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Deal Values Cosabella at $80 Million

Swiss underwear and lifestyle company Calida Group has big plans for the U.S. market.

First up was the acquisition of luxury lingerie purveyor Cosabella in a transaction valued at $80 million. Next will be the entry of the firm’s Calida and Aubade brands into the American market. The company also plans to grow Cosabella in both the American and European markets.

“With the acquisition of the strong e-commerce brand Cosabella, we continue focusing the Calida Group on its core segment while simultaneously enhancing its online growth. This transaction is completely in line with the strategy Accelerate 2026 and highly accretive for all stakeholders,” Calida chairman Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard said. “As a family business, Cosabella shares our group’s values regarding quality, customer service, long-term business development, and inclusion.”

Calida’s Accelerate 2026 growth growth plan aims for 4 percent to 6 percent organic growth in four years, plus 50 percent of sales from digital  and a 10 percent EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) margin.

“With our long-standing brand expertise, we will strengthen the awareness of Cosabella as a popular lingerie brand in Europe and at the same time will benefit from Cosabella’s U.S. market knowledge. Additionally, Cosabella provides an ideal hub to launch our brands Calida und Aubade in the U.S. market as an added value to this deal,” Calida CEO Timo Schmidt-Eisenhart said.

Calida last year generated sales over 298 million Swiss francs ($306.9 million). In addition to Calida and Aubade, it also owns sustainable underwear line Erlich Textil—a direct-to-consumer brand acquired in February—and French outdoor furniture brand Lafuma Mobilier.

Cosabella was founded in 1983 by Valeria and Ugo Campello as a lingerie brand, but began expanding last year to include swimwear, as well as men’s and gender-neutral lingerie. The family-owned business, now under second-generation management, generated $29 million in sales last year and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $4.8 million. Over the last five years, Cosabella has an average annual sales growth of 22 percent and an EBITDA margin of 16.1 percent. The company also has a strong digital business, but there’s still a long runway for growth overseas.

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“Along with my sister, Silvia Campello, and the entire Cosabella team, we are delighted to unleash our growth potential in the US and Europe together with the experts of the Calida Group. Our company’s continued momentum as an inclusive brand leader further emphasizes that future growth potential,” said Guido Campello, Cosabella’s managing director. “With the Calida Group’s famous brand expertise and shared platform, we will be able to capitalize on global synergies and advance the evolution of our brand.”

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Cosabella was growing sales through new customers via partnerships. It has partnered with Walmart-owned Eloquii to create a capsule of lingerie and sleepwear styles featuring extended sizing and worked with Reformation to create a sustainable eight-piece capsule collection using mostly castoff textiles that would otherwise have been thrown in a landfill.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.