Clearwater International advises Maki on its sale to Capidea

Clearwater International has advised Industri Udvikling and Maki’s management team, led by Michael Jensen, former CEO and sole owner Niels Dahl-Nielsen on the secondary-buyout backed by private equity fund Capidea in a transaction where management retains a significant ownership stake. The deal sees private equity fund Industri Udvikling successfully exit its investment.

Maki, headquartered in Silkeborg, Denmark is a leading distributor of toys for children in the Nordics. With a portfolio of over 60 strong international toy brands Maki serves more than 5,000 retail chains, web shops and independent retailers across Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

The point-of-sale (POS) market for toys in the Nordic region is characterised by high fragmentation both among physical retailers and e-commerce. The high POS market fragmentation across the Nordic region drives the need for distributors to aggregate brands in a deep and wide brand portfolio to capitalise on economics of scale. The intra-Nordic diversity with different languages, cultures, regulation, and currencies combined with a fragmented retail landscape increases the complexity even further. Maki has established themselves strongly across the entire Nordic region, with the largest market being the Danish and Swedish markets.

Since Clearwater International advised Maki on its MBO supported by Industri Udvikling in 2017, Maki has grown significantly, realising strong top-line growth while maintaining high margins through focus on developing brand portfolio, expanding local sales efforts and operational excellence.

Capidea is a Danish private equity fund making long-term investments in competitive small and medium-sized Danish companies, primarily within trading, distribution, service, IT and manufacturing.