Based in Crete, Greece, Cosmos Sport was founded in 1982 by Fragiskos Tsiknakis and has developed to a leading multi-brand sportswear retailer in Greece.
At the time of EHRF’s investment, in December 2019, the Company had a retail network of 43 retail points – 39 physical stores and 4 e-shops while FY19 revenue stood at €47.5m out of which c. 40% was generated through digital channels. In line with EHRF’s core strategy, the funds invested were directed to the Company’s growth plan, which primarily included the expansion of its retail network and the strengthening of its digital platform.
The Fund’s capital contribution and strategic support focused on the implementation of the Company’s expansion plan (physical network increased to 60 stores), the enhancement of its brand positioning and quality, the strengthening of its logistics systems and on advancing its customers “digital experience” and omnichannel positioning.
Furthermore, the Company expanded its footprint regionally by establishing a new wholly owned subsidiary in Cyprus where it has already opened 3 new stores and an e-shop in the country.
Over the last two years, the Company has achieved a strong financial performance with almost double top line growth followed by very strong profitability (EBITDA almost tripled during the same period).
Apostolos Tamvakakis, Founder and Managing Partner of EOS Capital Partners, said: “Two years ago, EOS decided to proceed with an investment in Cosmos Sport, a Greek growth SME company that was well positioned in athleisure, a sub segment of the retail sector.
From the very beginning of our cooperation with the management team & shareholders (Tsiknakis family and Mr. Nikos Varvadoukas), we shared the same values, the same vision, and the very promising growth prospects for the sector, investing heavily in the Company’s human capital, physical network, logistics, international footprint as well as in its digital platform. The results have been spectacular in terms of its network expansion and operating profitability as well as at a strategic and operational level, despite the challenging economic conditions due to the pandemic.
The key component of this success was our mutual trust and respect. This performance attracted the interest of JD Sports, one of the world’s leading retailers in the athleisure sector.
I am convinced that Cosmos Sport will continue to outperform under the strong leadership of the Tsiknakis family and the guidance of JD Sports, its new majority shareholder. We would like to sincerely thank the Tsiknakis family and JD Sports for their trust and the excellent cooperation.
For EOS, this first exit in such a short period of time, stands as a great milestone in our investment history, reaffirming the core rationale behind our strategy, to play a key role in the reshaping of the Greek SME market, delivering high returns to our investors.“
EOS is the external Alternative Investment Fund Manager of EHRF, a private equity fund with approx. € 150m in AUM, focusing on growth capital investments in Greek SMEs across all sectors. The key cornerstone for the creation of EHRF, was its participation in the Equifund Fund of Funds program. EquiFund investment platform is an initiative created by cooperation between the Hellenic Republic and EIF. It is financed by the Greek ESIF Fund of Funds TAESYM under the European Union / European Regional Development Fund / Operational Programme EPANEK, the EIF and private investors, with the objective to facilitate access to finance, mainly to SMEs, by developing the Venture Capital/Private Equity (“VC/PE”) in Greece in cooperation with selected Financial Intermediaries.
EOS investment strategy focuses on SMEs with a healthy financial position and a solid value proposition looking for capital to achieve their growth potential either organically or inorganically through mergers and acquisitions.