LONDON, 29-Sep-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — Equistone Partners Europe (“Equistone”), one of Europe’s leading investors in mid-market buyouts, has acquired a majority stake in D3T Distribution, the holding company of Motoblouz and Access-Moto (together “Motoblouz” or “the Company”) from Inspirational Stores for an undisclosed sum. Following the deal Co-Founder and CEO, Thomas Thumerelle, will continue in his current role.
Founded in 2004 and headquartered near Lille, France, Motoblouz has grown to become the leading online retailer of motorcycle accessories and clothing in the French market. For the business year 2015/2016 the Company reported sales of approximately €38m, representing an increase over the prior year of almost 30%. Motoblouz currently has a market share of approximately 50%; its client base of more than 800,000 customers represents a third of all motorcyclists in France. Since 2015 the Company has focused on expanding its international footprint and is now active within the Spanish, Italian, UK and German markets.
The acquisition of Motoblouz marks Equistone’s third investment within the motorcycle accessories and clothing sector. Through this acquisition, as well as its investment in Sportsbikeshop (October 2015), Equistone has strengthened investee company POLO Motorrad and Sportswear’s (February 2015) position as a leading European multi-channel retailer in the continent’s three largest markets for motorcycle accessories and clothing. Whilst the three companies will continue to operate independently under the POLO Motorrad and Sportswear GmbH umbrella, the significant synergies between them will support their international expansion.
Thomas Thumerelle, CEO of Motoblouz, commented: “We are delighted to have the backing of Equistone, an established mid-market investor. Through its investment, Motoblouz will become part of a pan-European multi-channel provider of motorcycle accessories and clothing. Moreover, Equistone’s experience in the sector will help support Motoblouz’s further expansion. I would like to thank our employees, whose commitment and passion over the course of the past years have enabled us to grow the Company into a market leading position.”
Dirk Schekerka, Partner at Equistone Partners Europe, said: “Motoblouz’s leading position in the French market was an important factor in our decision to invest in the Company. We, along with POLO Motorrad and Sportswear and Sportsbikeshop, are looking forward to working with the Company’s management team to exploit the significant opportunities which we see internationally, due to market fragmentation, for the growth of the Motoblouz brand.”
Dirk Schekerka, Alexis Milkovic and Dr. Katja Mühlhäuser led the transaction for Equistone Partners Europe. Equistone was advised by Latham & Watkins and Ashurst (Banking), Goodwin, P+P (Legal Due Diligence, SPA), Deloitte (Financial Due Diligence), Arsene (Tax Due Diligence) and PWC (Commercial Due Diligence).
Inspirational Stores were advised by Rothschild & Cie. (M&A), Pinot de Villechenon & Associés (Legal), Mayerbrown (Management).
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SOURCE: Equistone Partners Europe