Sun European Affiliate Agrees to Acquire Sports & Leisure Group, a leading artificial grass systems company

– Sun European remains active in the Benelux market; acquisition of a market-leading Benelux-headquartered company
– Firm to draw on deep industrial and operational experience to accelerate growth

July 15, 2021
An affiliate of Sun European Partners, LLP (“Sun European Partners” or “Sun European”), a leading private investment firm focused on defensible businesses in growing markets with tangible improvement opportunities, today announced that it has agreed to acquire Sports & Leisure Group (“SLG”), a leading artificial turf systems provider covering a broad range of end-markets, countries, products and services.

Sun European affiliate will be acquiring SLG alongside management who have a track record of delivering the group’s strategic ambitions, including M&A. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Sint-Niklaas, Belgium headquartered SLG operates in an attractive and rapidly growing market, supported by increased adoption of artificial grass systems across the sports, landscaping and leisure end-markets.
SLG is a leader in sustainability led innovation through the continuous development of environmentally friendly artificial grass solutions and its focus on end of life recycling. Furthermore, it has an active R&D programme to find new generation sustainable artificial grass systems.

With European roots, SLG has a cross continental reach serving around 90 countries with four state of the art production sites across three continents. SLG owns amongst others two globally renowned sports brands – Domo Sports Grass and Limonta Sport – which benefit from the highest accreditations across a broad range of sports including FIFA (football), FIH (hockey), ITF (tennis) and IRB (rugby).

“We are thrilled to have reached an agreement to acquire a company such as Sports & Leisure Group, a leading player, with an outstanding management team, operating in a very exciting and rapidly growing market” said Mark Corbidge, Managing Director at Sun European Partners, LLP. “We think there are fantastic opportunities to further grow SLG both organically, building on the strong brands, as well as through selective acquisitions across geographies, building on their past acquisitions such as Limonta Sport, which we can now help further integrate.”
“We are eager to begin work with the Sun European team, who have the expertise to help us leverage our leadership in this space, excel operationally and optimize growth”, said John Penninck, Chief Executive Officer of SLG. “The support and resources that Sun European can provide will enable SLG to continue to provide high-end, quality products for our clients, and help as we develop our sustainability capabilities.”

Sun European is committed to the Benelux market, where it is currently invested in Afriflora, CNC and Scotch & Soda and continues to seek opportunities. Furthermore, it has extensive experience in the industrials space having made recent investments across Europe, including Allied Glass, the leading manufacturer of glass packaging containers for the premium food and drinks markets, VR Group the global leader in washing machine window production and WesCom Signal & Rescue, a global leader in visual signalling and safety products.

Sun European was advised on the transaction by Lincoln (M&A and Debt Advisory), McKinsey (Commercial), Deloitte (Financial and Tax) and Weil, Gotshal & Manges (Legal). The sellers (among which Chequers Capital) were advised by Rothschild & Co (M&A), Roland Berger (Commercial), KPMG (Financial and Tax), Allen & Overy (Legal) and Eubelius (Legal).

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