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ECM-managed fund acquires stake in Hamburg-based Albrecht & Dill Cosmetics

German Equity Partners IV (GEP IV), a private equity fund managed by the independent German investment company ECM Equity Capital Management (ECM), has acquired a stake in Albrecht & Dill Cosmetics (A&D).

The previous sole owner, Philipp Sahling, will continue to run the company as Managing Partner.
As part of the transaction, the extended management team will also invest in the traditional Hamburg-based company. Together, the partners aim to continue the company’s successful track record and, on the basis of A&D’s strong market position, realise its substantial growth potential. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price and further details of the transaction.
Albrecht & Dill Cosmetics originates from a traditional Hanseatic trading company and has been one of the leading companies in the selective distribution of high-quality fragrances and care products in the luxury and lifestyle segment since 1950. Under the leadership of Philipp Sahling, the brand portfolio has been continuously expanded since 2001. Based on his individual and passionate approach to luxury fragrances, the company has developed extensive marketing and logistics expertise and has become one of the leading distributors in its field.
Today, A&D distributes an extensive and attractive fragrance brand portfolio, based on long-term and exclusive distribution agreements, mainly through selected specialist fragrance retailers. The assortment includes brands such as Cartier, Lalique, Amouage and Penhaligon’s. A&D provides access to a highly fragmented fragrance retail landscape for independent fragrance manufacturers, who often do not have their own sales teams. The department stores supplied by A&D include Ludwig Beck in Munich, KaDeWe and Galeries Lafayette in Berlin, the luxury department stores Jelmoli and Globus in Zurich, and more than 600 established selected specialist fragrance retailers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A&D also offers its customers in the fragrance retail industry high-quality services, such as exclusive and individual selection of assortments as well as comprehensive marketing services to ensure appropriate and high-quality brand presentation.
In addition, A&D has a comprehensive portfolio of exclusive distribution rights for fragrances that are aimed at a broader customer base and are distributed through distribution partnerships with drugstore chains such as Rossmann, Müller and dm. A&D provides these customers with access to established fragrance brands such as Jaguar, and at the same time ensures high, efficient and cost-effective use of shelf space.
The strong fragmentation of the fragrances market in terms of both, independent manufacturers as well as retailers, continues to offer substantial growth potential in the future, which A&D intends to leverage in partnership with ECM. This particularly includes the selective expansion of the fragrances portfolio and the continuous expansion of the company’s retail network. Based on its strong market position, the company also intends to take an active role in the consolidation of the market, selectively also beyond the borders of the DACH-region.
In light of the company’s targeted further growth, A&D expanded its management team at the beginning of the year: Jochen Delvendahl took over responsibility for marketing and sales at A&D effective 1 January. He brings with him almost 30 years of extensive sales and industry experience with leading brands and suppliers to the fragrances and cosmetics industry. From 2004 to 2010, he was Head of Bulgari Parfums Deutschland. Most recently he was Managing Director of ITF Germany (since 2017 known as Angelini Beauty). With his vast experience, Jochen Delvendahl will expand A&D’s retail network and establish contacts with retailers who are not yet part of the A&D customer base.
In addition, the long-standing executive Nadine Cetl has been promoted to Managing Director effective January 2018 and will continue be responsible for Purchasing and Logistics. Together with Stephan Langberg (Commercial Director) she stands for continuity in the management team. They will be supported by Philipp Sahling, the previous sole shareholder, who will continue to actively shape the company’s strategic direction as Managing Partner with his extensive expertise in the area of exclusive fragrances.
Philipp Sahling, Managing Director of Albrecht & Dill Cosmetics, says: “With our passion for exclusive fragrances, we have developed A&D into one of the leading players in distribution in this market segment over the past 15 years, creating an attractive growth platform in a dynamic market. In order to realize A&D’s substantial growth potential, we have expanded our management team and decided to enter into a partnership with ECM. The ECM team has convinced us with their understanding of our market and their extensive experience in implementing growth strategies. Together, we will continue to expand A&D’s leading position – also beyond the borders of the DACH-region.”
Florian Kähler, Partner and Managing Director of ECM, adds: “A&D is already one of the largest and most important distributors of fragrances in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and has firmly established itself as intermediary between brand manufacturers and retailers. ECM will accompany A&D on its further path to success and support the experienced management team in continuing its growth path of recent years. We are very much looking forward to working together as partners.”

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