Berlin Brands Group Raises $240 Million to Hunt Amazon Sellers
(Bloomberg) -- E-commerce firm Berlin Brands Group has raised $240 million in debt to fund acquisitions of retailers selling on Amazon.com Inc., part of a growing trend as investors put billions of dollars into similar models.
The syndicated debt financing was led by UniCredit SpA, Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG, the company said. Berlin Brands Group will target U.S. merchants with revenues in the millions of dollars, Chief Executive Officer Peter Chaljawski said in an interview. The funding didn’t come with a valuation since there was no equity component, he said.
Chaljawski said that his company can help these shops grow by giving them access to sales channels beyond Amazon and by expanding their reach into Europe. Founded in 2005, the company has built a stable of brands that sell goods in areas including sports equipment and home appliances. Revenue reached $400 million last year, and the company announced plans in January to spend about $300 million acquiring other direct-to-consumer brands.
“For us, it’s an addition to our platform. For these innovators, it’s making their brands scale,” Chaljawski said. “They lack the infrastructure to go beyond Amazon, and that’s what we bring to the table.”
Investors have been piling into companies with similar business models. Thrasio raised $750 million in February from investors including Oaktree and Advent International, following $500 million of debt financing in January. Branded Group raised $150 million in February in a fundraising round led by Target Global to help sellers on Amazon scale their operations globally.
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