bd-capital, the pan-European private equity firm, and Bridgepoint Development Capital, the mid-market growth-focused team of Bridgepoint, today announce the merger of their respective portfolio companies, SportPursuit and Private Sport Shop to form Sportscape Group.
The combination creates a business with more than €200m sales across France, UK, Germany and 10 other countries, and accelerates the group’s shared vision to create Europe’s leading sports and outdoor hub: delivering daily inspiration, unbeatable deals, amazing brands and engaging content for sports and outdoor enthusiasts across Europe and beyond.
Sportscape Group will be led by Sébastien Rohart, the current CEO of Private Sport Shop. He will be supported by the current executives from both companies, with Adam Pikett, current CEO and co-founder of SportPursuit, taking up the role of Chief Vision Officer overseeing the strategy of the group. Both Luke Pikett, managing director and co-founder of SportPursuit and Yannick Leouffre, managing director of Private Sport Shop, will continue to lead the respective businesses.
The newly combined group creates a powerful distribution channel for more than 2,500 existing brand partners with access to an audience of over 24 million sports and outdoor enthusiasts – 90-95 per cent of the group’s daily traffic originating organically from its own audience. The merger also combines two unique and highly engaged digital and social communities with over 3 million followers.
Millions of existing active customers will enjoy larger product ranges with an even greater selection of leading sport and outdoor brands available across more sports, more of the time. Private Sport Shop and SportPursuit will continue to operate as consumer-facing brands in their home markets, building on their strong consumer recognition and high repeat rates which have been built over many years.
Technology will play an ever-increasing role in consumer-facing industries and Sportscape Group’s shared expertise in data analytics, custom algorithms and machine learning will further improve user experience, helping to create unique communications at a customer level, leading to higher engagement and lifetime value.
As European consumers come under increasing spending pressure, as a result of increases in the cost of living, Sportscape Group’s proposition becomes even more compelling; to offer consumers access to the best products at the very best prices, helping them afford to stay active and healthy.
Commenting on the combination, Sébastien Rohart said: “I am excited to become the CEO of Sportscape Group. The combination creates a European leader with a unique proposition to our customers and brand partners alike. In particular, the combination of Private Sport Shop’s huge sport coverage and social media presence with SportPursuit’s technology and data expertise creates significant additional growth opportunities, over and above what we could have created individually. We are very pleased to open this exciting chapter with the full backing of our shareholder Bridgepoint Development Capital who have been our highly supportive partner from the very beginning.”
Adam Pikett added: “At SportPursuit, we have known and admired the Private Sport Shop team for many years. As a co-founder of SportPursuit it is super exciting to have this opportunity to bring the two businesses together to create something special: a true European leader across multiple markets, multiple categories, with substantial headroom for further growth.”
Jean-Baptiste Salvin, director at Bridgepoint Development Capital, also commented: “We are excited to be working with bd-capital to support the combination of our two investments. We have created fantastic alignment between our organisations and look forward to supporting the combined group as we move forward together.”
Andrey Russinov, Director at bd-capital added: “We are focused on partnership at bd-capital, and this merger creates both a partnership between two operational companies and two investors. The combination of SportPursuit and Private Sport Shop substantially increases the growth potential of both, and we are excited to support that growth alongside Bridgepoint and management.”
In addition to driving significant growth through organic expansion, the combination will create a strong foundation to support further M&A activity across Europe and beyond.