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French Takeover Springboards Growth For High-Profile Yorkshire Sports Company

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French leisure group Abéo has acquired Prospec, the Rotherham-based manufacturer of sports cubicles and lockers, for an undisclosed sum in a deal that will spearhead the Yorkshire firm’s global growth.

hlw Keeble Hawson LogoProspec, which employs 78 people at its head office in Canklow Meadows, Rotherham, recorded a turnover of £8.5m last year. Its Marathon brand products were installed in several London 2012 Olympic venues and the business has also been commissioned for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. 

Bob Mitchell, Prospec’s managing director, who is remaining on the company’s board, said: “Abéo is a world leader in their field and this is a tremendous springboard for our growth into new markets across Europe and the USA.” 

Prospec was advised by hlw Keeble Hawson Solicitors - one of the region's biggest practices with offices in Sheffield, Leeds and Doncaster -  who were recently named by Experian as the second most active legal adviser in the Yorkshire mergers and acquisitions market.

Chris Wilson, partner at hlw Keeble Hawson, said: “Prospec is a dynamic regional success story and it has been rewarding to be part of this complex deal working with financial and legal partners on both sides of the channel.  It’s tremendous that such an inspiring Yorkshire company can forge ahead with worldwide expansion plans as an integral part of a highly respected business in the leisure sector.”

Abéo employs 600 staff in locations across France and globally. It is renowned for its gymnastic equipment (Gymnova) which was showcased at the London 2012 Olympics - and for its artificial climbing walls (Entre-Prises) and locker room layouts.

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