Sweden-headquartered publicly traded growth company New Wave Group has acquired one of Europe’s largest promotional products suppliers in Birmingham, U.K.-based B.T.C. Activewear Limited.

The consideration for the purchase of the entirety of B.T.C.’s shares is roughly $38.2 million on a cash and debt free basis, paid in cash, according to a release by the firms.

In 2021, B.T.C. Activewear’s revenue was $61.4 million, roughly the equivalent of a top 25-level supplier in North America.

The Companies

B.T.C. Activewear was founded in 2000 through a merger of three regional businesses and has its distribution center and head office in Birmingham.

  • The company is the U.K.’s third largest wholesaler within the promotional products sector, offering around 50 leading international apparel brands including Bella + Canvas, Fruit of the Loom, Gildan and Russell Athletic.

New Wave Group owns numerous companies in three operating segments: Corporate, Sports & Leisure and Gifts & Home Furnishings. 

  • For 2021, 59% percent of its net sales came from promo, with the remaining 41% owing to retail.
  • The publicly traded company reported $627 million in net sales last year.
  • Among New Wave Group’s most recognizable brand holdings for the North American promotional products industry is Seattle-headquartered supplier Cutter & Buck.

The Deal

According to the release, the introduction of New Wave Group’s own brands to B.T.C.’s portfolio is expected to come as a boon to the U.K. supplier.

  • The U.K. is one of Europe’s largest markets for promotional products, with a clear trend towards increased focus on own-brand products.
  • In the acquisition, New Wave Group gets a strong platform for the distribution of the group’s brands in the U.K. by attaining access to B.T.C.’s well-established customer base.
  • B.T.C. Activewear co-founder and CEO Stephen Pope will remain with the company.
  • B.T.C. Activewear will be aligned in New Wave Group’s Corporate business segment.

What They’re Saying

Pope says, “I am delighted to have a strong financial owner that is known for its long-term commitment and deep industry knowledge. B.T.C. Activewear will be able to grow and take further steps together with New Wave Group, where the mix between our understanding of and position in the U.K. market and New Wave Group’s experience and brands will be an unmatched combination.”

Torsten Jansson, CEO and founder of New Wave Group, says, “Through this acquisition, we establish New Wave Group as one of the main players on the U.K. market, which of course feels great. In addition, we will add a very attractive and well-run company to our company group, as well as invaluable industry knowledge that will benefit all New Wave Group companies.”