DROEGE-Group, owner of German WELTBILD, will take over the e-commerce mail order company Gärtner Pötschke, as DROEGE announced on Thursday. So far, DROEGE subsidiary WELTBILD has offered garden furniture and tools in addition to books and decorative items, but not plants. Thus, WELTBILD wants to benefit from the growing enthusiasm of consumers for nature and also sell plants and seeds in the future. The company intends to strengthen the e-commerce sector as part of its buy-and-build strategy.
“The passion for nature and garden, combined with a growing ecological awareness, reflects the attitude of many people to life - in the countryside as well as in big cities and across all generations,” Düsseldorf DROEGE Group explained. The strategic acquisition is intended to strengthen DROEGE Group’s position in this area and expand its online business.
WELTBILD, with its retail book brands such as WELTBILD, Jokers and bücher.de, recently achieved sales of 450 million euros. WELTBILD Group is owned by the DROEGE-Group family business. According to the plans of its new owner, Gärtner Pötschke is to be retained as an independent brand with its own catalogue and brand identity and will also be represented on the WELTBILD website. The takeover still has to be approved by the antitrust authorities.
The garden e-commerce company Gärtner Pötschke, founded in 1912, achieved a turnover of 40 million euros via its internet platform last year, generated with the sale of plants, seeds, flower bulbs and matching accessories. In February, the company had to apply for insolvency proceedings in self administration, as it was not possible to secure pre-financing for the seasonal high-turnover spring business in time.
The District Court of Düsseldorf appointed Dr. Frank Kebekus as insolvency monitor for Gärtner Pötschke. With the support of Dr. Kebekus and CRO Dr. Thomas Kluth, Gärtner Pötschke managed to continue its business operations without restrictions even after the initiation of the insolvency proceedings. At the same time, potential investors in Europe were approached by Saxenhammer & Co. Corporate Finance GmbH (Berlin) acting as exclusive investment banker for Gärtner Pötschke. Against other bidders, the purchase approach of WELTBILD prevailed.