CELS acquires top European festive decor firm

CELS Group, a top provider of solutions in events, décor and lighting, has acquired 100 per cent shares of First Christmas by Rosenau GmbH – one of Europe’s leading festive decoration company – along with its GCC branch, Retail Emotions.

First Christmas was founded in Hamburg, Germany, and has over 20 years of experience in creating spectacular holiday and seasonal decorations, digital installations and special events for shopping centres, airports, hotels, cities and retail chains around the world, and has won over 20 International Council of Shopping Centre (ICSC) awards, including European and worldwide marketing gold medals.

With the acquisition of First Christmas/Retail Emotions, and combined with Afkar Lighting, its in-house original festive lighting, handcrafted decorations and multimedia settings firm founded in Italy and based in the Gulf region, and with offices in Dubai, Doha, Milan, Riyadh, London and now Hamburg, CELS Group is now the largest festive light décor company in the Middle East and can offer a wider set of décor solutions and opportunities to its clients in Europe with First Christmas and in the Middle East with Retail Emotions (both offering customised design solutions) and Afkar Lighting (offering rental and installation solutions).

With the growth of CELS Group a new umbrella company has been created, known at CELS Lights & Décor to consolidate the three festive light décor solutions. First Christmas/Retail Emotions is valued at $5.55 million, with a total turnover of $14.45 million. The acquisition is also poised to boost CELS Group’s turnover from $20 million to $31 million, with a target of $35 million in 2020 and $44 million by 2022.

Alessandro Gaffuri, founder and CEO, CELS Group, said: “CELS Group, together with First Christmas/Retail Emotions and Afkar Lighting will light up the world. Lighting tells stories. It is a brilliant way to express a brand and its identity. At CELS Group we believe there is nothing more powerful than light when it comes to inspiring visitors.

“We craft bespoke lighting experiences that reflect a brand’s values and strengthen the brand’s bond with the community. We specialise in creating original festive lighting, handcrafted decorations, and multimedia setups. Over the years we have delivered numerous customised lighting experiences for shopping malls, hotels, leisure hubs, cultural attractions and public venues.”

Together with Afkar Lighting, CELS Lights & Decor will now leverage First Christmas/Retail Emotions to completely adapt to clients’ needs in terms of design and production while having the capacity to produce in Europe and also locally, in order to secure and fulfil last-minute clients’ requests.