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3 Family Offices Investing in Retail Companies

November 18, 2021

As the leader in providing comprehensive family office intelligence, FINTRX continues to see family offices accumulating the assets and skills necessary to allocate capital directly into the private capital markets. By harnessing our family office data and research platform, which provides credible insight into thousands of direct deal transactions made by over 3,090+ family offices worldwide, we explore three family offices investing in private retail companies.

Bregal Investments (Brenninkmeijer Family Office)

1. Bregal Investments (Brenninkmeijer Family Office)

Founded in 2002, Bregal Investments (Brenninkmeijer Family Office) is a New York, NY-based single-family office managing the capital of the Dutch-German Brenninkmeijer family. The firm is the private equity investment business of COFRA Holding AG, a European holding company for a privately-owned group of companies which also includes C&A, a clothing retail organization, and Redevco, a real estate company owning a portfolio of over $7B+ across 700+ properties throughout Europe. The story behind COFRA dates back to 1841, when two brothers, Clemens and August Brenninkmeijer, founded a textile wholesaling operation in the Netherlands that later became a worldwide chain of over 1,800 C&A stores. Redevco grew out of the real estate operations of C&A and since 1999 has been an independent organization.

Bregal Investments was founded to consolidate and grow COFRA's private equity investment activities. Today, the firm comprises a global family of private equity and fund investment vehicles. Bregal invests in both public and private equity across a range of sectors and industries including the energy, consumer brands, food, retail, and healthcare retail industries. The group takes a long-term and global outlook on all of its investment activities and considers a wide variety of strategies across a number of alternative asset classes. Bregal Investments is able to call upon a dedicated and established network and can source managers on a global scale. The firm will generally write checks from USD$15M to $150M, in companies with EBITDA between approximately $15M-$75M, and is open to co-investment opportunities. 

Bregal Investments will make direct investments and has invested over $9B+ since its inception. In December 2012, Bregal acquired LR Health & Beauty Systems, one of Europe’s leading direct sales enterprises offering cosmetics and wellness products designed to strengthen the health and wellbeing of its consumers. In January 2016, Bregal invested in Purchasing Power, an Atlanta, Georgia-based purchase program sponsored by an employer or organization that offers a better means of buying brand-new products. Their mission is to help employees find relief from the financial stress associated with high-interest payments for purchases.

In February 2018, Bregal Investments made a private equity investment in Ju-Ju-Be, an Aliso Viejo, California-based wholesale company offering intelligently designed, premium bags for parents and children. Started by Joe Croft and Kristin Hunziker in 2005, JuJuBe offers functional and fashionable diaper bags, purses, wallets, and accessories to consumers worldwide. In November 2020, Bregal Investments acquired Greenstorm, Europe's largest reseller in the used e-Bike sector offering e-bike subscriptions for several months at a time. For a fixed subscription price, all costs for repair, maintenance, and insurance are included. E-bikes are also available to purchase at the end of the contract at a preferential price.

In March 2021, Bregal Investments acquired Perfect Drive Sports Group (PDSG), one of Europe's largest e-commerce companies for golf equipment. With its two brands – Clubhouse Golf in the UK and All4Golf in Germany – PDSG is accelerating its international expansion and driving organic growth in its respective home markets through continued investments into the online offering. In September 2021, Bregal made a private equity investment in Oggi Foods, a pioneer in producing gourmet and authentic gluten-free Italian pizzas. Their story originates in the Naples area of Southern Italy. Using Neapolitan recipes, the company created an authentic pizza without gluten and with the finest GMO-free ingredients.

LionRock Capital (Hari Kumar Family Office)

2. LionRock Capital (Hari Kumar Family Office)

Established in 2009, LionRock Capital (Hari Kumar Family Office) is a Singapore-based single-family office managing the wealth of its founder, Hari Kumar. The firm's patriarch has an extensive background in finance, having led the Goldman Sachs' Principal Strategies division in Asia and founded TPG-Axon Capital in 2004. Out of the Singapore and Oxford, UK locations, LionRock Capital takes an opportunistic investment approach, allocating to several fund managers with extensive track records. The firm invests globally and makes both direct and fund investments across a number of asset classes. LionRock takes a long-term approach to its investments and is committed to attributing patient capital when suitable opportunities present themselves. The group is active in philanthropy and impact investing.

