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Decathlon takes over outdoor outfitter Bergfreunde

By Jan Schroder


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The sporting goods retailer Decathlon takes over the outdoor outfitter Bergfreunde Credits: Decathlon

The French sporting goods retailer Decathlon is expanding its portfolio to include the German e-commerce specialist Bergfreunde GmbH.

On Monday, the Kirchentellinsfurt-based outdoor outfitter announced that Decathlon had already signed a corresponding purchase agreement with the previous Bergfreunde owner Backcountry on 24 November. Financial details were not disclosed.

The previous management team of Bergfreunde remains on board

On completion of the transaction, which is still subject to regulatory approval, Bergfreunde will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the French retail group, but will remain a separate legal entity, the company announced. The online retailer will also remain "organisationally and operationally independent and completely separate from Decathlon's core business" on the market.

According to Bergfreunde, the organisation and staff will also remain unchanged following the change of ownership. "The two long-standing managing directors Matthias Gebhard and Ronny Höhn will continue to run the company as usual, as will the existing management team," it said in a statement.

The Bergfreunde managing directors Ronny Höhn and Matthias Gebhard Credits: Bergfreunde GmbH

Bergfreunde has increased its annual turnover more than tenfold since 2013

Founded in 2006, Bergfreunde GmbH was taken over by US retailer Backcountry in 2013. Since then, the German e-commerce specialist has increased its annual turnover from 18 to 242 million euros "thanks to a high level of entrepreneurial independence" and has "always been profitable", the company stated. For the current year 2023, it expects "further growth in the double-digit percentage range".

Managing director Matthias Gebhard sees the upcoming takeover as the next step in the company's history: "We will take the company to the next level of growth," he explained in a statement. "We are convinced that with Decathlon we have a smart, financially strong and long-term operating partner at our side."