Helly Hansen buys Musto

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Norwegian clothing company seeks growth in sailing market.

Norwegian clothing manufacturer, Helly Hansen, has announced that it is buying UK sailing brand, Musto. For the past 10 years, Musto has been owned by private equity investors, Phoenix Equity Partners, which acquired the company in a deal valued at £40 million. The terms of the new deal were not disclosed but a report earlier this year valued the sale at £50 million.

Musto was formed in 1964 by British Olympic sailor Keith Musto and has grown to become the brand of choice for many professional yachtsmen and dinghy sailors. It is official supplier to the British National Sailing Team through to the 2020 Olympic games.

Founded in 1877, Helly Hansen is known for its outdoor and workwear, especially in the skiing and sailing markets. The company was acquired by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan in 2015.

Following the takeover, Peter Smith, CEO of Musto, will continue to lead the business reporting to Paul Stoneham, CEO of Helly Hansen, who will also become Musto executive chairman.

“Musto accelerates Helly Hansen's long-term aspiration to become a global leader in sailing, matching our leadership position in professional skiing,” said Stoneham. “Our focus will be to expand Musto internationally as an iconic British lifestyle brand with deep technical sailing credentials alongside Helly Hansen.

“The two brands are highly complementary and hold in common a deep regard for the sailing community and commitment to preserving our oceans.”

Peter Smith added: “This is an incredibly exciting next phase in Musto's evolution and we are invigorated by the prospect of working with a business as complementary to our own as Helly Hansen. We look forward to leveraging Helly Hansen's global network and R&D capabilities, as we grow our market leading position in sailing, country and outdoor apparel.”

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