Waterland
Hanover — NORD Holding Unternehmensbeteiligungsgesellschaft mbH (“NORD Holding”) has sold its shares in the RUF Group (“the Company”), one of the leading German suppliers of high-quality upholstered and box-spring beds. The buyer is the investment company Waterland Private Equity (“Waterland”). Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
The RUF Group, based in Rastatt (RUF Betten) and Berlin (BRUNO Interior), is a leading supplier of high-quality upholstered and box-spring beds with a history spanning almost 100 years. The company designs and manufactures upholstered and box-spring beds, mattresses and accessories, which are sold both in direct eCommerce trade with its own online store and through stationary furniture stores or online stores of retailers in Germany and other EU countries. The products are marketed under two successful brands RUF Betten and BRUNO, each covering different customer groups and price segments. With its 200 well-trained employees, the RUF Group generated sales of approximately EUR 60 million in 2020.
NORD Holding identified the RUF Group as a compelling investment opportunity and acquired the company in 2016 as part of a carve-out from the family-run Hüls Group. NORD Holding was able to build on its strong track record as a private equity investor in succession situations and carve-outs.
In close cooperation with the committed management team of the company, important development steps of the RUF Group could be initiated and accompanied by NORD Holding:
Establish a multi-brand strategy to diversify customer groups and price segments. Expansion of the supply chain, Targeted acquisition of the eCommerce company BRUNO Interior to build a multi-channel strategy. Prioritization of the digitization of the RUF Group in order to be able to offer digital product support with the product configurator, among other things, and to better accompany the customer journey. International expansion by extending geographical presence and licensing in Asian markets.
Ronald Grott, Member of the Executive Board of NORD Holding:
“We are very proud of the growth and success that RUF Group has achieved over the last five years. This investment is a great example of NORD Holding’s strategy to support high quality companies from the DACH region and management teams to expand internationally and drive growth through transformative M&A. We have no doubt that the RUF Group and its nearly 200 employees will continue to develop positively under Waterland’s leadership. We would like to thank them all for their achievements and wish them every success in the future.”
“Thanks to support from NORD Holding, we have been able to develop excellently in recent years. Together with Waterland, we want to take this development to the next level. We are looking forward to the cooperation and new, innovative ways,” says Heiner Goossens, Managing Director of RUF Betten.
“Through the new partnership, we see even more value levers, especially in the area of D2C, also internationally. We look forward to further strengthening the BRUNO and RUF brands together with Waterland in the coming years,” adds Dr. Felix Baer, Managing Director of BRUNO.
“RUF Betten has a broad, loyal customer base, an ambitious workforce and experienced management. With BRUNO, the group is also excellently positioned in the direct-to-consumer segment and has been able to steadily gain market share in recent years,” explains Dr. Carsten Rahlfs, Managing Partner at Waterland. “We intend to expand this growth path through organic momentum and further acquisitions in the coming years. We look forward to a successful partnership.”
NORD Holding (represented by Ronald Grott and Moritz Stolp) was advised on the transaction by IMAP (M&A); CMS (Legal); KPMG (Financial and Tax) and ERM (ESG).
Waterland is an independent private equity investment firm that helps companies realize their growth plans. With substantial financial support and industry expertise, Waterland enables its portfolio companies to achieve accelerated growth both organically and through acquisitions. Waterland has offices in the Netherlands (Bussum), Belgium (Antwerp), France (Paris), Germany (Hamburg, Munich), Poland (Warsaw), the UK (London, Manchester), Ireland (Dublin), Denmark (Copenhagen), Spain (Barcelona) and Switzerland (Zurich). Currently, over nine billion euros in equity funds are under management.
Waterland has consistently outperformed with its investments since its inception in 1999. The firm ranks fifth globally in the 2020 HEC/Dow Jones Private Equity Performance Rankings and eighth among global private equity firms in the 2020 Preqin Consistent Performers in Global Private Equity & Venture Capital Report. In addition, Real Deals awarded Waterland the title of Pan-European House of the Year 2020 at the PE Awards. www.waterland.de
About NORD Holding
With a history of more than 50 years and assets under management of € 2.5 billion, NORD Holding is one of the leading private equity asset management companies in Germany. The focus is on the investment areas of direct investments and funds of funds. The focus of the direct business is on the structuring and financing of corporate succession models, the acquisition of group divisions/subsidiaries and expansion financing for medium-sized companies. Unlike most other financial investors who manage funds for a limited period of time, NORD Holding operates as a so-called “evergreen fund” with no time limit and invests off the balance sheet. Currently, the company is directly invested in more than 15 companies in Germany and other German-speaking countries. The other Fund Investments business unit targets the small-cap segment of the European private equity market and focuses on primary, secondary and co-investments. In addition, NORD Holding focuses on buyout managers newly established in the market, operational investment strategies and regularly acts as an anchor investor. www.nordholding.de