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Beaumanoir rides the wave with Quiksilver's Boardriders in western Europe

file photo, surfer Gavin Gillete, from U.S., competes during the Quiksilver Cup at Punta Roca beach in La Libertad, El Salvador, July 8, 2012.
file photo, surfer Gavin Gillete, from U.S., competes during the Quiksilver Cup at Punta Roca beach in La Libertad, El Salvador, July 8, 2012. Copyright Luis Romero/Copyright 2019 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Luis Romero/Copyright 2019 The AP. All rights reserved
By Vincent Vitis
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Ready-to-wear group Beaumanoir buys western European business of Boardriders (Quiksilver, DC Shoes, Element) but some jobs in France will go.

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The takeover of Boardriders sports and outdoor brands group by ready-to-wear group Beaumanoir has been approved.

The deal, announced in February but needed approval from the French competition authority to go ahead - that's now been granted, according to Le Télégramme. The value of the deal is not known.

American Authentic Brands Group, owner of Boardriders, whose brands include Quiksilver, Billabong, Roxy, DC Shoes, Element, RVCA, VonZipper, will keep ownership of the brands but will transfer management and operation of them to the Breton Group who will own the western Europe side of the business.

Beaumanoir will acquire a portfolio of products distributed in 18 western European countries and a network of 150 stores. The group aims to return to profitability in a sector in crisis. 

Restructuring will cost jobs

Beaumanoir, whose brands include Cache Cache, Bonobo, Morgan, Caroll, La Halle, and the Sarenza website, is based in Saint-Malo in Brittany. It has committed to maintaining Boardriders' European headquarters in Saint-Jean-de-Luz in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques region but some jobs will go as a result of the acquisition.

While shop jobs will not be affected, a job protection plan has been put in place which means some 164 jobs will go while another 44 will be created, according to Le Télégramme.

Boardriders Europe chairman Nicolas Foulet told France Bleu Pays Basque that the plan would not be implemented by Beaumanoir but by Boardriders, to restructure the European branch, which has divested itself of the Eastern European, African, and Middle Eastern markets. 

"Of the 700 or so people working at the Saint-Jean-de-Luz head office, we are trying to save 500, as only a third of the business was done there," revealed Roland Beaumanoir, the group's founder, in an interview with AFP. 

"This has already been discussed at length with the Saint-Jean-de-Luz works for councils, and we are going to take the blame for a redundancy plan financed by the Americans," he said, referring to a "rather painful event, well known to the authorities in the region, the town hall and the perfect". The Boardriders office based in Hong Kong will be "reduced but kept", he added.

Expansion continues despite a difficult market

The group, which has already doubled in size following successive takeovers of companies in receivership or financial difficulty, says the operation means it is "not only strengthening its diversification strategy but also enriching its portfolio with the integration of seven well-known brands in the outdoor sector".

The expansion will allow the company to increase its presence not only in France but also throughout Europe, it added in a comment.

Despite the crisis in the sector, Beaumanoir's sales had risen to €2 billion by 2022.

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