FSN CAPITAL IV Acquires a Majority Stake in Norwegian Company Active Brands

FSN Capital IV has signed an agreement with Holta Invest to acquire a majority stake in Active Brands AS, a leading Nordic supplier of premium sporting goods brands. Holta Invest, existing management and founders will re-invest alongside FSN Capital and continue to own a material stake in the company.

Active Brands manages a portfolio of well-established sports apparel and equipment brands, including Kari Traa, Dæhlie, Bula and Sweet Protection. The company has achieved great success in recent years, and has delivered strong growth from an efficient and scalable platform.

Based on a talented and dedicated workforce, Active Brands has consistently outperformed the Nordic market for sporting goods by generating organic annual growth of 30% since 2013. From a strong Norwegian base, the company has gradually expanded into new geographies, and in 2016 approximately 30% of net sales were generated outside of Norway.

In partnership with FSN Capital, Active Brands aspires to reinforce its strong position in the Nordics and further accelerate international growth, through both organic and inorganic initiatives.

“We have admired Active Brands for a long time and have been impressed by the platform created by Holta Invest and the management team’s ability to develop truly unique brands with significant international growth potential. Our ambition is to build on Active Brands’ leading position in the Nordics and support further growth in North America and Central Europe together with our new partners”, says Erik Nelson, Partner at FSN Capital Partners AS, acting as adviser to FSN Capital IV.

Active Brands CEO, Espen Krogstad, is pleased with the acquisition by FSN Capital.

On behalf of the employees and management team of Active Brands, I am pleased to have FSN Capital as a new majority owner. Active Brands has developed in a fast pace and is today amongst the leading companies in the Nordic sporting goods industry. We are delivering solid growth across all geographies and I look forward to further developing the company”, says Espen Krogstad.

Holta Invest will retain a 20% ownership stake in Active Brands post the transaction.

We established Active Brands in 2010 with the objective of taking a leading role in the consolidation of the Nordic sporting goods industry.  Since then, Active Brands has developed into a great business with a talented team, strong brands and a scalable platform. The company has a strong position in the Nordics and has successfully entered large international markets.  We are proud of the development of Active Brands and we are honored to get FSN Capital on board as a new majority owner. We believe in a promising future for the company and we are excited to continue our ownership of Active Brands together with FSN Capital”, says Dag Teigland, Chairman Active Brands and CEO Holta Invest.

FSN Capital IV was advised by Schjødt, PWC & BCG. Financing is provided by DNB.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals from the Norwegian competition authorities.

About Active Brands:

Active Brands is a leading supplier of premium brand goods to sports retail in the Nordic region. The brand portfolio consists currently of Kari Traa (womens sportswear), Bula (accessories) , Vossatassar (kids wear), Åsnes (skis), Bjørn Dæhlie (cross country skiwear), Sweet Protection ( ski helmets, protection and apparel).

The turnover was approximately NOK 650 million in 2015 and the number of employees is 165, situated in Oslo, Voss, Gothenburg,Trysil, Copenhagen, Denverand Shanghai. Active Brands aims to build strong brand positions and to become a preferred partner to the retailers. Active Brands has high ambitions for growth through our existing brands as well as future acquisitions. Active Brands has the Nordic region as home market. The strongest brands are  exported to Europe and USA. The main shareholder is the Norwegian investment company Holta Invest AS.

Source FNS Capital press release

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