Global Equestrian Group has entered into an agreement to acquire Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), which was founded in 2006 and has contributed ever since to transforming Wellington, Florida, into the world’s premiere destination for equestrian enthusiasts with competitions and events across more than 40 weeks every year. PBIEC arranges these events and is behind the Winter Equestrian Festival, which is held at PBIEC over 12 weeks and is the world’s largest and longest-running equestrian sports event with more than 7,000 horses, riders from 43 different countries and more than 250,000 spectators. Global Equestrian Group is already represented in Wellington after having invested approximately EUR 19 million in equestrian center Windsome Farm, which the Group acquired in early 2020.
PBIEC is the globally leading organizer of equestrian sports events with modern facilities comprising 11 grand prix rings and 11 practice rings as well as 450 permanent stalls, which are supplemented during the winter high season with tent stalls to bring PBIEC’s total volume to more than 2,000 stalls. In addition, PBIEC provides participants and spectators with a variety of exclusive restaurants, VIP areas and other first-class facilities. PBIEC has 50 full-time employees and a staff of around 600 people in the high season. The company’s revenue is primarily derived from stable sources of income such as participant fees, stabling and care for horses during competitions as well as sponsor agreements and sales of food, souvenirs etc.
“Palm Beach International Equestrian Center is a fantastic brand within equestrian sports events, and we are pleased to welcome founder Mark Bellissimo and the many skilled employees to Global Equestrian Group. Together, we will strengthen the offering to the many equestrian enthusiasts in our current markets and create a global market leader with the strength and reach to spread our passion and expand our business to new markets. We will leverage each other’s knowledge, competencies and brands to create an even stronger company with a unique global position in dressage, show jumping and events,” says Andreas Helgstrand, co-owner and CEO of Global Equestrian Group.
After the acquisition of PBIEC, Global Equestrian Group will have a total of 250 full-time employees and annual revenue at the level of EUR 135 million with operating profit (EBITDA) reaching around EUR 45 million. Global Equestrian Group will have a strong market position in the US where the Group will generate approximately half of its revenue going forward. The Group will have activities in dressage, show jumping and events as well as other equestrian sports investments, including jewellery company Helgstrand Jewellery and equestrian accessories and apparel company Kingsland Equestrian.
In addition to the joint presence in Wellington, the partnership will benefit from knowledge sharing and a strengthened positioning of PBIEC within show jumping where Ludger Beerbaum Stables has a unique market position. Furthermore, the partnership enables the Group to leverage PBIEC’s experience and create a European equestrian sports event company. Following the acquisition of PBIEC, Global Equestrian Group has completed a refinancing of the Group with an external lender.
”The acquisition of PBIEC establishes Global Equestrian Group as a true global market leader in equestrian sports with a strong financial foundation and exciting growth opportunities. We are pleased to be able to contribute to the progress with our practical experience and targeted investments in acquisitions, which have accelerated the strategic development of the Group from solely focusing on dressage to including show jumping with the acquisition of Ludger Beerbaum Stables and covering the important business area of competitions and events,” says Kaspar Kristiansen, Managing Director, Waterland Nordic.
The day-to-day management of PBIEC and Global Equestrian Group remain unchanged, and Mark Bellissimo will co-invest in Global Equestrian Group. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.