Michelmores’ London Corporate team has advised Europe’s largest online water sports retailer, Wetsuit Outlet (the trading brand for B2C Distribution), as it secured growth capital of £5m from Mobeus Equity Partners, a leading equity investor in UK-based SMEs.
Headquartered in Shoeburyness, Essex, Wetsuit Outlet was founded 13 years ago by keen water sports enthusiasts, Ian Homan and Peter Thompson. The business now sells technical clothing and equipment into over 160 countries, offering premium brands such as Quicksilver, Musto, RipCurl, Billabong, Red Paddle, and GUL, and has experienced growth of more than 30% in each of the last three years.
The growth capital will enable the company to increase its share of the global water-sports market and to further expand into the USA. It also enables a move into other niche markets such as equestrian and field sports using the company’s online platform.
The investment facilitated an exit for co-founder Peter Thompson, with Ian Homan putting together a new management team to take the company forward – led by Ian, the team will include Peter Davies, Chairman of Mint Velvet, as Non-Executive Chairman.
Ian Homan commented:
“Michelmores were extremely professional in their approach and provided invaluable support in helping to conclude this transaction which will enable us to expand, not only in our current market, but to open-up new brands in other niche markets. Our existing platforms and expertise put us in a very strong position to do this, and with the support from Mobeus we are ready to move forward.”
Harry Trick of the Michelmores Corporate team said:
“We are delighted to have assisted Wetsuit Outlet in securing this important investment – the business has huge growth potential and we are sure that the new management team, in partnership with Mobeus, is perfectly placed to deliver it.”