Lovehoney, an e-commerce retailer, manufacturer and distributor of pleasure products and accessories, and WOW Tech Group, a provider of premium sexual wellness products, today announced a EUR1 billion merger and the creation of Lovehoney Group.
The newly formed Group will also include Amorana, a Swiss sexual well-being retailer acquired by Lovehoney in September 2020. Additional financial terms have not been disclosed.
The Lovehoney Group combines excellence in B2C sales and marketing, a leading multi-channel distribution network and R&D capabilities, with a strong portfolio of brands and patented technologies. This transaction will bring together some of the industry’s best known consumer brands Fifty Shades of Grey, Happy Rabbit, Womanizer, We-Vibe, and Arcwave.
The Group will have operations across EMEA, APAC and North America, supported by over 730 employees with a broad spectrum of talent across engineering, industrial design, sales, and marketing. The team will continue to provide products to its retail partners and consumers. The Group will be led by WOW Tech CEO Johannes Plettenberg.
In May 2017 Plettenberg, together with investors, acquired the Womanizer brand and in 2018 merged it with the Canadian brand We-Vibe, forming WOW Tech Group and one of the market leaders with focus on B2B business. In 2020, CDH Investments acquired a majority stake in the business to support product innovation and accelerate global expansion.
Richard Longhurst and Neal Slateford founded Lovehoney in 2002. They sought to create a company focused on exceptional product innovation, customer service and marketing that progressed the sexual wellbeing market. In recognition of the business’ achievements, Lovehoney received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2016 and again in 2021 for outstanding continuous growth in overseas sales. In 2018, Telemos Capital became the majority owner of Lovehoney. In 2020, the online retailer Amorana was acquired.
Following the merger, Telemos Capital will retain a majority investment in the Group, with CDH, Neal Slateford, Richard Longhurst and Johannes Plettenberg retaining minority positions. Each will hold positions on the Board of Directors of the Group.
The global sexual wellbeing market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8 per cent from 2021 to 2028. In 2020 the market was valued at USD34 billion and is expected to increase to over USD52 billion by 2028. In 2021, Lovehoney Group is forecast to deliver over USD400 million in revenue and will be profitable from its inception.
Total and partial lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in increased demand for sexual wellness products, as demonstrated by a 26 per cent increase in sales between 2019 and 2020.
Johannes Plettenberg, CEO of the Lovehoney Group, says: “Sexual wellbeing products have gained a mainstream position in today’s market, supported by liberalisation, acceptance of sexual awareness, and the influence of popular culture.
“Amorana, Lovehoney, and WOW Tech share the same mission to destigmatise sexuality, empower people to enjoy a fulfilling love life, and experience sexual happiness. Combined, Lovehoney Group will provide a specialist e-commerce platform with unmatched international reach, with the creator of the most well-known and innovative brands in the industry.”
Philippe Jacobs and Jacob Polny, Chief Investment Officer of Telemos Capital, says: “Lovehoney and WOW Tech will bring together a unique proposition for both business and individual customers, providing best-in-industry service and innovative products in more countries than ever. This sector is rapidly mainstreaming with the sexual wellbeing category now offered by high-street retailers. We foresee consumer demand accelerating around the world, and with the Lovehoney Group, we will continue to innovate and progress the whole sexual wellbeing market.”
Thomas Lanyi, Managing Director CDH Investments, adds: “The marriage of WOW Tech and Lovehoney, the leading branded manufacturer and truly global retailer of sexual wellbeing products, presents an extremely exciting opportunity. Joining forces will benefit all our stakeholders, while also advancing the general acceptance and recognition of our industry, in a broader economic and societal context.”