back Illustration with Manutan and Findel logos

Manutan acquires Findel to become a European leader in the distribution of school and educational equipment

19 March 2024

Manutan, one of European leaders in BtoB e-commerce, specialising in the distribution of equipment and supplies to businesses and local authorities, is pleased to announce the full acquisition of Findel, a major distributor of school and educational products on the UK market. This acquisition will strengthen the Group’s position in the education sector and consolidate its European presence, resulting in an even greater choice of solutions for its customers. 

Findel, a leader in the education market

Findel, a medium-sized enterprise based in Manchester, provides more than 32,000 products for nurseries, secondary schools and colleges in the UK, and exports to more than 130 countries, catering to a full range of general education needs, including science subjects, sport and school infrastructure. 

First founded in 1817, Findel operates under five different brands, both generalist and specialist, which enjoy strong customer recognition: Hope, GLS, Philip Harris, Davies Sports, and EuHu, a digital platform offering educational content specially designed for teachers and educators. The quality of its customer service and its successful move into e-commerce have made Findel a benchmark partner. 

In 2023, the company recorded annual sales of €126 million (91% in the UK and 9% internationally), with over 300 employees.

Strengthening the Manutan Group's Local Authorities Division

This acquisition is the tangible expression of Manutan's determination to expand its Local Authorities Division in Europe. Until now, the Division has been present exclusively on the French market, with the brands Manutan Collectivités, Papeteries Pichon and Casal Sport. With Findel’s acquisition, the Division will account for 30%* of the Group's total sales, with some 440,000 products and around 750 staff.

Aligned business models: combining the power of digital with personalised customer support

This acquisition will enable the Group to:

  • Strengthen Manutan's international dimension by raising its European sales figures to 50%* of its global turnover
  • Enrich its product offering and create synergies in Manutan's most strategic ranges
  • Consolidate its relationships with suppliers by offering them new growth opportunities
  • Federate social and environmental initiatives to create a yet more responsible model.

Xavier Guichard, Chairman of the Manutan Group, explains: "Building on our strong growth in recent years, we are very happy to be acquiring Findel, whose culture — centred on human development, performance and solidarity — is fully in sync with our own convictions. We also share the same business model, combining the strengths of digital technology (our e-commerce solutions) with a human approach that offers advice and personalised services." 

Chris Mahady, CEO of Findel, adds: "I am delighted to be joining forces with Manutan, one of the major players in the sector. I am convinced that pooling our skills and know-how will open up new horizons for growth and enhance the quality of the services we deliver to our customers."

Manutan was assisted in this acquisition by Transactions & Compagnie, Cripps, King&Spalding and PricewaterhouseCoopers.