L Catterton, a consumer-focused private equity firm, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a controlling interest in West Marine, an omnichannel platform in the marine aftermarket, from Monomoy Capital Partners. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Barclays Bank, Golub Capital and Nomura provided committed debt financing to support the transaction.
Founded in 1968, West Marine is an omnichannel provider of aftermarket products and services to the boating, fishing, sailing and watersports markets in the U.S. With 237 physical locations across 38 states and Puerto Rico and two e-commerce platforms, West Marine is a resource for cruisers, sailors, anglers and watersports enthusiasts.
“As the established leader, West Marine is incredibly well-positioned in the marine aftermarket, and we are excited to support the company as it expands its omnichannel offerings and further cements its leadership across the country,” Marc Magliacano, a managing partner in L Catterton’s Flagship Fund, said. “West Marine has moved beyond its heritage as a retailer and is a highly trusted marine specialist and resource for boating enthusiasts. By leveraging our firm’s experience building enthusiast brands, we will be able to accelerate West Marine’s advanced omnichannel capabilities and enhance its consumer engagement while creating an industry defining digital experience. West Marine will use its scale, product breadth and expert field associates to service all the needs of consumers seeking an exceptional on water experience.”
“We are thrilled to be partnering with L Catterton in the next phase of growth for West Marine,” Ken Seipel, CEO of West Marine, said. “The L Catterton team brings invaluable consumer, brand building and digital expansion expertise to help us accelerate our growth plans. In partnership, we look forward to enhancing our digital capabilities and elevating our consumer experience to not only provide the broadest product offering in the industry, but also to deliver the most comprehensive and rewarding consumer experience no matter where or how our boaters choose to engage with us. We look forward to our partnership with L Catterton.”
“The U.S. marine aftermarket industry is a fundamentally attractive category benefiting from favorable consumer tailwinds, including long-term growth in boating for leisure and time spent with family, higher focus on outdoor lifestyle activities (including water sports and fishing) and the rise of boat-sharing clubs bringing more people into the category,” Matt Lischick, a partner at L Catterton, said. “We expect the aftermarket to continue its consistent secular growth based on the growing installed boat base and rising boating participation. West Marine stands out as the leader in the category and we look forward to partnering with Ken and his proven leadership team to further build the company’s authority as the go-to consumer-centric marine aftermarket player.”
The transaction is expected to close in May 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. Baird is serving as financial advisor to West Marine. Kirkland & Ellis is acting as legal counsel to L Catterton. Paul Hastings is acting as legal counsel to the lenders.