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TowerBrook Capital Partners signs an agreement with Equistone to acquire majority stake in Bruneau

28 Jul 2021

Equistone Partners Europe ("Equistone"), one of Europe’s leading mid-market private equity firms, announced today that it has signed a binding memorandum to sell a majority stake in Bruneau to TowerBrook Capital Partners. The transaction remains subject to regulatory approval and consultation with employee representative bodies.

Bruneau is a leading online distributor of office furniture and supplies in Europe. Founded over 65 years ago, the Group offers a wide range of products for all professionals, with over 25,000 office items available for delivery within 24 hours and over 100,000 items in total. In recent years, Bruneau has dynamically extended and consolidated its European reach. Now actively present in six countries (France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain), the company employs c. 930 full-time employees in Europe.

Since the acquisition of Bruneau in 2017, Equistone has supported the Group in developing its core business, namely by supporting organic growth initiatives and strengthening the Group’s international presence through targeted acquisitions. In 2018, Bruneau acquired Muller & Wegener in Luxembourg. In 2020 and 2021, Bruneau expanded its presence in Spain and Italy by acquiring Viking / Office Depot divisions in both countries.

This transaction highlights Bruneau’s strong results in recent years, notably its resilience amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that resulted in the expansion of the Group’s Work-from-Home, hygiene and sanitary product lines. Demonstrating the relevance of Bruneau’s operating model, based on strong brand awareness and superior value proposition, these results have enabled Bruneau to position itself as a differentiated player in the European B2B office equipment market. 

TowerBrook is well-equipped to be a value-added partner to Bruneau given its global reach, knowledge and experience in the digital and B2B sectors, access to key industry veterans, as well as its broader experience within French and European markets. 

Nicolas Potier, CEO of Bruneau, said: “We are very happy to welcome Towerbrook as a very strong partner to help us achieve our organic growth objectives, including product offering expansion and web-based customer acquisition, as well as our external growth initiatives.”

Grégoire Chatillon and Grégoire Schlumberger from Equistone said: “We are very proud to have accompanied Bruneau’s outstanding growth story since 2017. As the Group demonstrated resilience during the pandemic, recent acquisitions show it is ideally positioned to be a major player in the sector’s European consolidation.”   

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