January 9 2019
The end of the year saw the decision of private group Bic, world leader in pens and razors, to get rid of its nautical activity, Bic Sport (130 employees), taken over by Estonian Tahe Ourdoors.
If Bic Sport is known worldwide for being one of the world leaders in sliding sports, having been a pioneer in the windsurfing market, this subsidiary based in Vannes, created in 1979, in Morbihan hardly represents 1% of the group's turnover, a position that no doubt motivated its leaders to get rid of it. The amount of the transaction - finalized last week - would be between 6 and 9 million euros (depending on future results), for an activity generating around 30 million euros in sales and producing 70,000 sailboards, surfboards and paddles per year.
While Bic Sport is well known for its windsurfing activity, the company occupies a strong position in the markets of kayaks, stand-up paddles and surfboards. The company is marketed in nearly 90 countries.
Its buyer, Estonian Taha Outdoors, was founded in 1989, expanding into the paddle sports market, before successfully diversifying into kite surfing.
Decryption - with this sale, the Bic group decided to focus on its core business (stationery, lighters and razors), by selling a worldwide peripheral activity, to one of the major players in the world of sliding sports, on a favorable period: a high cycle. This sale comes as the French group is attacked on the shaver market by particularly dreaded new online players. For Tahe Outdoors, the acquisition of Bic Sport allows for a change of size, while benefiting from a modern production tool, allowing it to continue its development. Note that the writing tools activity, based in Vannes (the production of 4-color pens), will be relocated in Ile de France, to free production space for boating.