Case study – WhiteAway

The founders of WhiteAway considered selling the company in December 2010 when the company was active in Denmark only with sales of DKK 150 million and an EBITDA of 6 million. We agreed to buy secondary shares and to build a category leader in the Nordics where we in 2014 reached sales of DKK 1020 million with an EBITDA of 37 million.

 

Business overview

WhiteAway was established 2003 in Århus, Denmark by the brothers Johannes Gadsbøll and Esben Gadsbøll
The white goods market in the Nordics is about DKK 25 billion
WhiteAway was the market leader in selling white goods in Denmark in 2010 when eEquity decided to invest
The company had a 50% online market share in Denmark
The decision was made to build a category leader in the Nordics and to expand geographically
In 2010, the Nordic online market penetration for white goods was 20% in Denmark, 7% in Sweden and 3% in Norway compared to 28% in the UK

How we have built the company and enhanced the value

Geographical expansion to Sweden and Norway
Expansion of the product assortment to cover all major white goods products
Acquisition of the major online competitor Lavpriskoekken in Denmark and a large franchise chain called Skousen
Launch of private labels comprising 60 different products
Strategic decision to focus on white goods and to avoid complimentary products
Replacement of logistic partners in Sweden and Norway
Strengthening of the management team
Recruitment of experienced and independent board members

 

All our investment criterias where met when we invested in WhiteAway

Exceptional historic sales growth

EV target size (SEK 60-150 million)

Sales between SEK 50-200 million

EBITDA positive (on normalised basis)

Potential to increase sales >300% times over holding period

Expected exit multiple of >4.0x invested capital

 

 

Sales split – by geography

Since the investment we have launched in Norway and Sweden, which both have a low online penetration and are the two fastest growing markets.

 

whiteaway_sales_split

Historic sales development

WhiteAway has had strong organic growth during our full holding period where the online penetration in white goods is continuing to increase in the Nordics. We have done two add on acquisitions.

whiteaway_sales_development

Successful exit

Already after 3.5 years the sales goal of reaching DKK 1 billion had been reached and we decided to sell generating 4.5 x in multiple. We sold our share of the company to the owner of Bestseller in Denmark who is also a large shareholder in Asos and Zalando.

 

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