Exclusive: “I’ll invest over €50m in Poggenpohl,” says Shemesh

Ron Shemesh, the man behind Smallbone parent company Lux Group Holdings, has confirmed he is in the ‘final stages’ of a bid to buy Poggenpohl.

In an exclusive interview with kbbreview, Shemesh said the deal was ‘imminent’ and would be concluded in ‘weeks if not days’.

The troubled 128-year-old German kitchen manufacturer filed for bankruptcy at the end of April, blaming the coronavirus pandemic for a sudden drop in sales.

Now Ron Shemesh, chief value creation officer at Lux Group Holdings, has confirmed that he plans to acquire the entire company and its global operations. While the purchase price is unknown, he said his company plans to “commit resources in excess of €50m to revive the brand and re-engineer the process.”

And, he said, the previous owners failed because they did not understand the luxury market.

“While the brand was managed by various parties – it is our opinion that the former owners did not truly understand the luxury sector and how to market luxury in an efficient manner,” he said. “Poggenpohl is an ‘Uber Brand’and has a great future in the proper hands and can excel in the local and international arena.“

One of the previous owners, Swedish kitchen specialist Nobia, sold all of its shares in Poggenpohl to Munich-based industrial holding

group Adcuram in December 2016 in a €10 million (£8.4m) deal.

While the Lux deal still has to be finalised, Shemesh did give some indication of what plans for the brand might be once it’s through – including confirming that manufacturing will remain in Germany.

“We have rationalised the Smallbone network and are soon to launch our flagship concept at Brompton Gate – we expect to deploy similar flagship techniques for the Poggenpohl brand,” he said.

“[It] is complementary to the other brands that reside within Lux Group holdings.  We expect it will remain as a separate holding but of course we expect significant synergies in various areas. Lux Group Holdings has a multi-unit and contracts initiative that has an international focus specifically in increasing efficiencies in the development sector.”

Lux Group Holdings has been on the acquisition trail ever since it first bought Smallbone of Devizes in 2018, followed by  McCarron & Co a year ago, and then the assets of Christopher Peacock (London) in April

Shemesh confirmed that company intends to continue to snap up what he describes as ‘best of class luxury assets’ and will not limit itself to just kitchen furniture. He also said that he sees bathrooms as an area of growth within the Lux Group.

Read the full Q&A interview with Ron Shemesh here.

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