Mammut sale in second round with Hillhouse, Amer among shortlisted – sources

27 January 2021 - 01:07 pm UTC

by Yiqing Wang in Shanghai, Min Ho in Hong Kong, Deane McRobie and Emma-Victoria Farr in London, and Johannes Koch in Berlin

Hillhouse Capital and Amer Sports are among the bidders in the second round of Conzzeta’s sale of Mammut Sports Group, two sources familiar with the situation told this news service.

 

Lazard, which is advising Conzzeta on the sale of the Swiss outdoor sportswear brand, collected non-binding bids shortly before Christmas, a third source familiar with the situation said.

 

Chinese bidders have especially strong rationale to take on the asset, as the Beijing Winter Olympics are slated for 2022, a fourth source familiar with the situation said. Hillhouse is an Asia-focused private equity fund, while Amer, a Finnish business, has been owned by the Xiamen-based ANTA Sports since 2018. Hillhouse, ANTA and Amer did not respond for comment.

 

This news service previously reported that Mammut is likely to go to a Chinese buyer, given strong demand among Chinese consumers for quality Swiss brands that span the luxury and functional-wear segments.

 

However, European private equity firms are also still in the mix, one source said. Cinven and 3i Group are among the sponsors potentially interested, another source said. Cinven and 3i did not respond for comment.

 

But sponsors’ interest is limited, with few willing to meet the vendor’s price expectations, a fifth source familiar with the situation said. Another source said Conzzeta is trying to position the asset as an e-commerce platform, with an eye to an EV/EBITDA multiple of 15x. Few would accept this valuation, and it would be lucky to get a multiple of 12x, he said.

 

Mammut posted CHF 268m in 2019 sales, and a margin of about 9%, a sixth source familiar with the situation said; this suggests an EBITDA of CHF 24m (EUR 22m), and an EV of CHF 288m at 12x EV/EBITDA. However, the unit’s 1H20 sales were CHF 81m, down 29.1% from the previous year, according to Conzzeta's half-year report.

 

Conzzeta did not respond for comment.