Earlier this week, European furniture titan Home24 acquired competitor Fashion For Home in a reportedly all-stock deal. This acquisition removes another obstacle in Home24’s march toward home decor dominance in the European market.
Founded by Rocket Internet, Home24 offers designer furniture at reduced prices by cutting out the middleman and making fashionable furniture accessible for everyone.
"To accomplish this, Fashion For Home has built a strong design team, an excellent global sourcing network and an overall strong product expertise,” Home24 CEO Domenico Cipolla recently told TechCrunch. “Fashion For Home products will be integrated in the Home24 platform and benefit from Home24’s international marketing, technology and fulfillment powerhouse."
Home24 currently operates in seven core markets across Europe, including Germany, France and Italy, as well as a subsidiary in Brazil. Fashion For Home brings a strong presence in Germany, Netherlands and Austria to the Home24 portfolio.
The acquisition of Fashion For Home by Rocket Internet is just the latest twist in a relationship between the two companies that spans several years and a few incarnations. Rocket was an early investor in Fashion For Home but in July 2012 dumped its shares in the company in a surprise move that at the time was seen as the beginnings of an exit strategy for the investor.
"Ever since the start of both companies, we have been working on the same vision: to revolutionize the way people buy furniture and to become the leader in global online furniture,” Cipolla adds in the TechCrunch story. “We are happy to work on this common vision under one strong roof from now on."
The two companies will continue to operate as separate brands with Fashion For Home Founders Marc Appelhoff and Christoph Cordes stay on as part of Home24’s collective management team. This is good news for consumers and the continuity of service throughout the transition. The payoff for investors, including Acton Capital Partners and Holtzbrinck Ventures, may not come until, or if, Home24 pulls off a rumoured planned IPO.
As European IPOs are beginning to earn a reputation for stalling, such as music streaming site Deezer and Rocket Internet’s own HelloFresh, Home24’s investors will certainly not count their chickens before they hatch.