Hiking looks better than oil to private equity firm Altor

Private equity firm Altor is betting that fitness and outdoor activities have a brighter future in Norway than another of the Nordic country’s specialties -- oil.

The Swedish investor, which became the biggest owner in struggling Norwegian sports retailer XXL ASA last year, has so far racked up losses on its investment as the entire industry suffers from fierce competition from web-based sales and a mild winter. But Altor is aiming to turn the company around and says the market will improve.

“XXL is by far the best platform in the Nordics,” Hugo Maurstad, partner at Altor Equity Partners AS and chairman of XXL, said by phone. “It’s an attractive opportunity.”

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