Helly Hansen has agreed to purchase Musto, a British brand of sailing apparel, which will help to reinforce the Norwegian group's business in the sailing category and its presence in the U.K. sailing and outdoor markets.
Musto was acquired for an undisclosed sum from Phoenix Equity partners and other shareholders, but The Wall Street Journal estimated that the deal could be valued at around £50 million (€56.3m-$65.9m).
Helly Hansen's chief executive, Paul Stoneham, said in a statement that the two brands were complementary in the sailing markets, and that the company would aim to expand Musto across international markets along with the Helly Hansen brand. The acquisition is to accelerate the company's long-term aspiration to become a global leader in sailing, along with its strong position in skiing.
As previously reported, Helly Hansen embarked on a long-term growth strategy nearly three years ago, leading to investments in brand and product development, and a sharper focus on its core product offering and distribution channels. The Norwegian company saw its turnover increase by 6.4 percent to 2,661 million Norwegian kroner (€279.3m-$326.8m) in 2016, including one-off revenues of NOK 206 million (€21.6m-$25.3m) from the sale of Japanese rights. Helly Hansen's Ebitda jumped by 24 percent to NOK 204 million (€21.4m-$25.1m).
Established in 1964 by Keith Musto, an Olympic sailor, Musto was described as a brand favored by professional yachtsmen and world-class dinghy sailors. Based in London, the brand reportedly saw its sales slip by 10 percent to £28.6 million (€32.2m-$37.7m) in 2016, while its profit reached £0.9 million (€1.0m-$1.2m). Musto is an official supplier to the British National Sailing Team.
Musto's chief executive, Peter Smith, will continue to run the business and report to Stoneham, who will become executive chairman of Musto.