UK Sailmakers’ loft owners buy UK International
by UK Sailmakers on 1 Aug 2013
One of the best known sailmakers in the world has been subject to a management buyout. UK Sailmakers International (UKI), the owner of the UK Sailmakers name, trademarks and proprietary sailmaking software, has just been purchased by a large group of UK Sailmakers’ loft owners. With the individual lofts becoming owners of the brand, the global group of over 50 lofts will grow stronger and attract more lofts to the group in major sailing centres around the world.
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This will be a unique business model in sailmaking that will tie together the individually owned lofts more closely. With the lofts becoming partners in the company, there will be more personal capital invested in making the group stronger as profits from the company will be reinvested to strengthen the brand. Charles 'Butch' Ulmer, the company’s founder and owner for the last 38 years, will be part of the new ownership group and will continue to own and operate the City Island, N.Y., loft.
The legacy of UKI dates back to 1946 when Ulmer’s father, Charles 'Buster' Ulmer, opened the first Ulmer Sails loft on City Island. In the following years, Ulmer Sails played a major role in various 12-meter America’s Cup campaigns as the company developed innovative design technology and manufacturing techniques.
Over the subsequent decades, Ulmer Sails transitioned to UK Sailmakers and made its mark on the sailing community by developing the Tape-Drive® sail construction method, the first load-bearing sail technique that provided both performance and durability. Subsequently, the group has been one of the pioneers of high-performance continuous yarn string sails with its line of Titanium® sails. While remaining on the cutting-edge of sail developments, UK Sailmakers has continued to stress the importance of customer service— helping sailors select the right sail for their needs and then servicing them throughout their lifespan.
'For the first time a group of independently-owned sail lofts will control the reins of their central organization and have a say in how that organization operates,' said Ulmer. 'This will be a unique experiment and one that has never been attempted before. I expect that having such an experienced group of sailmakers involved in the company’s management will enhance our product line and positively impact what UK Sailmakers delivers to our customers. Having heard just a few of the ideas being considered by the management team, I am certain this will be the case. I intend to remain involved in sailmaking and am looking forward to my new role as an advisor to the new management group.'
Under its new ownership structure, UK Sailmakers International has been bought by UK Sailmakers Technology, AB, incorporated in Sweden. 'As one of the major shareholders, I am proud to announce the purchase of UK International from Butch,' said Lennart ‘Dallas’ Dahlström. 'We are confident about the future of UK Sailmakers knowing that 19 UK lofts owners, working together can further strengthen the UK brand that we now own.' Dahlström will serve as the interim CEO to oversee work groups concentrating on developing new software, focusing on sail design, customer service, marketing, sailor education and more. 'I am convinced that the collective knowledge and commitment of our group of owners will continue to offer sailors a viable alternative to other large sailmaking brands.'
Contact: Adam Loory, UK Sailmakers International email@example.com +1 718-885-2028
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