Akademibokhandeln is the leading bookstore chain in Sweden with market presence through more than 100 physical stores and online through the fully-owned e-store Bokus.

During Accent Equity's ownership, the company's EBITDA increased by 60% through investments in digital transformation alongside several other successful initiatives.
Retail/online, consumer books and accessories
Type of investment:
Corporate restructuring
Investment theme:
Operational enhancement
Akademibokhandeln was, at the time of investment, the dominating bookstore chain in Sweden with a network of 124 stores, of which 84 were fully-owned and 40 franchise stores. In addition, the e-commerce channel, Bokus, had a strong and growing presence.

Accent Equity was able to acquire Akademibokhandeln from KF (the Swedish Cooperative Union) in 2015 following KF's decision to focus on food retailing.
Key initiatives and results during Accent Equity's ownership
Digital transformation of the company including launch of omni channel offering, increased back-end integration between Akademibokhandeln (stores) and Bokus (online), development of own audio book streaming concept, investments in new business intelligence tools, etc
Extensive concept development in physical stores including; centralised purchasing and category management, investments in enhanced store layout, evolved children's book department, development and partial insourcing of non-books category, launch of new franchise concept
Launch of own appraised customer loyalty program attracting more than 1 million members during its first year
Increased focus on growth and profitability, including opening of several new stores as well as closure of non-profitable stores
EBITDA increased by 60% during the first two years of Accent Equity's ownership period, enabling the listing of a corporate bond on Nasdaq Stockholm which provided the company with further expansion capital
With the support from Accent Equity we have been able to build a business that now has an extremely strong offering in all sales channels where our customers want to purchase books and related products
- Maria Hamrefors, Akademibokhandeln's CEO 2013–2018
Exit rationale and process

Shortly after the bond listing in 2017, Accent Equity was approached by Volati, an industrial investment company with a long-term ownership horizon. Volati had identified Akademibokhandeln as an ideal company for establishing a new business area within Volati, and Akademibokhandeln was subsequently exited in May 2017.