Livingstone’s Consumer sector team has advised the senior management of Musto, the British specialist sailing and country apparel brand on the acquisition by Helly Hansen, the leading technical outdoor brand from Phoenix Equity Partners and other shareholders. With this transaction, Helly Hansen will become a global leader in professional sailing apparel, complementing its existing leadership position in professional skiing apparel and enhancing its presence in the UK outdoor market.
Musto is the British brand of choice for professional yachtsmen and world-class dinghy sailors. Granted two British Royal Warrants and an official supplier to both the British National Sailing Team and the British Equestrian Federation through to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Musto leverages its British roots and sailing heritage to create high quality, cutting edge technical products that enjoy a hard-earned reputation for innovation and performance.
Peter Smith, CEO of Musto, will continue to lead the business, and report to Paul Stoneham, CEO of Helly Hansen, who will also become Executive Chairman of Musto.
Paul Stoneham, CEO of Helly Hansen, said: “Musto accelerates Helly Hansen’s long-term aspiration to become a global leader in sailing, matching our leadership position in professional skiing. Our focus will be to expand Musto internationally as an iconic British lifestyle brand with deep technical sailing credentials alongside Helly Hansen. The two brands are highly complementary and hold in common a deep regard for the sailing community and commitment to preserving our oceans.”
Hugh Lenon, Chairman of Phoenix Equity Partners and Musto said: “Phoenix has been a long-term supporter and admirer of the Musto brand. We are delighted that Peter and his team have found a new owner that will continue to support the brand’s development, particularly in international markets. We wish Musto and Helly Hansen every success as they embark together on the next phase of Musto’s growth.”
Peter Smith, CEO of Musto said: “This is an incredibly exciting next phase in Musto’s evolution and we are invigorated by the prospect of working with a business as complementary to our own as Helly Hansen. We look forward to leveraging Helly Hansen’s global network and R&D capabilities, as we grow our market leading position in sailing, country and outdoor apparel. Livingstone provided great advice and guidance to the team whenever we needed them and their tireless support helped the deal to proceed smoothly and quickly. It has been a genuine pleasure to work with Simon and Jamie who added tremendous value alongside our other advisers in a big team effort.”
Simon Cope-Thompson, Partner at Livingstone, commented: “We are delighted to have helped Peter and the management team on this deal. The businesses are an excellent strategic fit, and I am confident that Musto will benefit greatly from being part of the Helly Hansen group.”