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LA MINCIO has supplied fishing goods B2C to c30 countries. Formed in 1982 It is a name particularly synonymous with Carpfishing, latterly Spinning, plus it has run the Italian National Fishing Show since its inception, attracting visitors from all over Europe regularly.
The LA MINCIO Distribution Centre was designed and conceived as a superstore. It is ideal for this function. There is even further land adjacent to the site that has previously been offered to La Mincio and could be purchased in a possible separate transaction.
The LA MINCIO Lake – LAGO CASELLE stocks has intrinsic value in its component part as indicated in the sales dossier with the indicative ‘Lago Caselle Liquidation Value’ section indicating guideline value of flora and fauna, fish stocks. Furthermore, the owner – and indeed TECL-TECS as required – would undertake to support the new buyer to sell this asset. We further understand that excavating the lake of gravel and selling it to the company building a motorway a few km away is a mooted option (reported €4 per m3, lago likely has at least 100k m3 of gravel, possibly much more), as is selling the land for agricultural purposes to adjacent landowners, plus the further option of selling the land to a company wishing to cover it in solar panels (dossier and links available upon request). The issue for the current owner is timing.
Two further International wholesale companies in the SPORT-FISHING SECTOR have agreed to be part of the necklace of companies above that would form a powerful, low cost, high return investment across perhaps 15 European markets – each with B2C sales into c50 countries already note – for a combined investment somewhere in the low millions.
These companies are not only dominant in their home markets, they are also hugely penetrative across multiple B2C markets, with international recognition, credibility and sales momentum. COMPANY A have operated as national and international B2B wholesalers including Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, Serbia, Croatia, Moldova, Slovenia et al and have been an integral part of a network of International B2B supply. You will note that COMPANY A has a formal, separate international wholesale e-platform, which includes B2B sales of their Internationally successful own brand and an interesting new concept that is already extremely high growth.
COMPANY B also operated the same B2B model across many countries – including into Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine et al. COMPANY B also have a successful international Bait brand and their own bait manufacturing plant, bringing recognition, credibility, market awareness, data, scale and sales penetration and momentum. This experience as operating as scale international B2B wholesalers has created a sophistication of systems, methodology, approach and professionalism far beyond ‘just buying a good shop’. These are entirely different entities with a reach and penetration far beyond the norm. It should be noted that the COMPANY B location is a particularly well-connected and developed transit-logistics infrastructure area, with many large companies using it as a hub for international operations across multiple markets.
All of LA MINCIO, COMPANY A & COMPANY B are Founder-owner managed. As companies they were not designed to maximise a return on Company Sale. They have nevertheless provided owners with good money, a great life and success in the field of their passion, both financially, strategically and in terms of a profile that they would have dreamt of. In the case of all it is time for fine and elegant exit. This will allow for scale growth, scale investment and a maximisation of the reach and potential that they all understand exists, but that they feel requires a faster, more dynamic conglomeration-expansion-leverage than their finances allow. They are not ‘fishing shops’ any more. They have seen and operated within a scale network and understand what must happen now.
All of these companies have been what we term ‘barometric clients’. Where they go, the market follows. They are price setters, market reference points, early adopters of winning products and brands, efficient payers, organised and accurate with their accounts, they have always had disproportionately high market share and penetration. They know, supply and retain key opinion-forming consumers into the thousands. In fragmented mom-and-pop markets they have achieved levels of dominance beyond any other. Indeed – with assistance – they have operated preferential B2B and B2C brand supply-presentation-promotion across brands such as Fox, Nash, Spomb, Ridge Monkey, Korda, Free Spirit, Trakker, Solar, Dynamite, Svendsen, TFG et al at different times. The first £100k sales for newly-introduced brands is key, some strong, coordinated promo, guaranteed key location shelf space, defined pricing and margins, instant awareness and the ‘Key players have it, I better have it’ Distributor trickle-down spin-off favourite. They received market protection, support and finance for this. This gave them a credibility and level of professionalism not available or achievable for others. They have not operated ‘like fishing shops’ for a decade.
They are the barometric clients that TECL identified from consistent, deep-drilled data stretching back 20 years and more. In terms of ‘what can I turn my £1 into?’ they will massively out-perform comparable investments. They have already done it. It should also be noted that TECL have used these companies to supply other goods from other sectors, to act as conduits for logistical, sales and strategic operations for around 15 years. There is an inherent flexibility to these companies that is rarely present in the fishing sector.
It is rather ‘island mentality’ to think of Europe and export expansion as ‘start with France, Germany…the big ones….Holland because it’s easy and they speak the language…then we’ll go from there’. This is received UK wisdom. It does not stand up to the maths at all. Better questions would be – starting from the basic ‘how can I turn my £1 into the highest, best, safest return?’ – should include ‘who loves brands the most?’…’who looks to England and English companies most positively?’….’where is the competition weakest?’…’where are the most undervalued markets?’…’where can my £1 make the most difference?’….’where is my £1 going to give me a profitable return over an extended period?.
One can buy unprofitable sales reasonably easily, I would suggest to investors and shareholders that they look for market areas where they can consistently make profitable returns, with low cost of entry, high reliability of return via fragmented opposition, opportunity to establish a national market-wide impact for a single market entry point. The fact that this can be Italy, Romania, Czech Republic should come as no surprise to anybody who knows and studies the European market. These markets are on a ‘historical timeline’ vs the UK, with technology catching up quickly, though with old names still dominant in a world with no chains and little market organisation. This is how, why and where success – and consistent profits – have been created over the past c20 years.
All 3 of these companies already sell to over 50 countries each, very much because of their historical credibility across Europe. This is where sharp sports chains want to expand. Our view is that you should so with European eyes, not English ones. Why slowly build a local store in every town, when you can dominate and leverage market moves with a single destination outlet and national coverage?
What a brand, company, strategy can do and what it does do are very different things. It is easy to believe – indeed brands must believe – that their brand is special. That their rucksack is better than everyone else’s. It isn’t. The changing behaviour of scale global manufacturers is ensuring homogenisation, rewarding pan-continental scale, reducing interest in OEM and increasing focus on ODM. The LA MINCIO e-bay account can be operated and supplied from anywhere in the world, who would know?
This makes one of the most powerful weapons B2C sales momentum. Buying access to market via low-cost strategic acquisition of a very limited number of disproportionately powerful single retail entities is by far the most cost-effective investment strategy currently in our view. Pure Fishing buying the expensive, puffed-up Svendsen is the opposite of what we would advise. There is simply no need to splurge money on heavy-lifting structural costs when light-footed market penetration brings so much more handsome pound-for-pound rewards. The skill is in knowing what is different and why.
Some of the European market background moves we discussed, strategic shifts and actions of other major fishing players are referred to in our recent TACKLE TRADE WORLD columns, editorials and articles:
The market is changing fast. As always it is about knowing why x purchase is better than y purchase. Where things are moving tomorrow, why a certain action gives you an advantage, why certain profitable revenue streams are more future-proofed than others and why £1 spent in Bucharest might be better spent than £1 in Berlin. We know this because it is what c25 years of our European fishing actions have been focused on. Our only job – from the outset – was to identify which clients were different and why.
We regularly hear from growing, scale companies looking for further profitable expansion:
‘It is a matter of public record that we are looking at European expansion. We have the funds available and want to do something.’
We have many Corporate Finance Projects on our table. We will ensure that any project we offer you is carefully studied and designed to give you the best possible chance of success. Any purchase will have had careful Due Diligence undertaken and will be best suited to your current needs. Your success will be our success.
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