French sports equipment group Abeo acquires Dutch counterpart Bosan

28 February 2018 3 min. read

French listed sports and leisure equipment group Abeo has acquired Bosan, a Dutch player in the sports equipment market. The deal, which is Abeo’s sixth acquisition in sixteen months, adds around €11 million in revenues to its coffer and 75 employees to its Benelux footprint.

Since debuting on the Euronext in 2016, Abeo has been on a ‘buy and build’ growth spree. The sports company headquartered in Rioz (Haute-Saône) first acquired Erhard Sport in Germany, Clip'n'Climb International in New Zealand and Sportsafe in the United Kingdom. In December last year followed Meta, another deal closed in Germany, and Shandong Kangnas, a sports distributor based in China. 

The acquisitions are part of Abeo’s ambition to achieve a revenue base of €300 million by 2020, double its revenue when it went public in October 2016. With the bolt-on of Netherlands-based Bosan, the French company sees its turnover grow to around €180 million. “Through the Bosan acquisition, we are seizing a fantastic opportunity to consolidate our position on the Benelux market,” said Abeo’s CEO Olivier Estèves.

Founded in 1973, Bosan is a family business based in Haaksbergsen. The manufacturer and distributor of sports equipment (e.g. basketball equipment, climbing walls, gym equipment, etc) has its own production unit with an industrial and logistics area of 8,500m2, a subsidiary in Belgium and a sales network for the Benelux region. The company earns €11 million in revenue (EBITDA margin of 12%), generated by 75 employees – all staff will as part of the integration effective 1st March 2018 be integrated into the Sports division of Abeo, which itself has a total of 1,300 employees across 34 locations. 

French sports equipment group Abeo acquires Dutch counterpart Bosan

Bosan’s management team, formed by Richard and Marieke ten Bos, have committed themselves to Abeo and have agreed to work with Abeo for “as long as is necessary” to ensure a smooth integration. “We are delighted with the transaction, which will ensure the future of Bosan for both customers and employees and enable us to expand into new markets,” they stated. “Abeo is a large player in the sport entertainment industry – this is a market which offers Bosan a wide range of commercial opportunities.”

The transaction was advised on by the Corporate Finance unit of Baker Tilly Berk (the Dutch member firm of Baker Tilly) and Kienhuis Hoving, which provided sell-side advisory to Bosan in respectively M&A and legal. The French meanwhile were supported by Dutch professional services firm ABAB (M&A support) and law firm AKD (legal).

Last week Abeo, which serves as an equipment supplier to many athletes competing at the Olympic Games, completed a capital injection programme, raising €28.8 million.

In a similar acquisition of a Dutch company by a Francophone player, last month private equity firm Argos Soditic acquired a majority stake in Future Groep, a Netherlands-based professional services group with 800 employees.