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Cipio set for 3x return on buyVIP

Amazon’s expected €70m purchase of the members-only shopping website will benefit firms including Cipio and Kennet Partners.

Direct secondaries firm Cipio Partners stands to make a return multiple of nearly 3x on its investment in buyVIP, which online retailer Amazon is expected to purchase for around €70 million this week, according to several market sources.

Cipio is the largest shareholder in the “private buying club”, which sells discount, end-of-the-line and rare designer goods to its members. It acquired its stake of nearly 30 percent in the Spanish company via the purchase of a portfolio of assets from 3i in 2009. PEO reported earlier this year that Cipio had already exited three of the businesses purchased from 3i in 2009 for a combined return of more than 7x.

3i did not immediately return a request for comment. Cipio declined to comment.

buyVIP’s second-largest shareholder is growth capital-focused Kennet Partners, which led a €15 million Series D funding round in April 2009. Kennet committed more than €11 million to the round, while the rest came from existing investors Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, 3i, Molins Capital InversiÓn and Active Capital Partners.

Kennet did not immediately return a request for comment.

Amazon is also rumoured to be interested in Vente Privee, a similar members-only website backed by private equity firms including Summit Partners.

Last week, Belgian private equity firm Gimv invested €4.9 million in competitor site Private Outlet, which is also backed by Turenne Capital, Kreos Capital, GP Bullhound and BayTech Ventures.