Lovehoney merges with German company to form global sex toy business – Business Live

0 Lovehoneys Fifty Shades Of Grey Products Including Blindfold

Bath-based online sex toy business Lovehoney has merged with German competitor WOW Tech Group to form a global group worth more than £1bn Euros (£850m).

The announced tie-up between the two firms also includes Amorana, a fast-growing Swiss sexual well-being retailer acquired by Lovehoney in September 2020.

Lovehoney founders Richard Longhurst and Neal Slateford will retain minority stakes in the enlarged business, known as the Lovehoney group, and sit on its board of directors.

Swiss private equity firm Telemos Capital, which bought a majority stake in Lovehoney in 2018, will be the majority shareholder in the merged group, which will be led by WOW Tech chief executive Johannes Plettenberg.

In a release announcing the deal on the Lovehoney Group website, Mr Plettenberg commented that the three brands shared the same mission to “destigmatise” sexuality and the merge would “benefit our entire industry.”

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Mr Plettenberg said: “We are looking forward to continuing to work with our teams to create even more value for all our B2B partners and their customer base. By partnering even more closely together, I am certain we can all achieve our common goals.”

Formed in 2002, Lovehoney is the UK’s biggest online adult retailer and has eight other websites globally including US, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, EU, Canada and New Zealand.

It has a global customer base of 2.2million people and a 300-strong workforce in Bath.

The company was listed as one of the South West’s fastest-growing exporters earlier this year, with overseas sales of its sex toys and lingerie reaching £56.3m before the start of the pandemic.

Lovehoney, which has collaborated with Fifty Shades of Grey author EL James on a line of pleasure products, has also received two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, including in April 2021 for six years of outstanding continuous growth in overseas sales.

Wow Tech Group was formed when German firm Womanizer partnered up with Canadian sex-toy manufacturer We Vibe in 2018. Last year Asian assets firm CDH Investments became its majority owner.

Bristol-based law firm Osbourne Clarke advised Lovehoney on the merger.