Deals by design
Time for a break
The last 12 months have seen significant activity in the UK holiday park market with Clearwater International continuing to be very active in the sector.
In January Clearwater International advised Away Resorts, a UK holiday park business backed by LDC, in its acquisition of Sandy Balls, a single holiday park in the South of England. Clearwater were particularly involved in raising new debt finance from Permira Debt Managers. The acquisition took the total number of parks operated by Away Resorts to six.
In 2016 Clearwater International also advised Palatine Private Equity on its investment in Verdant Leisure, a holiday park operator offering self-catering holidays and holiday ownership in a number of parks in the North of England and Scotland. Clearwater International’s advice included raising a bespoke debt package from Yorkshire Bank and Toscafund. Subsequent to the deal, Verdant has acquired additional parks as it continues to grow its offering.
With two of the leading holiday park operators Parkdean Resorts and Park Holidays both changing hands at the end of 2016 the sector remains active with a number of private equity funds invested in the sector. The industry has attractive attributes including freehold ownership of the parks, strong cash flow and increasing consumer demand. The strong demand is driven by a number of factors including a growing population, the increased cost of holidays abroad, the desire to have more regular holidays and short breaks, and fears concerning global terrorism.
Everyone needs jeans
Clearwater International advised the owner of MOS MOSH, a Danish womenswear brand, on the majority sale to German private equity fund, Findos Investor.
MOS MOSH, founded in 2010 by Kim Hyldahl, specialises in high-end jeans and trousers for women. Its recipe for success is a combination of premium quality and an excellent fit with tasteful details making the jeans and trousers stand out from the crowd. Today, the company has extensive geographical coverage in Europe, with Germany being its largest market.
As the world feels like it becomes smaller as international travel is commonplace, clothing brands are beginning to work globally and are increasingly finding international buyers expressing an interest. MOS MOSH is an example of a brand which has developed internationally to such an extent that it attracted an investor from its largest overseas market. MOS MOSH is not the only clothing business in recent years to attract an international buyer. For example, in the UK the likes of Whistles, Phase Eight and Long Tall Sally have all found an overseas home.
Taking to two wheels
Clearwater International acted as sole financial advisers to Heinz Kettler GmbH & Co. KG (under self-administration) on the sale of the assets of its bicycle division to ZEG Zweirad-Einkaufs-Genossenschaft eG within Kettler’s restructuring process.
Heinz Kettler GmbH & Co. KG is a family owned German manufacturer and retailer of high-quality fitness and sports equipment, leisure and outdoor furniture as well as toys. The company is particularly well known for its bikes and specialises in the production of both aluminium bicycles and e-bikes.
ZEG is a network of 960 independent bicycle dealerships in Germany and its portfolio includes among others the well-known bicycle brands Hercules and Wanderer. In cooperation with leading manufacturers, ZEG develops special models with renowned brands like Pegasus, Bulls, Green Mover and ZEMO.
Following the transaction ZEG is able to expand its reach into the bicycle supply chain moving from dealer support only to operating its own high quality manufacturing ‘made in Germany’.
Danish design expertise
Denmark has long held an enviable reputation in contemporary design and in the last 12 months Clearwater International has advised four Danish businesses involved in designing products for the home.
Clearwater International firstly advised &tradition on its sale to HAY (a Danish designer and manufacturer of contemporary furniture, accessories and rugs) and Anders Holch Povlsen, the CEO of fashion chain Bestseller. &tradition is an award-winning designer of lighting, furniture and accessories.
The second deal saw Clearwater advise the owners of the Danish design company by Lassen ApS (by Lassen), on its sale to Buurskov & Lassen Maskinfabrik ApS, the main manufacturer of by Lassen products.
by Lassen develops and sells high quality accessories and furniture, and the product portfolio includes by Lassen’s own designs and numerous iconic pieces. The company sells into nearly 40 countries.
Clearwater also advised a minority shareholder on the sale of their stake in Stelton, a designer of table top and other household living products.
In another transaction, Clearwater advised the owners of Sofacompany and Scandinavian Design, a high growth Danish furniture concept, on the sale to Nordic private equity fund Procuritas Capital Investors V. Founded in 2008, the company started out being a pure play B2B supplier under the name Scandinavian Design, but in 2012 the owners challenged the existing industry by establishing Sofacompany; an urban and trend-based furniture brand – sold online and targeting and communicating with the customers through social media.
High quality products with leading design from an established design house with a strong brand are attractive to both corporate and private equity buyers. Distinctive brands command strong margins and customer loyalty, and have strong export potential – all key themes for investors and acquirers.