Platou Sport, the only independent outdoor retail chain in Norway, has been bought out by its managers. In two separate transactions, Henrik Platou, whose grandfather established the company in Bergen, sold all his remaining shares in the two companies that own the six Platou stores.
Earlier this year Olaf Myklatun, general manager of Platou AS, bought the 40 percent he did not already own in the company. Platou AS has four stores in Molde, Ålesund, Sandnes and Madla, near Stavanger.
It previously had two more stores in Haugesund and Tromsø, which were both closed down last year when their leases expired. Then Brede Birkeland, general manager of Platou's largest store, located in Bergen, acquired Platou Sport AS, which owns this flagship and another smaller store in Bergen.
Before the sellout, Platou AS and Platou Sport AS had cross-shareholdings in each other, but that is no longer the case.
On the other hand, the two owners have agreed to exchange regularly and to buy specific products together, to make sure they take full advantage of their combined weight.
With joint sales of about 100 million Norwegian kroner (€12.9m-$17.7m) and a strong reputation among Norwegian consumers, Platou is a highly valuable customer for outdoor brands in the country, where the might of half a dozen buying groups and XXL Sport leaves little space for independents.
The Platou stores in Bergen have been performing well in the last two years, but they are coming under growing pressure from the intense rivalry among the largest sports retailers in the country, particularly since XXL opened two stores in Bergen.
This partly motivated Platou's decision to join the Stadion buying group last October (a full profile of Platou and the outdoor retail market in Norway will be featured in our detailed study of the Norwegian outdoor market, to be published by us next year).