Accent acquired Hööks in 2011, with the previous owner, the Hööks family, re-investing a substantial share. Hööks, headquartered in Borås, is the Nordic region's leading retailer of equipment for horseback riders, horses and dogs. Sales are conducted via own retail stores and distance sales (mainly e-commerce) in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. Hööks' history dates back to 1931, when the grandfather of the current CEO Joachim Höök set up a saddling business. Accent saw an opportunity to continue organic growth and expand the Nordic store network, as well as increasing the online sales share and expanding and refining the offering. Accent sold Hööks to Inter IKEA’s investment company Alipes in April 2014.
I would like to express my gratitude to Accent for their great contribution to our positive development in the past few years.
Joachim Höök CEO, Hööks
What did the business need?
- Committed partner to contribute to continued growth and develop the company further
- Intensified roll-out of new stores in the Nordic countries
- Broader and refined offering
- Improved online sales and marketing, particularly for growth outside Nordics
How did private equity backing create lasting value?
- Enabled development opportunities that previously had not been prioritised
- Grew organically and rapdily through successful roll-out of new retail stores in the Nordic countries
- Improved store sales operations resulting in substantial like-for-like growth
- Developed the online shop and launched a website for pan-European sales
- Increased social media presence for marketing and customer interaction
- Introduced a customer loyalty programme
What outcomes did private equity investment achieve?
- Developed the company faster than planned
- Opened 17 new stores – an increase of close to 70%
- Nearly doubled the number of employees, from 115 FTEs to around 200
- Grew sales organically by almost 15% per year, with increasing margins and doubled EBITDA*
- *EBITDA stands for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation and is a measure of company performance