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Nordic Capital Fund VII acquires e-commerce company Unisport

Nordic Capital Fund VII has expanded its footprint in the sports market with the add-on acquisition of leading e-commerce football company Unisport.  

The Unisport brand will operate alongside SPORTMASTER which was acquired in 2012. The two companies have an excellent strategic fit and a platform for further expansion both in stores and online, in the Nordics and internationally.

Unisport’s e-commerce platform is dedicated to football obsessed consumers providing in-house produced football related content. Unisport’s concept has gained a market-leading position in Denmark with emerging strongholds through recent successful market entries into Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Netherlands. Nordic Capital and SPORTMASTER are highly enthusiastic about the prospects of further building upon Unisport’s position in the fast-growing online football niche.

Nordic Capital acquired SPORTMASTER in 2012, transforming the business from a voluntary chain of independent stores into an integrated capital chain with a market leading position in Denmark. Since then, SPORTMASTER has embarked on an exciting journey with the purpose of further strengthening the company’s primary place in the market and to becoming the customers’ first choice, both in-store and online.

As part of this journey, it has been a key strategic priority to expand the online presence and combine it with a nationwide network of physical stores, while driving the ongoing consolidation of a very fragmented market. This was demonstrated by the 2013 online launch as well as the 2014 acquisition of online football specialist SPORTMASTER’s online efforts have been highly successful to date and, as a result, Nordic Capital and SPORTMASTER’s management team have closely followed the impressive development of Unisport.

Upon completion of the transaction, Unisport will continue to operate as a stand-alone brand, working in collaboration with SPORTMASTER under the ownership of Nordic Capital, and led by the existing and highly entrepreneurial management team. Together, the two businesses represent an excellent strategic fit and will each offer a clear market leading position in their respective parts of the sporting goods sector.

Michael Haaning, Chairman of the board of SPORTMASTER and Partner, NC Advisory A/S, advisor to the Nordic Capital Funds, says: “ When Nordic Capital three years ago acquired SPORTMASTER, the market leading retailer within sporting goods, it marked the first step in enabling an offering that would be the customers’ first choice when shopping for sporting goods and apparel. Since then, SPORTMASTER has successfully established its online presence and the current acquisition of Unisport will further accelerate the development of an unrivalled experience for the customers that combines a very strong position in Danish brick-and-mortar retail with an equally strong international online channel.”

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