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24 June 2015

Silverfleet Capital to acquire Masai Clothing Company ApS

Silverfleet backs MBO of women’s clothing brand

Silverfleet Capital, the European private equity firm, has today announced its agreement to acquire Masai Clothing Company ApS, a Danish womenswear clothing brand. This is the first investment that Silverfleet has made from its new €850 million fund, Silverfleet Capital II, which closed last month.

Masai is headquartered in Copenhagen and wholesales and retails its own-designed clothing in over 25 countries around the world. Its core markets are the Nordic Region (where it has 18 retail outlets in Denmark, Sweden and Norway), UK and Germany and its clothing can be purchased at 1,340 points of sale as far away as Australia, USA and Canada. Masai has a unique brand positioning combining design, quality and comfort. The company’s dedicated team of in-house designers produces four garment collections per year for a loyal customer base of fashion-conscious women. Retail sales for the brand worldwide are approximately €105 million.

Silverfleet Capital will acquire a majority interest in Masai from the founders, Hans and Nina Rye, the brother and sister team who founded the business 23 years ago. The existing management, led by CEO Sune Bjerregaard, will continue to lead the business and will acquire a minority interest in Masai. Debt financing for the transaction is to be provided by BlueBay and Lloyds Bank. Completion is subject to obtaining clearance from the competition authorities and is anticipated shortly. The consideration for the transaction has not been disclosed.

Silverfleet’s investment will allow the business to deepen Masai’s penetration into existing markets and to expand into new geographies where there is considerable potential for growth.

Sune Bjerregaard, CEO of Masai, commented on the investment by Silverfleet: “We are delighted to partner with Silverfleet. We felt they were the right partner for us to help us grow even further, particularly as they have extensive experience of investing in retail and consumer related businesses and a significant track record of helping companies to expand internationally”.

Gareth Whiley, Partner at Silverfleet Capital with responsibility for the retail sector and the Nordic region, led the transaction and will join the Board as a Non-Executive Director along with Mark Piasecki, Principal at Silverfleet. Gareth Whiley commented: “We are very excited about this new investment. Masai has a strong and differentiated brand and we look forward to working with the management team to build on what has already been achieved and to accelerate growth further.”

The Silverfleet Capital team that worked on the transaction also included Rob Knight and Sumit Dheir who are based in Silverfleet Capital’s London office. Silverfleet Capital was advised by Handelsbanken (corporate finance), Accura and Latham & Watkins (legal), Deloitte (financial and tax due diligence and tax structuring), OC&C (commercial due diligence), Intuitus (IT due diligence) and Willis (insurance due diligence).

Silverfleet has been an active investor in the Nordic region and Masai is its third Danish transaction in the last two and a half years. It has also invested in Phase One, the leading medium format digital camera systems and image processing software manufacturer; and Cimbria, one of the leading global manufacturers of seed and grain processing equipment.