Growth capital go-ahead for expansion within sexual wellness market
Wholesaler Eropartner Distribution and EDC Retail, in the Netherlands mostly known for the EasyToys brand, are accelerating their growth strategies and attracted the required capital from Waterland Private Equity Investments. This growth money enables the adult toys giants to put their ambitions into action to expand their top three position in Europe and to become a global player within a few years. Marktlink advised Eropartners Distribution’s shareholders in finding and selecting an investor to shape the jointly formulated buy-and-build strategy. Waterland Private Equity Investments emerged as the ideal partner to realise their growth ambitions with.
For founder and owner Eric Idema, who started his business from an attic room thirteen years ago, participation of an investment company is a huge boost. “I am proud of all EDC Retail staff members. Together, we created a mature business, as a result of which we now get the opportunity to grow significantly with this new capital”, says Idema. Neither party will share information with regard to the size of the participation.
Professionalising ‘sexual wellness’
With the acquired international growth capital, Idema can accelerate the expansion of his business. Furthermore, the ‘sexual wellness’ industry can be professionalised. Idema: “Our aim is to make sure that every European has a sex toy in their bedside table drawer. In addition, we, as a sexual wellness specialist, have an educational role in making people enjoy love and eroticism more.”
Enhancing market power
Getting an investor on board means growth capital and expertise to realise global ambitions. For the first time in the Netherlands, a reputable investor enters the sexual wellness sector. This investor approached EDC Retail and Eropartner Distribution, one of the largest European wholesalers of erotic products, resulting in a merger of erotic products businesses.
Idema: “The financial injection for us and Eropartner, a very professional party, is a good first step. We can use it to expand our e-commerce platforms as well. Additionally, we will be able to supplement our product range with new products, and vice versa. And we merge our knowledge, to complement and reinforce each other.” Jointly, EDC Retail and Eropartner constitute a top three player in Europe.
“General acceptance of sexual wellness products has increased worldwide. The merger of Eropartner Distribution and EDC Retail with Waterland Private Equity Investments offers huge growth opportunities in this fast growing and among investors relatively unknown sector. We expect a surge in acquisitions in this growth market in the short to medium term,” Tim van der Meer adds on behalf of Marktlink.
Fundamentally growing market
The investment company says it chose Dutch company EDC Retail and CEO Eric Idema because of the ‘ambitious management team’. A further important rationale is that it concerns a ‘fundamentally growing market, that is becoming more and more mainstream’.
Another aspect is the increasing medical relevance of sexual wellness: “A better sexual health contributes to a better general health”, according to the investor.
About Eropartner Distribution
Eropartner Distribution is an international distributor of erotic toys. The business supplies erotic shops and other retailers. It is one of Europe’s largest wholesalers. Eropartner is located in Zwaagdijk in the northwest of the Netherlands and employs approximately forty people. In 2020, the company achieved a turnover of approximately forty million euros. Eropartner Distribution was established in 2004.
About EDC Retail
EDC Retail is European market leader in the erotic products sector and supplies both individual customers and retail. The business, located in Veendam, uses a number of trade names, including EasyToys. With over 100,000 visitors a day and a range of more than 14,000 erotic items, EasyToys.nl is the largest webshop in the Netherlands and Belgium. In addition, EDC Retail has several other webshops and produces various own brands. As a wholesaler, it supplies webshops, distributors and retail worldwide. In 2007, EDC Retail was established by Eric Idema. Mid 2019, EDC Retail acquired German erotic business Beate Uhse, known for Pabo.nl, for example. EDC Retail has about 200 employees. In 2020, a turnover of approximately 65 million euros was achieved.