BTC Activewear, a multi-brand distributor of clothing and accessories for promotions and workwear, has today been acquired by the Sweden-based New Wave Group.
New Wave has bought 100% of the shares in West Midlands-based BTC Activewear for £33 million in cash to provide a “strong platform” for the distribution of its brands in the UK.
BTC Activewear, which generated revenues of £53 million in 2021, will continue as a business with the same name within New Wave Group, as a part of its Corporate operating segment. It was previously part of German multi-brand clothing distributor Falk & Ross Group which acquired it in 2010.
Steve Pope, CEO and co-founder of BTC Activewear, will remain as CEO for the company. He said: “I am delighted to have a strong financial owner, that is known for its long-term commitment and deep industry knowledge. BTC Activewear will be able to grow and take further steps together with New Wave Group, where the mix between our understanding of and position in the UK market and New Wave Group’s experience and brands will be an unmatched combination.”
He added that he saw “big opportunities” for BTC Activewear through the addition of New Wave Group’s own brands. “With a more comprehensive and improved customer offer, we will be able to reach new customers and compete in new areas. Of course this will be beneficial to the business and also allows us to grow sales of our existing portfolio of brands.”
New Wave Group stated that the introduction of its own brands to BTC Activewear’s portfolio will allow for “a considerable increase in both the gross and operating margin of BTC Activewear in the coming years”. Torsten Jansson, CEO and founder of New Wave Group, said: “Through this acquisition, we establish New Wave Group as one of the main players on the UK market, which of course feels great. In addition, we will add a very attractive and well-run company to our company group as well as invaluable industry knowledge that will benefit all New Wave Group companies.”
New Wave Group also highlighted how BTC Activewear’s sales model showcased “the potential of e-commerce for B2B sales” as around 90% of orders are placed via the company’s webshop at www.btcactivewear.co.uk.
Founded in 2000, BTC Activewear is the UK’s third largest wholesale distributor in the garment decorating sector, offering around 50 international clothing brands.
New Wave Group, founded in 1990, designs, acquires and develops brands and products in the corporate promotions, gifts and home furnishings sectors. Its apparel brands include Clique, Harvest, Printer, MacOne, ProJob, Cottover, Grizzly, Derby of Sweden, No Problem, DAD, No Label, Cutter & Buck, Annika, Craft Sportswear, Ahead and Kate Lord.
New Wave Group was advised by a team from global law firm Squire Patton Boggs, led by its Birmingham-based partner Geoff Perry. He said: “We are pleased to support New Wave Group on this acquisition, which will help further its aim to become Europe’s leading sports wholesaler and supplier of corporate clothing. The group will benefit from BTC Activewear’s strong presence in the UK whilst also expanding its product range and gaining access to new customers.”