Axopar’s Strategic Acquisition: Owning Markos to Boost Production and Innovation

Axopar Secures Majority Stake in its biggest OEM Markos Sp. z.o.o.

Finnish Axopar Group made a significant move on June 4, 2024, by acquiring a majority shareholding in Markos Sp. z.o.o. through its newly founded subsidiary, AX Composites Ltd. This strategic acquisition marks Axopar’s ambitious step toward becoming a global leader in composite technology manufacturing.

Commenting on this bold business move, Ross Turner, Eyachts Managing Director explains, “Acquiring a majority shareholding of one of Europe’s most progressive and successful composite OEM boat manufacturers, Markos, means that Axopar have moved from customer to owner, bringing with it all the benefits of even greater control over production, quality and cost of manufacturing. Markos is a power-house of high-quality European boat manufacture as well as composite technology across a wide range of industries so their R&D, expertise and vast manufacturing capacity solidifies Axopar’s position as Europe’s fastest growing boat brand. Axopar has been recognised in the Financial Times FT1000 list as one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies – their business acumen as well as the excellence and innovation of their marine products is further reinforced by this bold and strategic move.” 

Boat RAND Roamer 29
Axopar, Eyachts Australia and New Zealand
Axopar Range Sydney Harbour

Strengthening the foundation   

Markos, located in Slupsk, Poland, specializes in building componentry for heavy industry as well as the energy, marine and leisure industries and is a leading manufacturer of fiberglass-reinforced composite products used in, for example, boats, motor vehicles, transport, and wind power. The infrastructure at Markos is unique, and the company has over 30 years of experience in component design, construction, and fabrication. The net sales of Markos were over EUR 71 million in 2023, and the company employs over 1,200 professionals. 

A major milestone in Axopar’s 10th anniversary year

In line with Axopar’s growth strategy, the investment is a strategic move marking a significant expansion for Axopar’s business, strengthening its leading position in the adventure boat industry. Despite a market slowdown, Axopar is accelerating, achieving a 15% revenue growth in 2023 while also increasing its profitability. The acquisition of Markos shows Axopar’s commitment to the long-term development of the company and its operations. 

“We promised that our 10th anniversary year would be full of surprises. The investment in Markos stands as one of the most significant announcements during this milestone year. A strategic expansion of this kind is more than just an investment; it is a testament to our commitment to constantly taking steps forward, innovating and growing,” says Jan-Erik Viitala, founding partner of Axopar.

Boat RAND Roamer 29
Axopar, Eyachts Australia and New Zealand
Axopar, Eyachts Australia and New Zealand

Future growth

With this investment, Axopar gains access to Markos’ state-of-the-art composite manufacturing facilities, technologies, know-how and their highly skilled workforce in Poland, renowned for their expertise in original equipment manufacturer (OEM) production. This will enable Axopar to enhance its R&D and production capabilities, streamline its operations, increase efficiency, and meet the growing demand for its innovative products.

There will not be any immediate changes to Markos’ current business and relations, as Markos continues to serve its customers, including other boat brands, as usual. Furthermore, this investment and the mutual development of Markos’ business will benefit all of Markos’ customers and strengthen Markos’ growth plans for the future.

Axopar’s ambition is to develop the company into one of the world’s leading composite manufacturers, together with Markos, and to deliver and produce components for boat brands other than Axopar.

Commitment to excellence and innovation in Poland

“Taking pride in one’s employer is an integral part of Markos’ company culture, and we seek to foster this culture and the company’s strong employer brand also going forward. We are very excited to announce this strategic investment that aligns perfectly with our commitment to delivering exceptional value and disruptive innovations for our worldwide customers to enjoy in the future,” says Ari-Pekka Saarikangas, CEO of Axopar.

Since the beginning of 2014, Axopar has also been in a long-term partnership with another OEM, MPPB J.W. Slepsk, and will continue to deepen its collaboration with Slepsk in the future, making Poland one of the hubs of manufacturing Axopar-branded boats in Europe.

Shared values

“As family-owned companies, Markos and Axopar share the same values when it comes to building brands based on experience, solid reputation and dedication. Strengthening our relationship with Axopar enables us to enter new markets with our products. This investment is a matter of pride for our company and team, and a great distinction for the entire region in which we are located,” summarizes Szymon Koseski, CEO of Markos.