Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has advised e-commerce retailer GNOC on the sale of its storage and shelving business G-Rack Holdings Ltd to Razor Group, a Berlin-based private equity backed firm specialising in the acquisition and development of Amazon FBA businesses. The transaction represents the latest in a growing trend of "Amazon entrepreneurs" developing and subsequently selling their e-commerce platforms to serial acquirers.
Headquartered in Durham, GNOC was established in 2015 and specialises in the retailing of unique premium brands stretching across many sectors from home & garden and pet supplies through to fitness and nutrition products. Since its launch just six years ago, GNOC has grown exponentially, expanding into new markets and product ranges. The sale of G-Rack will enable GNOC to further expand its business into new areas and continue this impressive growth trajectory.
WBD's Newcastle office advised GNOC on the transaction, led by partners Simon Watts and Jeremy Smith, managing associate Stacey Hall and associate David Ridley. The firm provided key corporate advice as well as support on commercial and intellectual property matters.
Simon Watts, corporate partner at WBD, commented:
"It has been a pleasure working with the GNOC team, another highly successful North East business, on this exciting transaction. The sale of G-Rack will support our client's ambitious growth plans and we look forward to working with them again soon. Graeme and the GNOC team have managed to grow the G-Rack brand significantly over the past few years and they join an ever increasing number of companies started on Amazon sales platforms, which have subsequently grown into their own standalone businesses. There is estimated to be over 60 companies incorporated in the last three years with the specific purpose of acquiring Amazon-based businesses and our Newcastle-based corporate team has the right technical and expertise to support such companies through their acquisitions."
Graeme Gilpin, founder and CEO of GNOC, added:
"This was a complex transaction but WBD worked incredibly hard to make it a success, guiding us through to completion with great leadership, expertise and pragmatism. Having such a personable, diligent team with deep sector expertise and other specialist support on hand at all times was invaluable. We are really grateful to Simon, Jeremy and the rest of the WBD team."
Jonas Diezun, co-founder and CCO of Razor Group, commented:
“We are delighted to welcome the UK e-commerce leader in racking & shelving to the Razor family. It was a pleasure to work with Graeme and the GNOC team throughout the transaction process. We especially enjoyed the face-to-face meeting at the G-Rack warehouse during the acquisition, the excellent due diligence and the great integration process. We now look forward to pursuing our business plan together with the GNOC team to further develop G-Rack in the upcoming years. The entire Razor team would like to express their gratitude to the WBD team led by Simon and Jeremy, whose hard work made a complex but very timely transaction possible.”
Ranking in the UK's top 20 law firms, WBD provides legal expertise in its key sectors from across seven offices in the UK and 19 offices in the US. The firm has a large corporate practice in the UK with significant experience advising on transactions in the retail and e-commerce sectors. In the past few months alone the Newcastle Corporate Team have advised END. and its founders on the sale of a majority stake to The Carlyle Group, the founders of Psyche on its sale to retail giant Frasers Group and the Carpetright Group on multiple acquisitions.
WBD has deep roots in the region and its largest UK office of over 450 professionals is based in Newcastle. The firm is committed to playing its part in the future prosperity of the North East and Cumbria by using its local, national and international reach and expertise to benefit the region's leading sectors, businesses, people and organisations.
Razor Group is one of the leading aggregators focused on acquiring and developing Amazon FBA and e-commerce businesses. By leveraging significant growth capital, coupled with extensive e-commerce and brand-building expertise, Razor is able to develop acquired merchants to the next level and integrate them into a modern-day e-commerce consumer goods holding. Headquartered in Berlin, Razor Group was founded in 2020 and has raised over $450m in the last ten months, welcoming G-Rack as its latest portfolio addition.