NKD, a Germany-based clothing retailer with stores across Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia, had been through a difficult period when OpCapita acquired the business in 2013: the business had suffered from underinvestment and material operational mismanagement for several years and senior management had been charged with fraud. The operational underperformance drove the once-profitable business to suffer significantly, leading to losses.
Able to clearly identify the operational mismanagement from the outside, over the next few years, OpCapita completely transformed the company. It brought in experienced retailers, John von Spreckelsen and New Look founder Tom Singh, as Chairman and senior advisor respectively, and focused on recruiting a new management team, overhauling the store estate, consolidating the supplier base, implementing a new pricing policy to reduce markdowns and improving marketing.
By the time OpCapita sold the business in 2019, NKD was growing and generating substantial profits, with the turnaround having saved over 7,000 jobs.
* EBITDA is a measure of performance commonly used by private equity. It stands for earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation.
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