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Bezvavlasy valuation at a billion-dollar. New head known for building the Dr. Max pharmacy network

Translated by Milo Dvorak

6. 5. 2024

Good morning,

Today's newsletter starts with a success story of yet another Czech company. And though the article delves into a number of hardcore business expressions, you shouldn't get frightened, as it represent an interesting opportunity for you to see how well you can understand even some rather complex structures.

Published by on 2 May 2024

newsletter 31
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Daniel Horák was a key figure at Dr. Max for a long time. For ten years, he had led the Czech pharmacy network, developing it for the Penta investment group and turning it into one of the largest players in the pharmacy market, both in brick-and-mortar shops and online. One year after leaving, he now takes on a new mission as the head of the rapidly growing Bezvavlasy group which started as an online shop for hair care products and continues to expand. Last year, it achieved, according to preliminary results, revenues exceeding one billion Czech crowns for the first time, with an EBITDA operating profit of 115 million crowns and a net profit of 79 million crowns.

“Our expectations regarding the final financial performance of the entire Bezvavlasy group are significantly higher for the next three years than the proforma consolidated results for 2023, which were affected by many one-time negative factors,” comments Aleš Hudeček, Chairman of the Board of Bezvavlasy, who founded the hair care business with František Novotný back in 2011. Today, they are co-owners of the so-called beauty group, which sells and distributes products for hair, skin, makeup, hairdressing supplies and electronics.

Last year, Bezvlasy acquired the Hair Servis group, which is expected to boost the business, and whose results are already included in the above-mentioned figures for last year. The synergies, however, are expected to fully show in the coming years. This year, a merger is underway as Hair Servis overall includes seven companies, which are merging into one large distribution company. Until now, this group has operated three e-shops, twenty wholesale and one retail store, and thirteen training centres specialising in both product and service for hairdressers, serving over twenty thousand clients.

“By merging Bezvavlasy and the Hair Servis group, a new grouping is formed that can build on a strong online and offline business model. E-commerce, in particular, will be significantly developed towards B2C clientele as part of the international expansion, with Bezvavlasy planning to operate in more than ten European markets within three to five years. B2B distribution in the Czech Republic, on the other hand, offers a huge potential for digitalisation, further supporting the existing offline distribution network as well as strengthen and expand the existing customer base,” states Aleš Hudeček.

The company has stated that due to significant acquisition costs and the complexity of this transaction, the long-planned online expansion under the Bezvado brand into foreign markets and the opening of a new central warehouse in Bor in the Tachov region have been postponed by one year. From there, Bezvlavlasy plans to serve the whole of Europe. Daniel Horák, who will oversee the successful completion of the merger with Hair Servis and subsequent growth abroad from 1 June, brings considerable experience in both online and offline business from his ten-year tenure as the head of the Czech Dr. Max pharmacy network.

“The Bezvavlasy group impressed me with its uniqueness. The merger of two experts in online and offline B2B distribution of professional hair care products has created a similar opportunity to what I experienced eleven years ago in the pharmacy industry, where we managed to become the leader in the Czech market with a strong position in the European market. Now, I have the opportunity to contribute to a similarly successful project,” says Daniel Horák, who previously served as the country manager for Johnson & Johnson in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as well as in leading positions at companies like Pfizer, Boots Healthcare, and Procter & Gamble.

One of Horák’s tasks will be to build a professional organisational structure that will further develop the entire Bezvavlasy group. The changes also include the arrival of Nicolas Eich who takes over as Business Unit Director for E-commerce, replacing the current executive director of Bezvavlasy, Jaromír Muchka. Eich brings experience from his role as the CEO of Edenred and head of Chytrý Honza.

The new management plans to continue expanding both the existing portfolio of hair care products and hairdressing supplies, and also to venture into new categories, such as dietary supplements. Bezvavlasy is also a minority shareholder in the German chain Euro Friwa, one of the largest sellers of professional products for hairdressing and beauty salons in Europe. Furthermore, the group also owns the brand Dusy and manages eighteen other exclusive distributions. Currently, the Czech group is active in Slovakia and Hungary, and this year they are planning on entering Romania and Croatia.

Since September 2022, Bezvavlasy shares have been traded on the Start market of the Prague Stock Exchange. The stock, labelled BEZVA.PR since its  IPO, has risen by more than 37 per cent and is currently priced at 675 Czech crowns per share. This year, however, Bezvavlasy has seen a drop of about eight per cent, with the market capitalisation of the company at 675 million Czech crowns. In June, the company will see the completion of the settlement of the new issue of 300,000 shares (at a price of 700 crowns per piece) which will be acquired as part of the purchase price by the founders of Hair Servis.

Together with the existing majority shareholders, Aleš Hudeček and František Novotný, and the Strateepu group, which led the company to the stock market, hold nearly 89 per cent of the voting rights, according to a joint statement. An additional 50,000 shares will be issued, of which about 37,000 will be subscribed by the executive management of Bezvavlasy, and the remaining 13,000 shares will be distributed among existing small shareholders.

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