Textile personalization specialist Flexdev acquires Spanish competitor Aneyron

Flexdev, based in Carcassonne and Saint-Etienne, may not be a household name among sports fans, but it is behind many products associated with the Champions League, UEFA, FIFA, NBA, and NFL. It has also partnered with Formula 1 teams McLaren, Williams, and Redbull over the past two years. The company has transformed products for renowned brands such as Adidas, Puma, Nike, Decathlon, New Balance, Umbro, Kappa, Lacoste, Moncler, Oakley, Off-White, and Fanatics.With a turnover of 65 million euros and around 400 employees, Flexdev currently delivers to around 100 countries. In addition to its subsidiaries Sefa (Saint-Etienne) and Chemica (Carcassonne), the group has units in Milan (Italy), Cork (Ireland), and Manchester (England). The Manchester unit operates in the same field as Aneyron, specializing in heat transfer customization. Aneyron, headquartered in Zaragoza, Spain, employs around 40 people and generates seven million euros in revenue.

“Aneyron is the leading independent player in the sportswear personalization market in Spain, which is one of Europe’s biggest markets in this field,” explained Jocelyn Robiot, CEO of Flexdev. Robiot spent 16 years at Adidas, where she was brand and product director.”The United Kingdom is truly the number one market with a strong ‘fanwear’ culture around sports clubs. Next come France, Germany, Italy and Spain, markets with similar high levels but significantly below the size of the British market. Aneyron perfectly aligns with our strategy of geographical expansion.”

This external growth comes after a period of internal growth, with the establishment of a fully-owned production subsidiary in Turkey three months ago. “Turkey is an important textile sourcing area for Europe, and our customers were asking us to be positioned in this geographic zone,” explained the CEO.

Sights set on the Americas

This strategic move is part of Flexdev’s plan to strengthen its production capabilities and improve responsiveness by 2026. The company claims it can respond to an order of 10,000 pieces within 48 hours. The Manchester unit currently personalizes between 110,000 and 120,000 pieces per week. Flexdev, owned by the Dentressangle family holding, specializes in heat transfer technology, using thermofusible adhesive applied at 120-160°C to achieve durable markings. The company also manufactures badges, names, numbers, and logos.The French market represents 10% of Flexdev’s turnover, while other European countries account for 80%. The company also generates 10-15% of its sales from the United States, with constant growth in the NBA and NFL segments. “We also want to take advantage of the fact that the American baseball federation, like the NBA and NFL, wants to relocate certain games to Europe.”Next year, the company plans to establish another fully-owned production subsidiary in central America, potentially in Mexico, to serve clients and sponsors in North and South America.

However, sports is not the company’s only focus. Flexdev also explores the “safety wear” sector, providing custom workwear for police, military, firefighters, hospitals, and other sectors. In addition, the company has ventured into the fashion/luxury segment, offering personalization services for luggages and leather goods designed for limited edition collections, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and other special occasions.The safety wear and fashion/luxury segments currently account for 5% of sales. The structure has also identified a new area for study: concerts, festivals and events, which are coming back stronger than before the crisis.”It’s possible that we’ll turn our attention to the events industry since, if you look closely, there’s the same kind of demand that we can satisfy for some of our sports customers,” concluded the company.

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