The current president of the company’s management board, Ewa Szmidt-Belcarz, takes over a controlling stake in the Empik Group. The seller of 51% of the shares is Penta Investments, present in Empik since 2012. Both parties to the transaction declare to continue close and partnership cooperation in the field of investment and business development. The Empik Group achieved PLN 2.4 billion in turnover last year, half of which was generated by the e-commerce and digital segments. The transaction parties have agreed not to disclose its value. The closing of the transaction is the subject of the approval from the Chairman of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection for the transaction.
The acquisition of the majority of shares in the Empik Group by Ewa Szmidt-Belcarz does not change the company's management structure nor the company's strategy, which has been implemented since 2015. The new leading shareholder keeps the CEO position and plans further long-term development of the entire group in cooperation with Penta Investments.
Penta Investments remains in the company, holding 49% of the shares and declares further support for the development of individual business lines.
By 2026, the planned investments will reach the level of PLN 300-350 million and will be focused mainly on organic growth, but not excluding selected acquisitions.
Empik Group's strategy is to continue investing in the development of omnichannel areas, the empik.com e-commerce platform and the subscription ecosystem, as well as digitization, automation and robotization of processes throughout the Group. Investments will also be continued in the dynamically growing Group of companies, in the areas of creation and distribution of traditional and digital content, as well as in event discovery and event ticket sales. A key element of the strategy also remains the balanced expansion of the traditional stores and the convenience format complementing the development of e-commerce. The entry of Ewa Szmidt-Belcarz into the group of shareholders does not mean any changes for business partners, employees, and other stakeholders.
"The cooperation with Penta Investments has always been a close and open partnership. We continue to share a common vision of Empik Group's development, as we have consistently and courageously pursued for the past many years. Today is the materialization of another important step in the history of our cooperation," said Ewa Szmidt-Belcarz, CEO of Empik S.A.
The Empik Group’s takeover made by Ewa Szmidt-Belcarz is an example of management buy-out (MBO) transactions, which are rare in the case of a company with such a business scale.
"Since 2015, we have been cooperating intensively with Ewa in the implementation of the Empik Group's growth strategy. So far, under her leadership, we have doubled the scale of this company, in many key dimensions – i.e., revenues and EBITDA. The implementation of this transaction confirms excellent cooperation so far, allowing us to continue the support of the Empik Group and gives the opportunity to realize higher profits in the future," said Łukasz Waszak, investment director of Penta Investments in Poland.
The advisors representing Mrs. Szmidt-Belcarz was the MJH Law team led by Paweł Moskwa, while Penta Investments was supported by the KI Komosa Imiełowski law firm, led by Adam Imiełowski.
Empik: constant metamorphosis
Empik, the company established 75 years ago, enjoys one of the best brand recognitions in Poland. For several years, dynamically growing, it is currently the largest ecosystem in Poland, offering services and products in the area of culture and family entertainment through several channels, tailored to the needs of customers-users.
"Empik Group is a unique company with a history, strong brand and a broad omnichannel scale. Over the past 7 years we have undergone a significant digital transformation and have exceeded our targets in every aspect. However, the potential for growth of both Empik, individual companies and the whole Empik group is still enormous. We have ambitious plans and will pursue them with consistency ," adds Ewa Szmidt-Belcarz.
Empik as a leading omnichannel retailer in Poland consists of three main pillars:
- The leading e-commerce platform empik.com and marketplace EmpikPlace, which is used by over 9 million online buyers in Poland and over 4,000 selling companies.
- Over 300 traditional showrooms and stores in convenience format, covering all of Poland and growing annually by another 30-40 Empik and Papiernik by Empik outlets.
- Over 7 million subscribers of Empik Premium and digital services, including EmpikGo.
The Empik Group also consists of companies operating in publishing and distribution of physical and digital content as well as tickets for concerts and events.
Empik S.A. GROUP is one of the largest entertainment and lifestyle companies in Poland. It is a multi-channel ecosystem of distribution products and services through an e-commerce platform and a network of showrooms all over Poland. It is also a creator of traditional and digital content, publisher and producer of original audio content, podcasts, and series. In 2021, the company achieved PLN 2.4 billion in turnover and PLN 63 million in operating profit. After the transaction the majority shareholder of Empik Group will be Ewa Szmidt-Belcarz, controlling 51% of shares, while Penta Investments holds 49% of shares.
PENTA Investments is a Central European investment group, established in 1994, which operates mainly in health, financial services, manufacturing, retail, real estate development and media. Its portfolio companies employ more than 41,000 people and the value of Penta’s assets reached €12 billion euros in 2021. Penta has a presence in more than ten countries in Europe, with offices in Prague, Bratislava and Warsaw.
Ewa Szmidt-Belcarz - Since 2015, President of the Management Board of Empik S.A. A graduate of the Warsaw School of Economics, London School of Economics and MBA INSEAD. She started her career in the Euro RSCG advertising agency and continued it in multinational corporations: L'Oreal, Schwarzkopf & Henkel, Cadbury. She became the first global Partner for the CEE region of the international consulting company McKinsey.