WOW Tech Group’s Business Combination With Lovehoney

CMS advised WOW Tech Group on the deal. Osborne Clarke advised the senior management team of Lovehoney. Latham & Watkins advised CDH Investments.

WOW Tech Group and Lovehoney, two of the global leaders for sexual wellness products, join forces. Together with Swiss brand Amorana – acquired by Lovehoney in 2020 – they now form the Lovehoney Group (LHG), valued at more than EUR 1 bn. The transaction combines WOW Tech’s powerhouse family of brands, including Womanizer, with Lovehoney’s leading international operations and brands, including Fifty Shades of Grey. LHG’s lead investor is Telemos Capital, the majority owner of Lovehoney since 2018.

The combined group will be led by today’s WOW Tech Group CEO Johannes Graf von Plettenberg. Telemos Capital has retained a majority investment in the Group, with CDH Investments, the Lovehoney founders Neal Slateford and Richard Longhurst, Johannes Graf von Plettenberg and further investors led by Munich based Rigeto Unternehmerkapital retaining minority positions.

The newly created LHG will have global operations across EMEA, APAC and North America, supported by more than 730 employees and expects total revenues of more than USD 400 million for 2021.

Established in Bath in 2002 by Richard Longhurst and Neal Slateford, Lovehoney is a market-leading pleasure products brand. In 2018 Telemos Capital became the majority owner of Lovehoney.

Telemos Capital comprises a team of highly experienced investment professionals that combine the best of private equity and permanent growth capital. Founded in 2017, Telemos identifies and supports exceptional management teams in consumer goods, healthcare services, and business services to help them realise their long-term objectives.

WOW Tech is one of the leading companies in the sexual wellness industry and a provider of premium products in this sector. The Company’s primary focus lies in the research and development of new innovative products. CEO Johannes Plettenberg laid the foundation for WOW Tech as early as 2017 when he, together with investors led by Munich Rigeto Unternehmerkapital, took over the German company Womanizer. The following year Womanizer acquired the Canadian sex toy manufacturer We-Vibe, creating WOW Tech Group. In early 2020 CDH Investments became the majority owner of Wow Tech Group.

CDH Investments, established in 2002, is a private equity firm with offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing and has partnered with over 150 companies in consumer and healthcare industries, most of which are global leaders in their respective markets.

The CMS team included Dr Jessica Mohaupt-Schneider (Picture), Lead, Munich, Dr Martin Kuhn, Partner, Munich, Steffen König, Counsel, Berlin, Karen Eldred, Senior Associate, Munich, Lukas Stegemann, Senior Associate, Munich, Florian Kamienke, Associate, Munich, all Corporate/M&A, Viktoria Barthel, Associate, Munich, Jörg Schrade, Partner, Munich, Lead Partner, Tax, Jesko Nobiling, Partner, Berlin, Tax, Dr Marc Seibold, Partner, Stuttgart, Dr Andreas Grunert, Principal Counsel, Stuttgart, Anne Waßmuth, Senior Associate, Stuttgart, all Banking & Finance, Dr Björn Herbers, Partner, Brussels, Moritz Pottek, Senior Associate, Brussels, both Competition & EU, Dr Reemt Matthiesen, Partner, Munich, Dr Markus Kaulartz, Counsel, Munich, both TMC, Dr Christoph Schröder, Counsel, Hamburg, Commercial, Stefan Lüft, Partner, Munich, Intellectual Property, Anne Bettina Nonnaß, Senior Manager Legal Tech, Berlin, Legal Tech, Philip Walton, Senior Associate, Lead UK, Sam Pout, Partner, Toby Lovett, Senior Associate, James Dooling, Associate, all M&A, Anna Burchner, Partner, Preena Gandhi, Of Counsel, Robert Sartor, Of Counsel, all Tax, Anna Soilleux-Mills, Partner, Edmund Roper, Associate, both TMC, Sarah McMaster, Of Counsel, Dilpa Raval, Senior Associate, Ellie Pardy, Associate, all Employee Incentives, David Parrish, Partner, Su Chang Elijha Wong, Associate, both Intellectual Property, Jeremy Mash, Partner, Disputes, Gary Henderson, Partner, Samantha Love, Associate, both Employment, Olivia Jamison, Partner, Alex Ibrahim, Of Counsel, Valentina Keys, Senior Associate, all Environment, Scott Curtis, Senior Associate, Tarikh-Oliver Bull, Associate, both Real Estate, Gérard Maitrejean, Partner, Mélody Brunot, Senior Associate, Miruna Poenaru, Senior Associate, Marie Dupuis, Managing Associate, all M&A, Frédéric Feyten, Partner, Géraldine Pechine, Senior Associate, both Tax, Dr Daniel Jenny, Partner, Florian Jung, Associate, Dr Ferdinand Blezinger, Associate, all M&A, Dr David Schuler, Associate, Tax, Thomas Zweifel, Associate, Real Estate, Roman Tarlavski, Partner and Bob Barnhoorn, Associate, both M&A with WOW Tech Inhouse Dr Matthias Korff, General Counsel.

