Didriksons has been taken over by Adelis Equity Partners, an investment fund that acquired a majority stake in the Swedish rain and functional apparel brand from another fund managed by Herkules Capital.
The price was not disclosed. Based in Norway, Herkules bought its majority stake in Didriksons four years ago and it remains the owner of Odlo. In the interval, Didriksons has grown into an international brand with sales nearing 500 million Swedish kronor (€48.7m-$56.8m). This compares with a reported turnover of about SEK 315 million (€30.7m-$35.8m) in 2014, when the ownership changed.
Didriksons has continued to expand in the Nordics, but the share of the region in the brand's wholesale-equivalent sales has decreased to an estimated 60 percent, while it was closer to 90 percent four years ago.
Adelis is a Swedish-based investment firm that started raising funds in 2013, with the target to become the leading middle market private equity firm in the Nordics. It already has an interest in the Swedish sports market through another fund, which bought a majority stake in Intersport Sverige in 2015.
Johan Ekeroth, chief executive at Didriksons, said the brand is in a strong position to take advantage of the urban outdoor trend. Didriksons is strongest in rainwear and jackets, selling through sports and outdoor stores along with department stores. The brand has a strong focus on women and children, with more than 35 percent of its sales coming from junior products.
Didriksons' international growth in recent years has been driven by Germany, where it opened an office in 2016 and rapidly built up sales in the range of €8.5 million, dealing with customers such as Intersport, McTrek and department stores. Its sales in the U.K. have been growing at an average annual rate of about 20 percent since it established a subsidiary in the country in 2014.
The next change should take place in the Benelux countries, where Didriksons will be switching from a distributor to an agency agreement. Rover Textiles, the Dutch-based distributor for Didriksons as well as Treksta and 8848 Altitude, remains on board under the adjusted structure.
Online sales have been another factor behind Didriksons' expansion, making up more than 30 percent of its turnover. The company has been working on upgrades to its website to relaunch it this month in Sweden, and gradually in other countries where it operates directly.
The focus for the coming years will remain on Europe, where Didriksons will strive to take advantage of investments in product development and logistics. The company opened a larger warehouse in April 2017 in Borås, and moved its head office in the same city to get closer to the distribution center.
Didriksons is headed by Johan Ekeroth, who has been its chief executive since 2015. Ekeroth was previously sales director for Asics in the Nordic and the Benelux countries, after assignments for Nike and New Balance, among others. Ekeroth took over Sören Andreasson, who remained as a significant shareholder and a member of the board of directors.
Adelis said that Didriksons' managers are staying on board in their current functions and as significant shareholders. The transaction was finalized at undisclosed terms and is subject to regulatory approval. Mats Hedblom, former chief executive at Haglöfs, has joined the board of Didriksons.