Beaumanoir takes over Boardriders, reshaping European sportswear market

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In a move that has shaken up the fashion and sportswear industry, Beaumanoir, the renowned ready-to-wear conglomerate, has successfully taken over Boardriders, a leader in sports and outdoor brands. The much-anticipated deal, initially announced in February, finally received the green light from the French competition authority. While the financial specifics remain undisclosed, the implications of this merger are significant.

Boardriders and its iconic labels including Quiksilver, Billabong, Roxy, and more will retain ownership of these brands. However, the reins of their management and operations in Western Europe will be handed over to Beaumanoir. This strategic move will see Beaumanoir acquire a robust portfolio of products distributed across 18 Western European nations. The group is determined to steer these brands back to profitability in a sector currently facing numerous challenges.

Beaumanoir boasts a diverse array of brands such as Cache Cache, Bonobo, Morgan, and the e-commerce site Sarenza. Despite the takeover, Boardriders’ European headquarters will remain in Saint-Jean-de-Luz in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques region, although some restructuring will occur.

Job security is a mixed bag in this scenario. While retail positions are safe, a job protection plan is in place that will see the elimination of 164 positions, with the creation of 44 new ones. This plan is crucial as the European branch refocuses after shedding its Eastern European, African, and Middle Eastern markets.

In a candid revelation, Roland Beaumanoir, the founder of Beaumanoir, shared insights into the delicate nature of this transition. “Of the approximately 700 employees at the Saint-Jean-de-Luz headquarters, we are striving to retain 500, as only a third of the business was conducted there,” he explained. Beaumanoir has engaged in extensive discussions with local works councils and is prepared to shoulder the burden of a redundancy plan financed by their American counterparts. He acknowledged the challenging nature of this event, noting it has been a topic of significant concern for local authorities and the community.

Moreover, the Hong Kong office of Boardriders will experience a downsizing but will continue to operate. This acquisition marks a pivotal moment for Beaumanoir, which has rapidly expanded by acquiring companies in distress. The addition of seven prominent outdoor brands to its portfolio not only strengthens its diversification strategy but also enhances its footprint across France and Europe.

As Beaumanoir integrates these esteemed brands, it is poised to solidify its presence and influence in the European market, navigating the complexities of the current economic landscape while aiming for sustained growth and success.

(Source: Euro News | Shop Eat Surf | Fashion United UK | Le Télégramme )

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