The Osborne Clarke team which advised the senior management team of Lovehoney on the transaction was led by Corporate Partners Russell Van Praagh and Pippa Byrne and included Associate Alex Littlefield and trainee Kristy Hart. Tax advice was provided by partner David Nisbet and Associate Bridget Baillie.

Latham’s team was led by Munich corporate partner Rainer Traugott and counsel Hanno Witt, with Frankfurt partner Susanne Decker and Munich associate Hendrik Ley. Advice was also provided on finance matters by Munich counsel Ludwig Zesch and Hong Kong associate Tian Lin; and on tax matters by Munich counsel Ulf Kieker and associate Nicole Haaf.

Involved fees earner: Anna Burchner – CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; Scott Curtis – CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; James Dooling – CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; Preena Gandhi – CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; Gary Henderson – CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; Alex Ibrahim – CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; Olivia Jamison – CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; Valentina Keys – CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; Samantha Love – CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; Toby Lovett – CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; Jeremy Mash – CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; Sarah McMaster – CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; Ellie Pardy – CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; David Parrish – CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; Sam Pout – CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; Dilpa Raval – CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; Robert Sartor – CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; Anna Soilleux-Mills – CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; Philip Walton – CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; Moritz Pottek – CMS DeBacker; Bob Barnhoorn – CMS Derks Star Busmann; Roman Tarlavski – CMS Derks Star Busmann; Viktoria Barthel – CMS Hasche Sigle; Karen Eldred – CMS Hasche Sigle; Andreas Grunert – CMS Hasche Sigle; Björn Herbers – CMS Hasche Sigle; Florian Kamienke – CMS Hasche Sigle; Markus Kaulartz – CMS Hasche Sigle; Steffen König – CMS Hasche Sigle; Martin Kuhn – CMS Hasche Sigle; Stefan Lüft – CMS Hasche Sigle; Reemt Matthiesen – CMS Hasche Sigle; Jessica Mohaupt – CMS Hasche Sigle; Jesko Nobiling – CMS Hasche Sigle; Jörg Schrade – CMS Hasche Sigle; Christoph Schröder – CMS Hasche Sigle; Marc Seibold – CMS Hasche Sigle; Lukas Stegemann – CMS Hasche Sigle; Anne Waßmuth – CMS Hasche Sigle; Marie Dupuis – CMS Luxembourg; Frédéric Feyten – CMS Luxembourg; Gérard Maitrejean – CMS Luxembourg; Mélody Brunot – CMS Luxembourg; Géraldine Pechine – CMS Luxembourg; Miruna Poenaru – CMS Luxembourg; Ferdinand Blezinger – CMS von Erlach Poncet AG; Daniel Jenny – CMS von Erlach Poncet AG; Florian Jung – CMS von Erlach Poncet AG; David Schuler – CMS von Erlach Poncet AG; Thomas Zweifel – CMS von Erlach Poncet AG; Susanne Decker – Latham & Watkins; Nicole Haaf – Latham & Watkins; Ulf Kieker – Latham & Watkins; Hendrik Ley – Latham & Watkins; Tian Lin – Latham & Watkins; Rainer Traugott – Latham & Watkins; Hanno Witt – Latham & Watkins; Ludwig Zesch – Latham & Watkins; Edmund Roper – Olswang LLP; Bridget Baillie – Osborne Clarke; Pippa Byrne – Osborne Clarke; Alex Littlefield – Osborne Clarke; David Nisbet – Osborne Clarke; Russell Van Praagh – Osborne Clarke;

Law Firms: CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP; CMS DeBacker; CMS Derks Star Busmann; CMS Hasche Sigle; CMS Luxembourg; CMS von Erlach Poncet AG; Latham & Watkins; Olswang LLP; Osborne Clarke;

Clients: CDH Investments; Lovehoney Group; WOW Tech Group;

Author: Federica Tiefenthaler