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Vente-Privee buys Spanish fashion ecommerce site Privalia

TechCrunch TechCrunch 14/04/2016 Natasha Lomas

Barcelona has just clocked up its biggest ever exit — albeit the price-tag on the sale of veteran Spanish ecommerce player Privalia, headquartered in the city, to France’s Ventee-Privee has not been disclosed. Recent rumors swirling about a possible exit for Privalia pegged the price being discussed at up to €500 million.

Privalia’s exit has at least now been confirmed, with investor Index Ventures writing that the sale to the French ecommerce deals site will help the latter strengthen its position in an increasingly competitive European retail landscape.

In a statement sent to TechCrunch, Index partner Giuseppe Zocco added: “Privalia is one of the largest flash-sales companies and number one leader in Italy, Spain, Brazil and Mexico. The co-founders Lucas, Jose and their team in Barcelona have built a multi-hundred-million euro business that has attracted more than 28 million customers.  Now with vente-privee.com, they will have more than 60 million registered users across Europe and South America. This is a great European and Barcelona story and we’re excited to have been part of it.”

Other investors in Privalia include Cabiedes & Partners, General Atlantic, Highland Capital Partners, Insight Venture Partners and Sofina. Privalia had raised more than $500 million in funding since being founded back in 2006, according to CrunchBase.

Commenting in a statement, Privalia co-founders Lucas Carne and Jose Manuel Villanueva, added: “We are excited to join the creator of the online flash sales concept. This alliance will enable us to accelerate our growth and expand our offerings to new sectors, which our members will benefit from.”

Luis Martin Cabiedes, of Spanish early stage VC firm Cabiedes & Partners, suggested in a tweet the sale might also mark the biggest exit for a Spanish business to date, noting also that Privalia had clocked up some €415 million in sales over its 11 years in business.

Following the acquisition, Privalia will continue to be run as a separate brand, with Ventee-Privee’s primary driver here being the quest to claw out more growth in the European market via consolidation — talking up the benefits of sharing retail expertise/innovation in a regional retail landscape it couches as both fragmented and mature. So, in other words, fashion ecommerce growth in Europe demands nurturing local brands; rather being one-size fits all.

“This new expansion reflects our continued active approach to the European deployment, which began in 2015 with a majority stake in the Belgian company vente-exclusive,” noted Jacques-Antoine Granjon, CEO and founder of vente-privee.com, in a statement, flagging up Privalia’s success in “two of our key markets” (Spain and Italy).

It’s not the only spot of shopping Ventee-Privee is indulging in. Also today it confirmed it has acquired a majority stake in Swiss retail site, eboutic.ch, which was founded back in 2007 — with the aim there being to inject cash into that domestic ecommerce business to try to accelerate growth.

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