North Technology Group deal expected to be confirmed today
by Dan Ibsen, Sail-World Europe on 1 Mar 2014
While rumors abound that a British private equity fund has acquired US owned North Technology Group, the parent company of North Sails, the largest sail maker in the world, for an amount believed to be around US$ 130 million post after existing debt has been retired it seems the deal will be confirmed today according to sources close to the company.
The private equity fund Oakley Capital Investments, which is looking to take control of North Technology Group was founded by 44 year old British sailor and entrepreneur Peter Dubens.
Dubens normally keeps a very low profile in public, and is one of England's most successful business builders and developers over the past 20 years. His first major business success was t-shirts that change color with body temperature, since then he has his fortune by investing in a very wide range of companies and business areas, to telecommunications, to online betting and much more - the list is endless.
Dubens bought the Internet provider Pipex and resold to Tiscali to everyone’s satisfaction. . He also developed 365 Media, a dot.com business which became a major entertainment and news service, and later sold to Sky £100 million.
The North Sail company was established way back in 1957 and has evolved into the world's leading sail making company also covering a number of other companies within the maritime industry : North Sails Direct, North U, North Sails gear, North TPT (thin - ply technology) , North Sails sportswear, Southern Spars etc.
It seems likely that Dubens sees the obvious long term potential in the composites technology rather than the comparatively small marine industry market.
North Sails are in already heavily involved in the aerospace industry with their TPT composites technolgy and are at the bleeding edge of automotive racing They have been involved with Red Bull F1 cars for two seasons now, and McLaren this year also.
The sale of North Technology Group would not have any direct influence major regional groups like North Europe, North New Zealand and North Australia as these are all independent companies.
Watch this space!!