Belgian outdoor chain AS Adventure is changing ownership, as its current British owner Lion Capital has asked a business bank to "look at the strategic options", with both a sale or an IPO as an option.
85 % ownership since 2007
According to Belgian newspaper De Tijd, Lion Capital has tasked business bank Rothschild to prepare an "exit" from AS Adventure. Not only a sale is on the table, but also an IPO - after Pets at Home and Poundland have successfully entered the stock exchange in the United Kingdom.
Lion Capital purchased AS Adventure in 2007 from the Lathouwers family, allegedly paying 263 million euro (including 48 million euro to clear the debt), for nearly 85 % of the shares. Management and founder / former CEO Emiel Lathouwers (nearly 10 %) own the remainder of the shares.
From 200 to 360 million euro turnover in 5 years
AS Adventure and its affiliate chains Bever Zwerfsport (in the Netherlands) and Cotswold Outdoor (in Great Britain) all grew under Lion Capital's wings to become an important party in the outdoor market. The group realized a 200 million euro turnover in 2007, although its 2013 turnover was already at 360 million euro. That increase will surely help Lion Capital realize a decent surplus.
The chain's current leader is Frédéric Hufkens, former advisor to the now deceased Paul-Louis Halley (Carrefour) and Change Capital's co-founder, while Belgian Luc Vandevelde (former CEO at Marks & Spencer) is currently the president at Change Capital.