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Bryan, Garnier raises €10m for Inspirational Stores

London, October 9th 2008 - Bryan, Garnier & Co, the independent pan-European investment bank focusing on growth companies, today announced its Corporate Finance Department successfully arranged a €10 million private placement for Inspirational Stores, one of the largest first round financings in France since the beginning of the year.

Bryan, Garnier acted as exclusive advisor to the company’s founders and was sole placement agent. The funding was led by new investor Atlas Venture and allowed OTC Asset Management, which participated in the seed funding, to significantly increase its investment.

Established in January 2007 by Michel de Guilhermier, former Founder and CEO of Photoways, and Martin Genot, former COO of the same company, Inspirational Stores is a French e-retailer, operating up-market brands’ (such as Ladurée, Lamarthe or Delvaux) official online boutiques on an international scale through exclusive long-term licenses.

This capital raise will enable the company to finance its growth, with the use of funds allocated to the launching of new e-boutiques, the strengthening of marketing, IT, brand support and logistic teams, IT platform optimisation, and international developments in Europe followed by the US and Japan.

Gregoire Revenu, Managing Director at Bryan, Garnier & Co stated: “We usually work on capital raisings for more mature companies, but we immediately felt thrilled by the innovative model of Inspirational Stores, and by its seasoned management team which guarantees the company the most accurate skill sets in terms of marketing, retail, technology and fulfilment, the 4 cornerstones on which e-commerce is constructed. We decided to work alongside Inspirational Stores, to ensure the company swiftly emerges as a major player in both e-retail and up-market universes.”

Following the €11m private placement conducted for Jobpartners, this transaction confirms the leadership of Bryan, Garnier & Co with regards to private placements for European growth companies. Since 1998, Bryan, Garnier & Co successfully led more than 30 private placements, raising several hundred million Euros, thanks to an experienced team of investment bankers and former venture capitalists, who share with the bank’s clients their deep knowledge of new technologies and a substantial private equity network.

Michel de Guilhermier, Executive co-Chairman of Inspirational Stores, added: “Bryan, Garnier & Co’s experience and understanding of our business were critical to us. These precious skills allowed us to respect the aggressive timing we prepared in order to remain focused on operational matters and benefit from strong momentum versus our competitors. Bryan, Garnier & Co introduced us to the “right” people within the “right” venture capital houses, so as to minimise our exposure and maximise our chances of success. In the end, Bryan, Garnier & Co basically did an excellent job, mastering both the transaction process and the negotiations and demonstrating very strong commitment throughout. This resulted in the creation of a very competitive environment amongst VCs, which ultimately enabled us to raise an important amount of money under fortuitous conditions. The choice of Atlas Venture and OTC as investors corresponded exactly to our expectations.”


For more information please contact

Bruno Tourme
Bryan Garnier
+ 44 (0) 20 7332 2551-

Simone Selzer
Penrose Financial
+44 (0)20 7786 4856 –

About Bryan, Garnier & Co

Bryan, Garnier & Co is an independent investment bank specialising in European TMT, Healthcare, Aerospace & Defence, Renewable Energies and Consumers growth companies. Bryan, Garnier & Co is positioned on three activities: Equity Research & Brokerage, Asset Management and Corporate Finance.

With more than 100 professionals Bryan, Garnier & Co has for twelve years offered the range of services and expertise of top-tier investment banks, yet has the level of attention to clients of a boutique outfit.

The Corporate Finance department of Bryan, Garnier & Co advises European privately- or publicly-owned companies, entrepreneurs and financial investors in the following transactions:

• Equity Capital Markets transactions

• Private Placements

• Merger & Acquisitions

Bryan, Garnier & Co is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in the United Kingdom, and is member of London Stock Exchange and Euronext, Alternext Listing Sponsor, and is active on all European Capital Markets.

About Inspirational Stores

Created in January 2007, Inspirational Stores is a French e-retailer, operating up-market brands’ official online shops on an international scale, through exclusive licenses. It basically operates like a franchisee, only it is positioned on Web channels.

Inspirational Stores offers a strong value-added proposition for prestigious brands. The company offers a full management package, from creation to operation, in France and worldwide, of brands’ official commercial websites, dealing with all operational aspects (technological, commercial and logistical) relating to all e-commerce activities.

Since Inspirational Stores exclusively manages the official online sales channels of several brands, the latter benefit from mutualisation of expertise (marketing, merchandising, etc.), costs (logistics, CRM, hotline, etc), and technological infrastructure (e-commerce platform, website construction, etc). Within the timeframe of just a few weeks, and with no major investments or financial risk, this mutualisation, together with the e-commerce expertise of the team, enables clients to establish a more efficient e-commerce activity (in respect to turnover and profitability) than if they had launched an online initiative alone.

Inspirational Stores was created by Michel de Guilhermier and Martin Genot who both managed Photoways (European Leader in online photograph printing with close to 5 million members) as founder & CEO and COO respectively. The company is renowned for the excellence of its client relationship, its innovative strengths and the quality of its follow-up. Erik-Marie Bion, former COO of Hi-Media and Marketing Director of and, recently joined the company as operational CEO, whilst Bruno Emsellem (formerly IBM, Oracle, Industry Suppliers) is CTO of Inspirational Stores.

Publisher Contact Information:

Bryan, Garnier & Co.
+ 44 (0) 20 7332 2551

Company profile of Bryan, Garnier & Co.
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