Oakley Capital acquires North Sails Europe

Published on June 2nd, 2014

Oakley Capital Investments Limited (“OCIL” or the “Company”)
Agreement to acquire North Sails Europe A/S and North Sails A/S
June 2, 2014

Oakley Capital Investments Limited (AIM: OCL), the AIM-listed company established to provide investors with access to the investment strategy being pursued by Oakley Capital Private Equity L.P. (“Fund I”) and its successor fund, OCPE II Master L.P. (“Fund II”) announces that Fund II 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 30 June 2014 and will complement Fund II’s March 2014 acquisition of the US-based North Technology Group (“NTG”), allowing North Sails to operate on a global basis under common ownership and management.

North Sails Europe operates sales and services sites in 13 countries and has manufacturing sites in six countries. Through the sales, design and sail-care teams, North Sails in Europe and New Zealand have worked closely with America’s Cup, Vendee Globe and Volvo Ocean Race teams to help them win some of sailing’s major events.

North Sails Europe will be merged with North Technology Group, creating a global company with an enhanced capability to provide the best sails, service and sailing technology on a global basis. The European operations will remain focused on the design of North Sails exclusive 3Di and 3DL branded sails, and producing panelled sails for yachts of all sizes, both cruising and racing. In addition, “One Design” will remain a focus for North Sails in Europe, which will continue to design and produce sails for approximately 150 one-design keel boat and dinghy classes.

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.

Peter Dubens, Director, commented:

“We are delighted to be backing an iconic brand like North Sails. The acquisition of the European distributor and licensee will allow North Sails to provide seamless service, products and technology on a global basis.”

Ib Andersen, Chairman, North Sails Europe commented:

“I am extremely happy that Tom Whidden, CEO of North Technology Group, and our team have managed to bring the North American and European groups together under Oakley Capital’s new dynamic ownership. The consolidation will enhance our capacity to provide the best sails, service and the leading technology to the sailing industry.”

Tom Whidden, CEO, North Technology Group commented:

“We are so pleased that North Sails North America and North Sails Europe are finally one. This common ownership and management will allow the North Sails Group to better pool its valuable resources and talent from a worldwide team of sailmaking experts. Collaboration of design, engineering, technology and world class manufacturing will create synergies and ensure that North Sails remains at the forefront of sailmaking development. This single global vision will enhance sailors’ experiences throughout the world.”

For further information please contact:

Oakley Capital Investments Limited
+44 20 7766 6900
Peter Dubens

FTI Consulting
+44 20 3727 1233
Edward Bridges / Emily Hartman

Liberum Capital Limited (Nominated Adviser & Broker)
+44 20 3100 2000
Steve Pearce / Tom Fyson

About North Sails Europe A/S and North Sails A/S (“North Sails Europe”)

North Sails Europe is the exclusive licensee 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.

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. For more information, please visit: www.northsails.com, www.northcuttingsystems.com, www.southernspars.com, www.ewaterboats.com

About Oakley Capital Private Equity L.P. (“Fund I”) and OCPE II Master L.P. (the “Fund II”)

Oakley Capital Private Equity L.P. and its successor fund, OCPE II Master L.P., are both unlisted mid-market private equity funds with the aim of providing investors with significant long term capital appreciation. The investment strategy of both funds is to focus on buy-out opportunities in industries with the potential for growth, consolidation and performance improvement. Both funds seek to invest in companies with scale in their industry subsectors, thereby creating a sustainable earnings stream which should command a premium on exit.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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