Since its inception, LionRock Capital has made over 20 direct investments into private companies and allocated to over 20 externally managed funds. The group has made both public and private equity investments across various sectors including, retail, e-commerce, food and beverage, healthcare, construction, real estate, technology, media, and entertainment, among others. LionRock writes checks of varying sizes, oftentimes between $600K and $10M. The firm invests heavily in early-stage, Indian, e-commerce companies such as BigBasket, India’s largest online food and grocery store, and Pipa Bella, a digital fashion brand offering jewelry and accessories to women in India. LionRock has also made several follow-on investments.

In February 2018, LionRock Capital made a venture investment in Capillary Technologies, a software product company providing cloud-based Omnichannel Customer Engagement, eCommerce platform, and related services for retailers and brands across 30+ countries. Retailers include Pizza Hut, VF Brands, Walmart, Al-Futtaim, KFC, Starbucks, Madura Garments, Courts, and Samsung. 

In September 2020, LionRock Capital made a Series D investment in Hopscotch, one of India's largest technology-driven, kids' fashion apparel brands. The brand features the latest trends in kids' fashion on its store online and has served consumers across 1,300 Indian cities. The Hopscotch team consists of a network of international designers, vendors, and buyers who track fashion weeks and couture trends globally. Hopscotch leverages technology to rapidly launch these styles in real-time and makes them available to Indian parents daily. 

In November 2020, LionRock Capital acquired Clarks Americas, a veteran chain offering a range of classic footwear for adults and children, plus handbags, wallets, and more. From the slipper created by Cyrus and James Clark in 1825 to their state-of-the-art iPad foot gauge, Clarks Americas manufactures and sells more than 55 million pairs of shoes every year throughout 75+ countries worldwide. 

Peninsula Participacoes (Diniz Family Office)3. Peninsula Participacoes (Diniz Family Office)

Founded in 2006, Peninsula Participacoes (Diniz Family Office) is a Sao Paulo, Brazil-based single-family office serving as the investment vehicle for Abilio Diniz and the Diniz family. In 1948, Abilio Diniz's father established a small bakery named Pão de Açúcar. The company eventually evolved into BRF S.A., one of the largest food retail companies in the world. Today, Abilio Diniz has a net worth of approximately $3B. Peninsula Participacoes invests across a number of private and liquid investment vehicles. The firm will consider investments in any asset class but tends to focus on investments in strategic assets, private equity, venture capital, real estate, direct investments, fixed income, and public equities. Peninsula Participacoes is comprised of a team of more than 100 employees with an additional office in New York.

With regard to direct investments, Peninsula Participacoes primarily focuses on private equity and real estate. Sectors and industries of interest include education, retail, sports, as well as food and beverage, among others. In March 2016, Peninsula Participacoes made an undisclosed investment in Carrefour, one of the largest retailers in the world and the largest in Europe. The Carrefour Group now features four major grocery retail formats: hypermarkets, supermarkets, cash & carry, and convenience stores, with over 9,900+ stores worldwide. As a pioneer in countries such as Brazil in 1975 and China in 1995, the company mainly operates throughout Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The Carrefour Group is the premier private employer in the countries in which it operates. This is obviously the case in France – where the group was founded – but it also holds true in countries such as Brazil, Argentina, and Italy. In July 2017, Peninsula Participacoes made an undisclosed investment in Carrefour Brazil

In November 2020, Peninsula Participacoes made a Series D investment in Olist, an ecosystem of solutions that leverage online sales for thousands of businesses in Brazil and worldwide, from micro and small companies to large brands in the market. With the DNA of technology and the heart of retail, Olist is present in over 180 countries and has been built and improved by more than 1,000 professionals determined to empower world trade. 

In March 2021, Peninsula Participacoes acquired Grupo BIG, or the BIG Group (formerly Walmart Brazil), a retail chain operating approximately 550 stores with 50,000 employees in 18 Brazilian states in addition to the Federal District. There are seven brands including hypermarkets (BIG and BIG Bompreço), supermarkets (Super Bompreço and Nacional), wholesale (Maxxi Atacado), shopping clubs (Sam's Club) and neighborhood stores (TodoDia), in addition to gas stations. The company claims to be the third-largest food retail conglomerate in Brazil.

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Written by: Renae Hatcher

Renae Hatcher is member of the marketing team at FINTRX - focused on delivering targeted & relevant family office content to our subscribers.

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