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.
• 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.
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.
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.