Hunkemoller says the new investors have an established track record in developing retail and e-commerce consumer goods brands and are ideally suited to support its strategic ambitions.

Amongst the investors are Parcom, a Dutch investment company, and Opportunity Partners, the investment company of Dutch entrepreneur Robert van der Wallen. The terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

Hunkemöller says the partnership will accelerate its continued omni-channel growth strategy, noting it plans to further build on its loyal member base by investing in technology and introducing its loyalty programme in new markets, thereby improving the online customer experience. The store footprint will continue to have an essential role in customer inspiration and experience and will become increasingly important for last-mile delivery of online orders, it adds.

Meanwhile, Hunkemöller plans to expand its offering through third-party marketplaces with both new e-commerce partners and with existing partners About You, Zalando and Asos.

Since Carlyle’s acquisition of the company in 2016, Hunkemöller says it has quadrupled its omnichannel business to about 35% of sales. The company has also expanded its physical footprint, transforming stores into omnichannel fulfilment centres, and created a new division focusing on increasing digital sales through third-party platforms. This helped to grow the business and brand presence outside of existing markets, resulting in total sales growth to an expected EUR690m in 2022 from EUR400 million in 2016, it says.

“Over the last six years, we have successfully transformed Hunkemöller, developing our omnichannel suite, investing in technology, and ensuring that we are focused on providing beautifully designed, sustainable lingerie in a customer-focused experience. Carlyle has been a great partner in this journey and has been truly instrumental in helping us fulfil our goals and overcome the challenges that Covid-19 brought,” Philip Mountford, CEO of Hunkemöller, notes.

“I’m excited to start the next chapter of our journey with the new investors, and to continue our strong relationship with Carlyle. Each of the new investors understands our business and supports our vision for the company to further evolve our multi-dimensional offering, expanding our routes to market with a focus on sustainability and inclusivity.”

Massimiliano Caraffa, managing director leading consumer and retail for the Carlyle Europe Partners advisory team, adds: “Since partnering with Hunkemöller, we have worked with management to transform the business into one of the largest lingerie omnichannel brands in Europe. Carlyle has leveraged its experience in scaling brands, both in terms of brand repositioning but also in expanding the company’s omni-channel experience. Philip and his team have worked tirelessly to ensure the business was able to thrive despite the challenges of the pandemic. We have continued belief in the management team and strategy, and are excited to reinvest in the company and support its next phase of growth.”

While Gijs Vuursteen, managing partner of Parcom, says: “We see a bright future ahead for Hunkemöller by growing the retail network across Europe and by investing in technology and the supply chain of the business.’’