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HomeNEWSINTERNATIONALEQUISTONE EXTENDS ITS EUROPEAN RETAIL HEGEMONY

EQUISTONE EXTENDS ITS EUROPEAN RETAIL HEGEMONY

Private equity investor Equistone Partners, formerly the Barclays Bank private equity arm, has added yet another element to its pan-European motorcycle aftermarket retailing portfolio. It has just acquired a majority stake in D3T Distribution, the holding company for leading French online bike accessories and apparel retailers Motoblouz and Access-Moto. This deal was clinched for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 2004 and headquartered near Lille, Motoblouz claims a French market share of approximately 50 per cent, with a client base of more than 800,000 customers representing a third of all motorcyclists in France.

Equistone first moved into motorcycling in February 2015, purchasing German-based Polo Motorrad und Sportswear’s aftermarket chain of more than 80 bricks-and-mortar shops in Germany and seven in Switzerland, along with a major online presence. It subsequently paid £22m for top-rated UK online retailer Sportsbikeshop, based at Boston, Lincs, in October 2015.

This third investment in the biker firmament is likely to come at a considerably higher cost than the British venture. Motoblouz reported revenue of about £32m for its most recent financial year, slightly more than double Sportsbikeshop’s anticipated £15m in sales during approximately the same period.

These three companies will continue to operate independently under the Polo Motorrad and Sportswear umbrella, according to Equistone’s Dirk Schekerka. But presumably there will be a central management decision to eliminate overlap. Besides France, Motoblouz has dedicated websites aimed at the UK and German markets, as well as Spain and Italy.  

 

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