Emesa was a leading online consumer auction platform in the European leisure industry which enabled online customers to find and book leisure deals such as weekend trips, spa breaks, event tickets and restaurant visits.

Investment Year
2011
Sector
Online, Consumer
Location
Netherlands
Fund
Fund I
Status
Realised

Oakley originally acquired Emesa in March 2011 for €35 million. The business was owned by its three founders, two of whom exited the business at the time of acquisition. The remaining founder stayed with Emesa, together with a newly-hired professional management team, to work with Oakley to take Emesa to its next level of development.

In the year prior to acquisition, Emesa completed just under 1 million transactions across its three websites (VakantieVeilingen.nl, InpakkenEnWegwezen.nl and Actievandedag.nl). Since then Emesa has achieved significant growth and won several industry awards including being ranked as the fourth fastest growing technology company in the Netherlands in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50. During 2011, Emesa successfully launched its auction platform in Germany under the international brand name “Aladoo”, and in 2012 added a new ‘mobile-only’ label in Holland (“Vanavonduit.nl”) to enable individuals to purchase last-minute deals via mobile. In 2012, Emesa completed over 2.5 million transactions and had built up over 5.5 million weekly newsletter subscribers.

In January 2013, Oakley sold Emesa to Cyrte Investments B.V. for €95 million, achieving a 3.6x gross return for Oakley in less than two years of ownership, with an IRR in excess of 100%.

The transaction demonstrated Oakley’s ability to work with entrepreneurs in the online consumer sector and founder-led businesses and take them to the next level of development.