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Denmark: Flying Tiger gets new owner

Danish Variety Discount Retail Chain Flying Tiger Copenhagen has 900 stores in 27 countries spread over shopping streets and shopping malls.

The Danish store chain Flying Tiger Copenhagen gets a new owner. The Danish investment company Treville, which was founded by former partners in the private equity fund Axcel, takes over the ownership together with Flying Tiger's management.

This is confirmed by Martin Jermiin, CEO of Zebra A / S, the company behind Flying Tiger Copenhagen, to the Danish financial newspaper Finans.

Since 2012, the private equity fund EQT has been the main shareholder and owned the retail company together with its founder, Lennart Lajboschitz. EQT has made no secret of the fact that the goal has long been to get out of Zebra, which has had several years of million deficits.

On Wednesday morning, a sales agreement was entered into so that the investment company Treville takes over the ownership. It happens together with the management of Flying Tiger, which has CEO Martin Jermiin in front. Behind Treville are Casper Lykke Pedersen, Lars Thomassen and Nikolaj Vejlsgaard, all three of whom have previously been part of Axcel.

“We are pleased to have the new owners on board and the agreement that has been reached. It means, among other things, that the management continues. We can now continue to invest in the initiatives that have been launched. At the same time, we are moving forward with consolidating and simplifying our setup for the future, "says Martin Jermiin.

The Company

Flying Tiger Copenhagen currently has just over 900 stores in 27 countries.

In the last few years, the management has been engaged in a major clean-up work, which will create a more efficient business and reverse the development with a deficit on the bottom line. In 2019, there was a deficit of DKK 224 million (US$ 36.5mio). DKK against a deficit of 541 million (US$ 88mio) the year before. 2019 also resulted in a significantly better operating profit than the year before.

The strategy means i.a. greater focus on growth in the existing stores - rather than, as before, constantly focusing on opening new ones. In 2020, 13 out of 70 stores in Denmark were thus closed, and Flying Tiger has recently chosen to withdraw from the USA, where the chain has operated 13 stores.

At the same time, the company is considering the future in Germany, where the chain has approx. 40 stores. The goal is not, as in the US, to shut down the business, but instead to find a new construction. Preferably with a partner who will take over the stores.

At the same time, Flying Tiger opened online shopping a year ago, and this particular sales channel has shown great growth through 2020, according to the CEO. Also with sales of cheap products that Flying Tiger is known for.

Martin Jermiin will not yet specify figures for the development in the past year, but makes no secret of the fact that the pandemic, with restrictions and forced closures, has cost the company dearly.

"The concept also lasts in a time of crisis. We have a strong brand and strength in the major markets. Of course, this is not a current strong situation with more than half of the stores closed right now. Corona really hurts us as a business, but as a concept we are coming back strongly where it reopens. Last year, when we reopened, we saw that customers quickly returned to the stores for our concept,” says Martin Jermiin.

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