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VR Equitypartner acquires stake in Signet Wohnmöbel

22. Octo­ber 2019

Frank­furt am Main / Hoch­stadt — The foun­ders of the Upper Fran­co­nian bedroom furni­ture specia­list Signet Wohn­mö­bel have handed over the majo­rity of their shares to indus­try expert and future CEO Thomas Schlos­ser as part of a succes­sion plan. A mino­rity share­hol­ding is acqui­red in equal parts by the invest­ment company VR Equi­ty­p­art­ner and a fund mana­ged by it. The tran­sac­tion is expec­ted to close by Janu­ary 2020.

Signet, based in Hoch­stadt am Main, has been deve­lo­ping and produ­cing indi­vi­dual func­tio­nal furni­ture for almost 30 years. From the very begin­ning, the two foun­ders, Carola and Gerald Klimke, have focu­sed on timeless design, high func­tio­n­a­lity and sustaina­bi­lity: The trade­mark is the so-called “moving forms”, raw mate­ri­als from regio­nal, control­led stocks are used and the pollutant-free proces­sing takes place exclu­si­vely in Germany — accord­ing to the strict quality guide­li­nes of the German Furni­ture Quality Asso­cia­tion (awar­ded with the quality mark “Golden M”). From a two-man opera­tion, a medium-sized family busi­ness with about 70 employees and a product range around the topics of sitting, lying, slee­ping, living and object has deve­lo­ped. Signet is one of Germany’s leading suppliers of high-quality sofa beds in particular.

Foun­der Gerald Klimke explains the reasons for choo­sing the succes­sor constel­la­tion: “A sense of respon­si­bi­lity has always been a central corpo­rate value for my wife and me. When we now pass on our life’s work after 30 years, we there­fore want above all to do justice to our employees, custo­mers and suppliers. We are very plea­sed to have found part­ners with whom we have the good feeling that the company will be conti­nued in our spirit.” His succes­sor, Thomas Schlos­ser, has already held nume­rous manage­ment posi­ti­ons at various furni­ture manu­fac­tu­rers and is consi­de­red a specia­list for high-quality furni­ture. He says, “Signet is a special company and it is with great plea­sure that I succeed Mr. and Mrs. Klimke.”

“Since its foun­ding, Signet has consist­ently gone its own way and focu­sed on produc­tion in Germany and distri­bu­tion through local retailers — this is the core of Signet’s success and the basis for the good posi­tio­ning of the desi­gner furni­ture manu­fac­tu­rer,” summa­ri­zes Chris­tian Futter­lieb, Mana­ging Direc­tor at VR Equi­ty­p­art­ner. His company specia­li­zes in equity finan­cing and further deve­lo­p­ment of medium-sized companies.

VR Equi­ty­p­art­ner is making the invest­ment toge­ther with its subsi­diary VR Equity Gesell­schaft für regio­nale Entwick­lung in Bayern mbH, which was provi­ded with funding from the Euro­pean Union for the promo­tion of inno­va­tive compa­nies in Bava­ria (ERDF funds) as part of a part­ners­hip with the Free State of Bava­ria. Direc­tor Daniel Schmidt outlines the future stra­tegy for Signet: “We want to conti­nue the success­ful path of Signet toge­ther with Thomas Schlos­ser and at the same time push growth with specia­list dealers, in the contract sector and with addi­tio­nal part­ners.” Selec­tive geogra­phi­cal expan­sion into neigh­bo­ring foreign markets is also envisaged.

VR Equi­ty­p­art­ner GmbH 
VR Equi­ty­p­art­ner is one of the leading equity finan­ciers in Germany, Austria and Switz­er­land. The company supports medium-sized family busi­nes­ses in a goal-orien­­ted manner and with deca­des of expe­ri­ence in the stra­te­gic solu­tion of complex finan­cing issues. Invest­ment oppor­tu­nities include growth and expan­sion finan­cing, corpo­rate succes­sion or share­hol­der chan­ges. VR Equi­ty­p­art­ner offers majo­rity and mino­rity invest­ments as well as mezza­nine finan­cing. As a subsi­diary of DZ BANK, the central insti­tu­tion of the coope­ra­tive banks in Germany, VR Equi­ty­p­art­ner consist­ently puts the sustaina­bi­lity of corpo­rate deve­lo­p­ment ahead of short-term exit thin­king. VR Equitypartner’s port­fo­lio curr­ently compri­ses around 100 commit­ments with an invest­ment volume of EUR 500 million.
For more infor­ma­tion, visit www.vrep.de.

Consul­ting firms invol­ved in the tran­sac­tion by VR Equitypartner:
Legal & Tax: ARQIS Rechts­an­wälte, Düssel­dorf, with Dr. Lars Laeger, Chris­tian Wege­ner and Thomas Chwalek

Finan­cial & Commer­cial: First Park Advi­sory, Munich, with Michael Hinter­hol­zer and Stefan Schmidt

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