Phoenix and management buy Musto

A technical sportswear company that supplied its products to Dame Ellen MacArthur during her record breaking round-the-world trip in 2005 has been bought by its management.


A technical sportswear company that supplied its products to Dame Ellen MacArthur during her record breaking round-the-world trip in 2005 has been bought by its management.

A technical sportswear company that supplied its products to Dame Ellen MacArthur during her record breaking round-the-world trip in 2005 has been bought by its management.

Musto’s management were backed in the MBO by Phoenix Equity Partners, in a deal that values the business at £40 million.

Phoenix’s investment was complemented by debt provided by a team led by Irene Ryan at Anglo Irish Bank.

This is the fifth investment Phoenix has made from its £375 million fund raised in April last year.

Musto was founded in 1971 by Keith Musto as a provider of high-quality technical clothing for the off-shore sailing market. Today the company also provides clothing for the shooting and equestrian markets.

Musto’s managing director, Nigel Musto, said this deal with Phoenix creates a tremendous platform to embark on the company’s next phase of its development. “We are very excited about the opportunity to work with them [Phoenix] given their proven pedigree in supporting and developing branded businesses.”

Phoenix partner David Burns, who is responsible for investments in the consumer sector, said: “The Musto family have built a highly respected and well recognised technical sports brand and we look forward to working in partnership with the management team to continue to grow the business.

“We have extensive experience of supporting growing brands and we are excited about the opportunity to build on Musto’s impressive reputation and heritage,” he added.

Irene Ryan said Anglo Irish Bank has assisted Phoenix with debt funding on some of their previous transactions, and “on this occasion we were delighted to provide debt finance for such a high quality brand as Musto and very much look forward to supporting the future growth of the business under the auspices of Phoenix and Musto’s strong management team.”

A commercial due diligence review of the target business was managed on behalf of Phoenix by Pragma Consulting Ltd, a specialist consultant in the consumer and retail sector.

The review, led by managing director Monica Lucas and director Mark Entwistle, examined Musto’s UK operations and made estimates for future potential retail and wholesale growth.

“Specific research included detailed qualitative and quantitative surveys of participants in Musto’s key areas of sailing, shooting and riding, as well as an extensive programme of trading analysis, trade interviews and mystery shopping of stockists,” Lucas said.

“Pragma’s conclusions were that Musto has a unique position in this market with high brand recognition and strongly defined values,” she added. “Good opportunities for increased growth were identified.”

Marc Barber

Raven Connelly

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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