Privalia raises €88 million, buys German online fashion retailer Dress for Less

Privalia is very serious about becoming a major private online sales club on a global scale, kicking up its European presence up a notch with the acquisition of Germany’s online clothing and apparel retailer Dress for Less.

The site was acquired from Palamon Capital Partners, a pan-European private equity firm, and Privalia has disclosed that it raised 88 million euros in new equity financing from General Atlantic, Highland Capital Partners, Index Ventures and Insight Ventures Partners as part of the transaction.

With the acquisition, Privalia has expanded its geographic reach to Germany (it was already operational in Spain, Italy, Mexico and Brazil) but also extends its business model into the open site, discount and full price segments space. In other words, Privalia is on its way to becoming a global online fashion retail powerhouse.

Update: a source tells Reuters that the deal was worth 150-200 million euros ($210-$280 million).

The company projects global triple-digit growth and combined sales in the region of 400 million euros this year.

As part of the transaction, Dress for Less managing partners Mirco Schultis and Holger Hengstler will stay with Privalia and become ‘significant shareholders’ in the company.

Dress for Less, which operates a distribution platform in the open site, discount and full price segments, was originally founded in 1999 and self-reportedly boasts more than 500,000 active customers and a total customer base of 1 million in more than 50 countries worldwide.

The acquisition will be funded through a combination of 88 million euros of new equity provided by the above-mentioned investors, a debt facility and shares. This follows the completion of a 70 million euros funding round Privalia closed in October 2010.

Privalia was founded in Barcelona, Spain by Lucas Carne and Jose-Manuel Villanueva in 2006. It currently has over 6 million members.