Kent Sports Acquired by Private Equity Firm
Kent Water Sports Holdings, LLC
Seawall Capital, LLC (“Seawall Capital”) announced today that it has acquired Kent Water Sports Holdings, LLC and its related entities (“Kent Water Sports”, “Kent” or the “Company”) for an undisclosed amount. The transaction closed on December 31, 2020.
Founded in 1959 and based in New London, Ohio, Kent Water Sports (www.kentwatersports.com) is a diverse platform of action sports brands with a broad product set spanning personal flotation devices, wakeboards, water skis, towable tubes, snowboards and more. The Company’s portfolio of more than 15 iconic brands comprises industry-leading names such as HO/Hyperlite, Connelly, O’Brien, Liquid Force, Onyx, Aquaglide, Barefoot/Fatsac and Arbor Snowboards (managed by agreement with the Arbor Collective), which have all contributed to the Company’s long-term success in serving a broad base of action sports participants of all ages and skill levels. As a multi-generation family-owned business, Kent has maintained a disciplined approach to achieving continued operational excellence while successfully executing both organic and acquisitive growth initiatives, all of which have contributed to the long-term success of the organization.
Seawall Capital (www.seawallcap.com) is a middle-market private equity firm focused on making investments in companies with strong connections to their end consumers. The firm’s investment strategy centers on partnering with founder-led businesses that deliver amazing products and services to their customers. Seawall Capital’s principal investment team has a successful track record of helping founders, management teams and partners achieve their long-term goals and objectives.
“As we look towards the next phase of growth at Kent Water Sports, we could not be more excited about our partnership with Seawall Capital,” said John Archer, CEO at Kent. “We believe their investment in our platform will provide the capital, resources and expertise necessary to accelerate the next phase of our strategic growth plan for the business.”
Matt Eby, Managing Partner at Seawall Capital, stated “We are thrilled to launch this new partnership with the team at Kent Water Sports. The Archer family has built an amazing platform in Kent. We look forward to working closely with the entire team at Kent to help them grow the business both organically and through future acquisitions.”
Houlihan Lokey acted as exclusive financial advisor to Kent Water Sports. Kegler Brown Hill + Ritter and Critchfield, Critchfield & Johnston Ltd. served as legal advisors to Kent. Dechert LLP served as legal counsel to Seawall Capital.