3G buys 75% stake in Hunter Douglas in $7.1bn deal

New York-based private equity firm 3G Capital has agreed to buy a controlling interest in Dutch window coverings and architectural products giant Hunter Douglas NV.

The deal values the Rotterdam-based maker of Luxaflex and Levolor blinds at about $7.1 billion.

3G Capital will pay €175 a share to buy a 75% stake in Hunter Douglas.

The price represents a 73% premium to Hunter Douglas’ closing share price on December 30 of €101.40.

3G Capital is best known for its major investments in the food and drinks sector through companies such as Kraft Heinz and Restaurant Brands International.

The Sonnenberg Family will continue to hold a 25% interest in Hunter Douglas.

Founded by Henry Sonnenberg in 1919, Hunter Douglas employs 23,000 people and had sales in the first nine months of 2021 of $3.4 billion.

“The board of directors of Hunter Douglas, represented only by its independent directors, unanimously supports the transaction and has entered into a separate agreement with 3G Capital and Ralph Sonnenberg to facilitate and secure a cash exit for all minority shareholders based on the same price per ordinary share,” said the companies.

Current Hunter Douglas co-CEO David Sonnenberg will change roles to executive chairman after the closing of the transaction.

3G Capital senior partner João Castro Neves is expected to serve as Hunter Douglas Group CEO when the deal closes.

“João Castro Neves has significant experience in consumer-facing companies growing global and local brands in both emerging and developed markets, and working closely with a network of independent wholesalers to better serve customers and consumers, including as CEO of Anheuser-Busch and North America Zone President of Anheuser-Busch InBev from January 2015 to December 2017,” said the companies.

“João Castro Neves is a board member of Kraft Heinz and Restaurant Brands International.”

3G Capital co-managing partners Daniel Schwartz and Alex Behring said in a statement: “Our team at 3G Capital has deep experience building consumer branded businesses over a long-term horizon, and we look forward to investing in Hunter Douglas to continue to strengthen its brands and further its expansion.

“Hunter Douglas’ strong market position is the product of its specialized expertise built over the past century.

“We are committed to preserving this expertise by empowering and supporting Hunter Douglas’ leadership and partnering closely with Hunter Douglas’ exceptional team of founders and entrepreneurial managers and unrivaled network of dealers and fabricators.”

Ralph Sonnenberg said: “Hunter Douglas was founded by my father over 100 years ago and has grown into a global leader due to our commitment to innovation, entrepreneurial culture, leading brands and world class management.

“3G Capital is a well-renowned investor, operator and a strong partner for our business.”

David Sonnenberg said: “We look forward to partnering with 3G Capital in the next chapter of Hunter Douglas’ history.

“As owner-operators with a long-term investment horizon and significant experience operating global branded businesses alongside founding families, 3G Capital is a dynamic steward to continue the legacy of Hunter Douglas.

“As a private enterprise, Hunter Douglas will have the opportunity to advance and expand our business while preserving the family-led culture and strong relationships with stakeholders which have been core to our success.”

3G Capital senior partner João Castro Neves said: “3G Capital and Hunter Douglas share a strong belief in durable value creation through operational excellence, entrepreneurship and a culture of meritocracy.

“I look forward to working closely with David Sonnenberg and the Hunter Douglas management team as we accelerate Hunter Douglas’ growth in partnership with our remarkable founders, managers and business partners.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.