Rhenen / Amsterdam, 14 June 2020
Ramphastos Investments (Ramphastos), the investment firm which is owned by Dutch entrepreneur Marcel Boekhoorn and has been the owner of Dutch department store chain HEMA since the end of 2018, announced today that lengthy negotiations have failed to result in an agreement with the largest group of HEMA bondholders.
This poses a threat to the long-term strategy for HEMA launched by Boekhoorn in 2018. Marcel Boekhoorn, who has invested over 115 million euro in HEMA to date, has done everything possible since acquiring HEMA in 2018 to substantially lower the retail chain’s unsustainable debt burden and interest expenses and to invest in the further development of the business, for example through the establishment of partnerships (Jumbo, Wallmart, Franprix, Casino) and international expansion of the chain.
The closure of 300 HEMA stores outside the Netherlands due to the coronavirus pandemic placed the company in a position that made it necessary to find a solution to the huge debt burden in the short term. Regrettably the negotiations between Boekhoorn and the bondholders have not led to the result that Boekhoorn wanted.
Marcel Boekhoorn is disappointed with the outcome: “We entered into the negotiations with the aim of bringing HEMA out of it stronger. We therefore put forward a fantastic offer of 523 million euro, but I do not get the impression that the counterparty gave serious consideration to our offer. Apparently, they want to conduct a market test to see if they could get more elsewhere. I do not think that this is in HEMA’s best interests and there is a very real chance that the company will once again fall prey to opportunistic investors. It remains to be seen what the outcome will be, but I remain convinced that as the majority shareholder we have an excellent, forward-looking strategy for HEMA. Our offer would reduce the company’s debts by half a billion euro and would enable HEMA to continue as a healthily-funded business.”
Ramphastos and Boekhoorn are currently examining the recent developments to see what implications these have for the future role that they are willing and able to play at HEMA. Marcel Boekhoorn wishes to thank the management and all the employees of HEMA for their dedication and efforts on behalf of the Netherlands’ greatest and most iconic retail chain.
No further announcements will be made.
About Ramphastos Investments
Investment company Ramphastos Investments was founded in 1994 by Dutch entrepreneur Marcel Boekhoorn. The company has (predominantly majority) stakes in over 40 enterprises in various sectors with a total joint turnover of close to € 6 Billion. Ramphastos took over the Dutch retail chain HEMA at the end of 2018. Examples of successful investments are those in zijn Bakker Bart, Telfort, High Tech Campus Eindhoven, Sim Industries, Innovations4Flooring and Motip Dupli..
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