Established in 2008 by the serial entrepreneur, Robin List, Sylphar B.V. is an innovative consumer health company focusing on niche lifestyle categories, including oral beauty care, oral therapeutics (cold sores and mouth ulcers), halitosis and medicated skin care (scarring, stretch marks, spider veins, eye bags and dark circles). Sylphar is present in more than 50 countries worldwide, through a solid network of local distribution partners. In 2016, Sylphar was the last remaining portolio company of Concordia, a Dutch private equity fund that sought to exit Sylphar to wind up the investment vehicle.
Robin List and Concordia agreed to explore the sale of the company, of which they were the sole shareholders. Robin felt he could still realize much of the growth potential of his company and agreed to remain on as CEO and, possibly, to retain some percentage of share ownership. The search for a buyer targeted both established OTC and consumer healthcare companies seeking to establish a presence in Europe and regional and local financial investors who could unlock the company’s full potential.
Sylphar appointed the Plexus team to run the company divestment process and find a buyer that would meet the owners’ value expectations and provide the desired returns on Concordia’s investment. Plexus Ventures approached over 90 parties between companies and financial investors. More than 30 companies decided to scrutinize the Confidential Information Memorandum, 7 submitted an NBO. After reviewing the NBOs, the owners’ preference was to align with a private equity investor who could augment the company’s growth prospects by partnering with the existing management team.
In May, 2017, Vendis Capital, an independent Belgian private equity firm, bought out Concordia’s ownership stake thus co-investing alongside Robin List. Through this investment, Vendis acquired a platform realize in the OTC and consumer healthcare space on which it could later bolt on additional acquisitions. Sylphar has since completed three brand acquisitions. Two were market leading brands in the antiperspirant business, Axitrans® and Axideo®, and the third involved Alpha Foods, a German digital brand comprising food supplements and vegan nutrition.