Kent Watersports Acquires Bote and Kona Bicycles
Seawall Capital, the private equity owner of Kent Watersports, announced today the company’s rebrand to Kent Outdoors – a transformation that signals Kent’s expanded focus on the full breadth of outdoor recreation activities. In addition, Kent Outdoors is also announcing the acquisitions of BOTE and Kona Bicycles, both pioneering brands in their respective categories.
The rebrand and acquisitions strengthen Kent Outdoors’ new focus on acquiring and building outdoor brands that facilitate recreation on land, lakes, rivers, oceans, mountains and snow and across all four seasons. The move also bolsters Kent Outdoors’ position as a market leader in building dynamic brands that help people enjoy the outdoors.
Seawall Capital, a private equity firm that partners with companies delivering products and services that people love and trust, says the rebranding and acquisitions will help Kent Outdoors better serve America’s growing interest in the great outdoors, both on the water and off.
“Americans are enjoying the outdoors in record numbers,” said Matt Eby, founder of Seawall Capital and Chairman of the Board of Kent Outdoors. “Everyone knows the social, emotional, and physical benefits of getting outdoors, into nature, and enjoying time with family and friends on our waterways and mountain trails. We invested in Kent, and are expanding its focus from water sports to outdoor recreation, to help more people get outside with brands that make the outdoors accessible and fun.”
“Kent Outdoors is – and always has been – a place where passionate founders can grow their brands,” said Ken Meidell, CEO of Kent Outdoors. “We believe in autonomy with accountability for our brands: we provide targeted support behind the scenes, while giving each brand the independence to grow to their full potential. Our goal is to make space for visionary founders to create, build, and better connect with one another, and with their customers.”
Kent Outdoors also announced today the addition of two new brands to their existing portfolio of 20 watersports brands: BOTE and Kona Bicycles.
BOTE (www.boteboard.com) is a watersports brand driven by a singular mission: To Stand Apart through industry-shaping innovation, fresh ideas and simplicity to create a product that defines a lifestyle. BOTE pushes the boundaries of technology and style, stirring the soul and inspiring adventure. Born from stand up paddle boards and now pioneering inflatable kayaks, floating dock systems, and more — BOTE continues to innovate and embrace individuality.
“Fueled by passion, my wife Magda and I founded BOTE in our garage, with a vision to create a brand that inspires people to get on the water,” said Corey Cooper, Co-Founder and CEO of BOTE Boards “That vision resonates with people all over the world and spawned a community that drives the BOTE brand. Our partnership with Kent supercharges our commitment to building the world’s premier water lifestyle brand and experience. I couldn’t be more excited for the future of BOTE.”
Since its humble beginnings in the Pacific Northwest, Kona Bicycles (www.konaworld.com) has spent 34 years building innovative, durable, fun, and eye-catching bikes for all kinds of cyclists. Kona Bicycles believes in the long, sweet ride, and that the journey is the best part of any adventure.
“Our partnership with Kent Outdoors signals our renewed commitment to competing in a rapidly evolving industry,” said Jake Heilbron, Co-Founder of Kona Bicycles. “We are more dedicated than ever to building great bikes, partnering with our independent bike dealers, and maintaining the Kona Way. In fact, Kent’s investment will enable Kona to invest more meaningfully behind these goals to better serve our independent retailers, team members, and consumers worldwide. By partnering with Kent, we’ll give more people the freedom and empowerment of getting outdoors on Kona bikes.”
On the BOTE transaction, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Dechert LLP served as legal advisors to Kent. Houlihan Lokey Capital, Inc. served as financial advisor to BOTE and Godfrey & Kahn S.C. served as legal advisors to BOTE. On the Kona Bicycles transaction, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Dechert LLP served as legal advisors to Kent. Bell Lap Advisors served as financial advisor to Kona and Betts, Austin, Johnson served as legal advisors to Kona. Additional financing for both transactions was provided by a bank group led by the Private Credit business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Huntington Bancshares Inc.
About Kent Outdoors:
For more than 60 years, Kent Outdoors has helped the outdoor industry’s leading brands scale their passions. We were born on the water, focusing on brands that help consumers not just enjoy the great outdoors, but revel in family, friends and experiences out there. Kent Outdoors provides rock steady support and resources to our family of brands and their founders so they can be free to create, build and connect with the people who matter most – people living and breathing all types of outdoor adventures.
Learn more at (http://www.kentoutdoors.co/)
About Seawall Capital:
Seawall Capital is a middle-market private equity firm focused on investing in companies that have built strong connections to their end consumers. The firm’s investment strategy centers on partnering with founder-led businesses that deliver amazing products and services that people love and trust. 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.
Learn more at http://www.seawallcap.com