SealSkinz sold in seven-figure deal

SealSkinz, a Norfolk-based manufacturer of waterproof socks and gloves used primarily by bikers and hikers, has been bought by its management.


SealSkinz, a Norfolk-based manufacturer of waterproof socks and gloves used primarily by bikers and hikers, has been bought by its management.

SealSkinz, a Norfolk-based manufacturer of waterproof socks and gloves used primarily by bikers and hikers, has been bought by its management.

The deal was backed by a £1.35 million investment provided by Bridges Ventures, a venture capitalist that supports companies in deprived areas of the UK. This funding was complemented by debt provided by David Lawrence and Colin Lewis at HSBC.

The buy-out team, led by managing director Andrew Dahl, also invested in the deal that bought the company from its parent KL Technologies.

Dahl said the buy-out allows management to focus on producing new products based on SealSkinz’s technology and developing the brand. “New products include the world’s first waterproof breathable football sock and an ultra tough glove made from Kevlar. We are delighted to be working with Bridges.”

Bridges’ investment was led by Antony Ross with support from associates Matt Harris and Laura Howard.

Ross said SealSkinz is an exciting company that brings enormous benefits to the community. “SealSkinz has a great range of products and is building a well-recognised brand in a number of growing activity markets.”

The deal was project managed by Andy Coghlan, a director of WK Corporate Finance, who introduced HSBC to the transaction.

”We are confident that Andrew Dahl and his team at SealSkinz will achieve their ambitious growth plans and wish them every success for the future,” he added.

KL Technologies was assisted throughout the disposal by Kester Cunningham John, led by partner Duncan Walker. The firm’s team included Damian Humphrey from the firm’s commercial department, with Magnus McManus, handling the property aspects of the deal, and employment specialist Ross Strowger.

Bridges appointed ER Consultants to perform a management due diligence review of the buy-out team. The financial review was managed by Catherine Holland at Vantis.

ER’s team was headed by director Martyn Sakol, who has worked with Bridges on previous transactions. “The assessment focused on both individual and collective management capability to realise the business plan both now and in the future.

“Specific recommendations were made to maximise business effectiveness through changes to organisational structure,” he added. “The need for these changes had not been apparent prior to due diligence, and proved very useful to all parties involved.”

SealSkinz generated sales of £2 million last year, selling a range of outdoor clothing products mainly through specialist outdoor and cycle retailers such as Cotswold Outdoor, Blacks and Evans Cycles.

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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