Industry 4.0 Fund

Fanatics acquires Italian merch company EPI as part of European growth strategy

Sports conglomerate Fanatics has announced the completion of its acquisition of Italian sports merchandise company EPI, as it looks to continue cementing its presence in the European football market.

EPI operates both official online and retail stores for several Italian football clubs and international sports brands, including the likes of AC Milan, Bologna FC and Juventus.

As part of the deal, which was approved with the Quadrivio Group’s private equity fund Industry 4.0 Fund, Fanatics will also acquire The Pitch Football Store, a football specialist omnichannel retailer.

Via the acquisition, Fanatics said EPI’s partners will benefit from its global presence and range of capabilities, such as its data-driven insights platform, venue operation experience and wholesale distribution footprint.

EPI will join the company’s Fanatics Commerce division, and all of its approximately 150 employees will continue to report to CEO Lorenzo Forte, who will be taking on the new role of CEO of Fanatics Italy.

The acquisition comes as Fanatics looks to continue building up its foothold in football, as it already counts many clubs and countries as partners, including Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and England (The FA).

The company operates over 60 facilities globally, with the addition of EPI further bolstering its capabilities across Southern Europe.

Fanatics has also been on a mission to expand its model into key international markets, recently striking up partnerships with more varied sports clubs and organisations, such as Formula 1, International Olympic Committee and UEFA.