Pan-European private equity fund EMZ Partners becomes a significant minority shareholder in celebrate company, the leading European online distributor of personalized stationery and photo products. The management team increases its stake in the company. The joint focus of the founder Christoph Behn and the new shareholders is accelerated growth.
Celebrate Group, which was founded in 2010, has developed into the European leader of personalized cards. In addition to stationery and photo products, their range also includes the celebrate app which offers photo cloud solutions allowing users to share pictures and converting them into high-quality printing products in just a few steps. Celebrate company’s core and origins lie in the love brand «kartenmacherei». Offering a wide variety of more than 200,000 products, ranging from personalized wedding invitations to holiday calendars and wall art, «kartenmacherei» stands for lovingly designed, high-quality products and exceptional online user experience.
«We are delighted to have gained EMZ as a flexible and entrepreneurial partner sharing our growth plans and supporting us in signaling the start of the next development stage of celebrate company.» says founder and majority shareholder Christoph Behn. «Alongside the roll-out of new product categories and the further expansion of our photo cloud range, we have identified international expansion as a major growth path. We believe that EMZ being a pan-European investor can make a significant contribution to this.»
Klaus Maurer, partner in the Munich Office of EMZ Partners, comments: «The market for high-quality personalized photo products will continue to a have an attractive future growth profile. celebrate is in an excellent position to continuously benefit from the constant shift to online business, the rising demand for premium products and an increasingly professional design of greeting and invitation cards for private events.»
Completion is subject to regulatory approval; the investment in celebrate is EMZ Partners’ first transaction within the DACH region in 2021. In 2020 EMZ Partners already invested in Ankerkraut (spice mixes), HRworks (software) and Assepro in Switzerland (insurance broker).
EMZ Partners was advised by Alantra (M&A), wdp (Commercial and Tech), Latham & Watkins (Legal, Corporate and Structure), Eight Advisory (Financial and Tax), Shearman & Sterling (Legal, Financial) and Cowen (Debt).
ABOUT EMZ PARTNERS
EMZ is a leading European investment firm with offices in Paris and Munich. The firm focuses on medium-sized companies and offers flexible capital solutions in strong partnership with founders, family shareholders and managers. EMZ is majority-owned by its own employees and has a base of European institutional investors. The current fund has a volume of more than 1.0 billion euros and its investment size ranges from 10 to 150 million euros.
ABOUT CELEBRATE COMPANY
Under the roof of celebrate company, 350 employees are developing and producing digital services and stationery products all about the most important moments of life in four different offices in Germany. The rapidly growing group’s origins lie in the market-leading brand kartenmacherei which was founded in 2010 and continues to be the company’s core and love brand. Millions of customers in Europe are fascinated by celebrate company’s brands with their wide portfolio of more than 200,000 stationery and photo products, the celebrate Apps as well as very high design standards, service and usability.