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An owner focusing on building a great company

Henrik Zadig, CEO of Pierce, describes Procuritas as an owner on a mission to build great companies.

Incredible companies such as Google, Apple, Amazon, Hewlett-Packard, and The Walt Disney Company have one thing in common: They were all launched in a garage. The same story goes for the online retailer Pierce AB. When Procuritas invested in Pierce in 2014, the company had then already come a long way since its earliest days in January 2009, when it was a 4-person operation run out of a garage in Sweden.

Today, Pierce operates online stores under the brands 24MX, XLMoto and Sledstore in 17 European countries within the motorcycle parts and accessories market. With offices in three countries, annual sales of EUR 120 million and a growth of 30 to 40 percent year-on-year, Pierce is the largest and fastest growing MC-focused online retailer in Europe.

“Over many years we have delivered  rapid and profitable growth, primarily organic, by introducing new products and brands to our customers. At the same time, we have succeeded in continuously developing the company strategy, internal processes, technology, and infrastructure. This is challenging for a fast-expanding company, but we have received great support from our owners at Procuritas in managing this,” Zadig says.

An excellent match

Henrik Zadig took the role as CEO of Stockholm-based Pierce AB in September 2016, leaving the position as Senior Vice President and General Manager for the European online division of Staples. Previously he also held different leadership positions over many years in American Express and as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company.

“Meeting with the company and Procuritas, it quickly felt like an excellent match. These were people I could enjoy working with”.

When entering Pierce, Zadig found a strong culture in place, but there was a need for better structure, processes, and capabilities to handle future expansions.

“The need is typical for entrepreneur companies. We needed to ensure that the company was not dependent on individuals or other elements that would make it vulnerable to change. Having this now in place, we will continue on our profitable growth journey.”

Sounding board

Zadig describes Procuritas as a good sounding board for both himself and the leadership team, and elaborates on how Procuritas supports the company in many ways:

“Like other fast-growing companies, Pierce has needed financial backing to deliver on the growth strategy. With the support of Procuritas, we have also strengthened the competence of the board of directors and the leadership team, which is also central to manage a continuously growing business operating across many different countries. We also receive ongoing support from strategic-thinking owners with high integrity. We find the Procuritas team to be approachable and truly engaged in the mission of building a great company.”

He says that the latter has been an important factor: A long-term perspective that he finds rare for private equity funds, which are often criticized for being driven by a more short-term approach.

“I recognize Procuritas long-term perspective both in one-to-one conversations with them and how they act upon us as a portfolio company. Sharing a mission of building a great company is also important for the leadership team and the rest of the Pierce organization”.

Pierce is now well-positioned to continue with its profitable growth journey. An expansion of the company’s storage and logistics center in Poland was completed in 2019, the Pierce online community of motorcycle enthusiasts is larger than ever, and new offices are being set up.

“We find ourselves in a strong position in a large, but very fragmented industry. We aim to continue to grow our online business, but gradually shift the focus to somewhat increased profitability moving forward,” Zadig says.

 

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