Wenaas Nordic, a large-scale distribution company specializing in sports and outdoor brands, has been acquired by the Dalema group, another Norwegian company that already owns a wide variety of industrial and trading operations in various sectors including the sports market, where it wants to expand further through this takeover.
Wenaas Nordic was formed after several distribution companies joined forces, in transactions starting in 2007. The Oslo-based company chalked up sales of about 370 million Norwegian kroner (€39.0m-$43.6m) last year with activities across Norway and Sweden.
The three brands that generate the largest turnover for Wenaas Nordic are Alpina, Ted Lenser and Diadora. The list further includes Buff, Camelbak, Crispi, Leatherman and Trangia, along with sports brands from Dunlop to Reusch, Rucanor and more. Wenaas holds distribution rights for some of the brands in Norway and Sweden, but for other brands the rights cover just one country.
The buyer of Wenaas, Dalema, is a group of companies named after Dag Leo Martinsen, who has direct and indirect stakes of at least 50 percent in each of them. It started off with the importation of work gloves but diversified into furniture, yarn and knitwear, real estate and international trade. Based in Bryne, near Stavanger, the group is already involved in the sports industry through Tempo, a company specializing in the distribution of cycling products, along with hockey equipment, fitness gear, winter sports products and more.
The majority of the shares in Wenaas Nordic was previously owned by Wenaasgruppen. This family-owned company started in the apparel industry, then specialized in workwear and ended up with investments in shipping, hotels, skiing facilities and other properties.
Among the other shareholders was Ingulf Horn, the company's chief executive. He anticipates that the situation at Wenaas Nordic will remain broadly unchanged, as it will continue to operate independently. Both the former and the new owner have plenty of financial resources, but Dalema may provide some extra backing in terms of logistics and infrastructure. For instance, it has a sourcing office in Asia, which may come in handy for Wenaas Nordic and its licensing business with Diadora.
The purchases that formed Wenaas Nordic started in 2007 when the Wenaas group acquired Trygve Alm. The next year it bought Bjørn Wold, which was folded into Trygve Alm. The Wenaas group went on to buy Crispi Norway and Alpina, which remained separate entities until their integration with the other sports and outdoor distribution entities in the Wenaas group in 2010.
The group moved into Sweden in 2010 through Trygve Alm. Its business in the country was largely built on the remains of Outside Scandinavia, a Swedish distribution company that formerly handled The North Face and many other brands. Outside Scandinavia went out of business after The North Face set up its own subsidiary in Gothenburg, but Alm picked up distribution of other brands sold by Outside.
The sale of Wenaas Nordic was agreed at an undisclosed price and is subject to regulatory approval.