Purely busi­ness

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - News & Views -

PURE Fish­ing, the com­pany that owns some of angling’s most fa­mous brands, is to be sold for the sec­ond time in three years. Own­ers Newell Brands have signed an agree­ment to sell the 81-year old com­pany, which in­cludes Hardy, Greys and Shake­speare among its fa­mous names, to Sycamore Part­ners, a pri­vate eq­uity group based in New York. The $1.3bn deal should be com­pleted by the end of the year and has sur­prised the angling in­dus­try. It was only in 2016 that Newell Brands ac­quired Pure Fish­ing, and tackle trade mag­a­zine Angling In­ter­na­tional re­ports that in­dus­try experts put the brand’s cur­rent val­u­a­tion at be­tween $500m and $1bn. Pure Fish­ing’s sales rev­enues last year were around $556m. Pres­sure from Newell share­hold­ers to stream­line its cor­po­rate as­sets is be­lieved to have prompted the sale. Sycamore Part­ners spe­cialises in re­tail and con­sumer in­vest­ments in which it part­ners with man­age­ment teams of ac­quired com­pa­nies to take the busi­ness for­ward. It cur­rently man­ages as­sets worth round $10bn. While the fish­ing sec­tor is be­lieved to be new ter­ri­tory for the firm, Sycamore has been de­scribed by the Wall Street Jour­nal as suc­ceed­ing where many have failed by suc­cess­fully in­vest­ing in bricks-and-mor­tar re­tail chains. It bought of­fice sup­plies gi­ant Sta­ples for $6.8bn last year. The Jour­nal claims, how­ever, that, “The firm of­ten buys strug­gling re­tail­ers and sells off their most valu­able pieces. It cuts costs at what­ever re­mains, some­times us­ing the sav­ings to ex­tract div­i­dends.”

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