The Kempen European Private Equity Fund, the private equity investment fund of Kempen Capital Management (Kempen), has acquired a direct interest in the German group of opticians and audiologists Ounda, which currently operates 65 branches across Germany and targets the high-end segment of the opticians’ and audiologists’ market.
Ounda was founded in 2020 and has since then grown into a group of 65 opticians’ and audiologists’ branches across Germany. The group currently employs over 400 people. The management team of Ounda has ample experience in the opticians’ and audiologists’ market, and every branch employs at least one qualified optician.
Sven Smeets, Managing Director of Kempen Private Markets, says: “Ounda is a new group of individual opticians and audiologists who operate in the high-end segment under the motto of ‘small is beautiful’. As the founders/owners continue to run their own branches as shop managers, the branches each retain their unique identity and maintain the high level of their customer service for which they are known. At the same time, purchasing, accounting, marketing, and HR are centralised and professionalised, allowing them to achieve significant benefits of scale.”
Bram Bikker, Director of Kempen Private Markets, says: “In addition, we consider the opticians’ and audiologists’ market to be a relatively robust market segment that is less susceptible to economic cycles. We take pride in the fact that the investors in our fund will have access to such a magnificent company.”
The participation of the Kempen European Private Equity Fund is a co-investment with the investment company Beyond Capital Partners. The management team of Ounda co-invest in this deal out of their own pocket, so that the interests of the various investors are given equal treatment.
Christopher Kauter, Managing Partner of Beyond Capital Partners, adds: “Together with the experienced management team and Kempen, we have the ambition to grow Ounda further through targeted acquisitions in the German opticians’ and audiologists’ industry. Besides a handful of larger chains in the mainstream segment, there are thousands of independent opticians who are active in Germany. For this reason, we are convinced that this market offers substantial consolidation potential. We are therefore pleased to realise the joint growth goals and look forward to our future collaboration.”
The announcement marks the fifth participation of the fund in 2021, having earlier completed one deal in the United Kingdom, two deals in France, and one deal in Norway. This participation is the eleventh direct participation of the Kempen European Private Equity Fund.