Apr 4, 2017
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L Catterton beefs up Seafolly with Maaji swimwear investment

Apr 4, 2017

L Catterton, the private equity firm backed by luxury goods house LVMH, said it has purchased a controlling stake in bikini brand Maaji, adding to the firm's investment in Australian swimwear outfit Seafolly two years ago.

Maaji - Spring-Summer2016 - Womenswear - Barranquilla

The Asian division of the equity firm, L Catterton Asia confirmed the purchase of a controlling stake in the Columbia-based Maaji from co-founders Manuela and Amalia Sierra, via a press release on Monday.

The Australian Financial Review reported that L Catterton acquired the stake for about $50 million or 1.3 times revenues. It was also reported that L Catterton Asia will control 61 per cent of the combined group and Seafolly and Maaji will own 18 per cent each, with senior executives accounting for the remaining 3 per cent.

Two years earlier, the firm acquired a 70 per cent stake in Seafolly from the founding Halas family for about $70 million.

The L Catterton plans to combine the two southern hemisphere bikini brands and create one "swimwear and beach lifestyle platform," the largest independent house of beach lifestyle brands, according to chairman and managing partner of L Catterton Asia, Ravi Thakran.

"We look to grow our portfolio and create the largest independent house of beach lifestyle brands. The two brands are market leaders from two large, but distinct beach destinations – Australia & Latin America, with each possessing a very unique style and positioning," said Thakran, in a press statement.

In an interview with AFR, Thakran added that the partnership will the world's largest for swimwear, topping US$100 million in combined revenues.

"This industry is incredibly fragmented with over 3000 brands worldwide – there is no [specialty] brand with over $US100 million in revenue," said Thakran, who is also LVMH's group president in southeast Asia and the Middle East.

"Now we have set up a platform to target a potential $US500 million company in five years – by joining hands we're on track to reach that kind of target," he said.

Store rollouts for Maaji and Seafolly are also planned across the US, up to 100 for both brands, with around 50 stores planned for other parts of the Americas.

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