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Oakley Capital to buy North Sails Europe -merge with Norths Sails USA

by Sail-World Europe on 2 Jun 2014
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British investment group Oakley Capital has today announced, it has reached agreement to acquire North Sails Europe A/S and North Sails A/S (together 'North Sails Europe'), the exclusive licensee and distributor for North Sails’ sailing technology and products in Europe and New Zealand. The acquisition is expected to complete on June 30 2014 and will complement Oakley Capital’s March 2014 acquisition of the US based North Technology Group.

'We are delighted to be backing an iconic brand like North Sails,' said Peter Dubens, Managing Partner of Oakley Capital. 'The acquisition of North Sails’ European distributor and licensee will allow the company to provide seamless service, products and technology to its clients on a global basis.'

Through the sales, design and sail care teams, the North Sails lofts in Europe and New Zealand have worked closely with America's Cup, Vendee Globe and Volvo Ocean Race teams to help them win on some of sailing’s biggest stages worldwide.

'We are so pleased that North Sails in North America and North Sails in Europe are finally one,' said Tom Whidden, CEO of North Technology Group. 'Thanks to Oakley Capital's investment in North Sails, this common ownership and unified management will allow North Sails to better pool its valuable resources and talent from a worldwide team of sailmaking experts. This single global vision will create synergies and enhance sailors'
experiences throughout the world.'

'Taking a lesson from our time on the water, constant improvement is critical to staying ahead of the competition,' explains North Sails Group global president Ken Read. 'This merger insures North Sails’ ability to improve at a greater rate than ever before. In addition, it ensures North Sails remains at the forefront of sailmaking development. A stronger bond between our teams in North America with our teams in Europe and New Zealand will allow North Sails to take another dominate step forward in more efficient design and manufacturing, as well as a more consistent sales and service approach. It’s an exciting time at North Sails.'

North Sails’ Europe operates sales and services sites in 13 countries and has manufacturing sites in six countries. The European based team will continue to work with clients in a variety of sailing demographics. One Design sailing and sail development will remain critical for North Sails in Europe and worldwide, designing and producing sails for approximately 150 one design keelboat and dinghy classes. North’s patented 3Di and 3DL three-dimensional sail technology will continue to be developed and delivered to thousands of boats each year. Paneled sail manufacturing will also remain at the forefront for both cruising and racing sails across Europe and New Zealand.

'I am extremely happy that Tom Whidden and our team have managed to bring the North American and European North Sails teams together under Oakley Capital’s new dynamic ownership,' said Ib Andersen, Chairman of North Sails Europe. 'The consolidation will enhance North Sails’ capacity to provide the best sails, sail care, and the leading technology in the sailing industry. While we continue to think global, North Sails is now better suited to act local.'

Oakley Capital’s investment in North Technology Group as well as this complementary acquisition of North Sails Europe will assist the management team in growing and further developing the North Sails brand to ensure it remains a leader in the marine industry.

About North Sails Europe A/S and North Sails A/S ('North Sails Europe')
North Sails Europe is the exclusive and distributor for North Sails sailing technology and products in Europe and New Zealand. North Sails Europe was founded in 1995 and operates sales and service lofts in New Zealand, France, UK, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Holland, Croatia, Hungary, and Hong Kong as well as operating manufacturing facilities in Denmark, France, UK, Italy, New Zealand and Spain.

For the year ended 31 December 2013, North Sails Europe had revenues of over EUR56m, the majority of which is recurring, being derived from the maintenance of sails and the normal replacement and upgrade cycle. The total enterprise value for the business is EUR30m.

About North Technology Group ('NTG')
North Technology Group originated with worldwide sailmaking leader North Sails in 1957. Founded by Lowell North in a garage in San Diego, USA, NTG has grown into a diverse family of companies serving marine and manufacturing markets worldwide. Each company was built on the principle of delivering advanced performance through superior technology and a commitment to quality craftsmanship and customer service. Other NTG companies include; Edgewater Power Boats, North Cutting Systems, North Thin Ply Technology, and Southern Spars, the industry leader in composite spar and rigging.

About Oakley Capital Private Equity
Oakley Capital Private Equity is an unlisted mid-market private equity fund with the aim
of providing investors with significant long term capital appreciation. The Fund's investment strategy is to focus on buy-out opportunities in industries with the potential for growth, consolidation and performance improvement. The Fund seeks to invest in companies with scale in their industry subsectors, thereby creating a sustainable earnings stream which should command a premium on exit.
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