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Equistone acquires SportGroup

24 Apr 2015

Equistone Partners Europe has acquired SportGroup from IK Investment Partners. It is the first investment from Equistone"™s Fund V which closed earlier this month.

SportGroup, founded 40 years ago, is a global leader in the manufacture of artificial turf systems and synthetic floor coverings in the sport and leisure sector, with a 300 million Euro annual turnover (2014) and around 1,000 employees. As a leading systems provider, SportGroup delivers a “one stop shop” service package from research and product development through production to installation and service. The company maintains production plants in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region.

Equistone CEO in Germany, Michael H. Bork said: “SportGroup is an exceptionally committed company that inspired me from day one.  We want primarily to expand the business in the US and Asia, to grow organically and strategically, and be at the forefront where the most innovative sport surfaces are produced. Artificial turf is one of the main drivers here. This sports surface is not only superior in durability to other coverings, but can also make many types of sport faster and more exciting. There is huge potential here for SportGroup  to expand in this market.”

Over the last few years, SportGroup has purchased subsidiaries in Sweden, France, the US and Australasia to expand its global business. Today, the company has a close-knit sales network made up of its own and external sales teams in more than 70 countries. To date, SportGroup has set up more than 7,000 artificial turf surfaces and around 16,000 athletics tracks globally. This includes tracks for major sporting events like the Olympic Games in Peking, London and Rio de Janeiro. SportGroup regularly sets international standards in making sports surfaces safer, more efficient and more economical.

SportGroup’s CEO, Frank Dittrich said: “We believe that no competitor in our sector is as well positioned internationally as SportGroup. We are pleased to have a successful collaboration with Equistone, to grow further internationally and push forward our strategy for the future. In the last few years, SportGroup has already invested heavily for this purpose in product innovations, brand strategy and sales organisation.”

The terms of the agreement are not disclosed. The transaction is still subject to competition authority approval.          

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