AURELIUS subsidiary MEZ sells hand-knitting yarn segment of the Rowan and Patons brands
- Returned to profitable growth after the reorientation by AURELIUS
- International growth investor intends to expand market position
- Sale is part of MEZ’s overall strategy of adapting to changing consumer habits by focusing on individual segments
Munich, April 30, 2020 – Herbolzheim-based MEZ GmbH, a subsidiary of AURELIUS Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA (ISIN DE000A0JK2A8), has sold the hand-knitting yarn business of the Rowan and Patons brands. The buyer is the DMC Group, a subsidiary of the private equity firm Lion Capital. The parties agreed to keep the terms of the transaction secret.
MEZ was acquired as the European handicrafts division of the British company Coats plc in the summer of 2015. The main focus was to divide the business into individual segments and strengthen online sales. In the meantime, it has been completely reoriented by AURELIUS. The hand-knitting yarn business of the Rowan brand that has now been sold is positioned in the worldwide high-end segment with a particular focus on the United Kingdom and the United States. Patons is currently sold only in the United Kingdom. After the sale, MEZ will sharpen its focus on sales of hand-knitting yarn under the Schachenmayr and Regia brands in continental Europe, as well as the handicrafts business.
At the time of acquisition by AURELIUS, Rowan was suffering from shrinking sales and earnings and an unstructured product portfolio. As part of the reorientation by AURELIUS, the classic British roots of this brand were bolstered, the product portfolio streamlined, and the focus placed on premium-quality hand-knitting yarns made of fine natural fibers. In addition, the target group for the brands was expanded by introducing a sub-brand and increasing the brand’s social media presence, and flagship stores were opened. As a result, the brand has achieved strong and profitable sales growth.
As a longtime distribution partner, the DMC Group is already intimately familiar with the Rowan brand and will promote the further growth of both brands. The acquisition will enable the group to further enhance its positioning as a leading European handicrafts company.