BY APB Staff on 13 Jun 2024

Axopar has confirmed its ambition is to develop the company into a leading composite manufacturer.

Axopar Acquires Composite Manufacturer Markos (1)

Axopar Group has acquired a majority shareholding in composite OEM boat manufacturer Markos, through its newly founded subsidiary, AX Composites.

Markos, located in Slupsk, Poland, specialises in building componentry for heavy industry, energy, marine, and leisure industries. The firm manufactures fibreglass-reinforced composite products used in boats, motor vehicles, transport, and wind power. Its net sales were over €71m in 2023, and it employs over 1,200 people.

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Finnish adventure boat specialist Axopar, which turned 10 this year, says this acquisition marks a step towards its ambition to become a global leader in composite technology manufacturing.

Despite a market slowdown, Axopar is accelerating, achieving a 15 per cent revenue growth in 2023 while also increasing its profitability.
Axopar says its acquisition of Markos shows its commitment to the long-term development of the company and its operations.

“We promised that our 10th anniversary year would be full of surprises,” says Jan-Erik Viitala, founding partner of Axopar. “The investment in Markos stands as one of the most significant announcements during this milestone year.

Axopar Acquires Composite Manufacturer Markos (1)

“A strategic expansion of this kind is more than just an investment; it is a testament to our commitment to constantly taking steps forward, innovating and growing.”

With this investment, Axopar gains access to Markos’ state-of-the-art composite manufacturing facilities, technologies, know-how and skilled workforce in Poland.

Axopar says this will enable it to enhance its R&D and production capabilities, streamline its operations, increase efficiency, and keep meeting demand for its products.

There will not be any immediate changes to Markos’ current business and relations as Markos continues to serve its customers, including other boat brands, as usual.

Axopar has confirmed its ambition is to develop the company into a leading composite manufacturer, together with Markos, and to deliver and produce components for boat brands other than Axopar.

Axopar Acquires Composite Manufacturer Markos (1)

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“Taking pride in one’s employer is an integral part of Markos’ company culture, and we seek to foster this culture and the company’s strong employer brand going forward,” says Ari-Pekka Saarikangas, CEO of Axopar.

“We are very excited to announce this strategic investment that aligns perfectly with our commitment to delivering exceptional value and disruptive innovations for our worldwide customers to enjoy in the future.”

Since the beginning of 2014, Axopar has also been in a long-term partnership with another OEM, Slepsk. The firm says it will continue to deepen its collaboration with Slepsk in the future, making Poland one of the hubs of manufacturing Axopar-branded boats in Europe.

“As family-owned companies, Markos and Axopar share the same values when it comes to building brands based on experience, solid reputation and dedication,” says Szymon Koseski, CEO of Markos.

“Strengthening our relationship with Axopar enables us to enter new markets with our products. This investment is a matter of pride for our company and team, and a great distinction for the entire region in which we are located.”

Axopar Acquires Composite Manufacturer Markos (1)

Saarikangas adds: “Markos is one of Europe’s leading sustainable composite manufacturing and boat building companies, and we recognise the increasing importance of investing in sustainability, and together we aim to spearhead this movement.”

Despite the transaction’s announcement, the specific financial details, including the sales price of shares, remain undisclosed.

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