05 December 2023
The Wichard Group, specialising in the design, manufacture and distribution of products for the marine and industrial markets, has acquired Axxon Composites, a renowned company specialising in the manufacture of composite masts, booms and rigging.
This acquisition marks a crucial step in the Wichard Group’s growth strategy, reinforcing its commitment to innovation and quality.
Axxon Composites, renowned for its expertise in the manufacture of high-performance composite parts, will bring its unique know-how to the Wichard Group’s portfolio of brands.
One of the strengths of this acquisition lies in the strategic complementarity with the Lorima brand, already owned by the Wichard Group since 2019.
With these two key players, the Wichard Group will be able to address all market segments. Lorima will thus be able to strengthen its presence in the mega-yacht, ocean racing and cruising catamaran segments above 65/70 feet.
As for Axxon Composites, it will consolidate its leading position in the cruising and racing sailboat segment below 60 feet.
This new acquisition will also complete the product offering – aluminum masts and booms – represented by the Sparcraft brand.
Finally, its arrival will help strengthen the Wichard Group’s global production capacities, with the aim of improving customer service and fostering numerous industrial and commercial synergies. By means of an industrial agreement, collaboration between Axxon Composites and the Wichard Group had already begun, enabling efficient and rapid future integration within the Group.
Following the recent acquisition of Australian equipment manufacturer Ronstan, the Wichard Group now represents annual sales of 110 million euros and 650 employees.
“We are delighted to welcome Axxon to the Wichard Group,” stated Jean-Claude Ibos, Chairman Wichard Group.
“This acquisition enables us to offer our customers a wide range of carbon masts. We are able to equip both racing and cruising and merchant vessels in sizes ranging from 35 to over 150-feet.
“At the end of 2023, we will be finalising the constitution of a coherent, high-quality industrial offer, which will enable us to position ourselves widely in the deck equipment market for sailing boats, but also in the industrial world, whenever safety and performance are required.
“I’m excited that Axxon is joining the Wichard Group, enabling it to become a major player in carbon masts. I’m sure that Axxon will contribute to the Group’s success.”
Axxon was born of the meeting of three men: Eric Duchemin, a world-renowned expert in carbon mast manufacturing with over 30 years’ experience, Philippe Boclet, a composite manufacturer with over 25 years’ experience in Romania, and Marius Tolbas, the company’s operational director.
Starting from a blank sheet of paper in 2010, Axxon has become the leader in the OEM market for carbon masts between 35 and 80-feet in Europe, thanks to the knowhow and technological mastery combined with the skill and enthusiasm of its people, who are the company’s primary strength. Axxon will complement Lorima, which operates in the market for larger masts for ocean racing and merchant marine.
Philippe Boclet About the Wichard Group Formed around the century-old company Wichard, the eponymous group boasts a strong positioning based on performance and safety. The Wichard Group owns prestigious brands (Wichard, Ronstan, Profurl, Sparcraft, Facnor, Lorima, Peguet / Maillon Rapide and Courant), enabling it to offer a wide range of products: aluminium and carbon masts, marine and industrial fittings, winches, tracks, sail furling systems, ropes and PPE, customised parts for industry.
With its teams of employees, its two subsidiaries (in the USA and Australia) and its distribution networks, the Wichard Group is a recognised international player in its fields of activity.
The Wichard Group is owned by the French private equity firm Azulis in association with part of the management.