WATSONVILLE, Calif. – April 14, 2021 – West Marine, the leading integrated, omni-channel provider of aftermarket products and services to the boating, fishing, sailing and watersports markets in the U.S. announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by L Catterton. L Catterton is the largest global consumer-focused private equity firm and has extensive experience building enthusiast brands. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 1968, West Marine operates 237 physical locations across 38 states and Puerto Rico and two eCommerce platforms reaching domestic, international and professional customers. West Marine is recognized as the leading resource for cruisers, sailors, anglers and watersports enthusiasts. In partnership with L Catterton, West Marine plans to continue to expand its industry leading consumer marine centers, fast track the advancement of its digital content, commerce and community capabilities for customers, and over deliver value with product, knowledgeable advice and an exceptional and differentiated consumer experience.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with L Catterton in the next phase of growth for West Marine,” said Ken Seipel, CEO of West Marine. “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 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 new partnership with L Catterton.”
“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,” said Marc Magliacano, Managing Partner at L Catterton. “West Marine has moved beyond its heritage as a retailer and is a highly trusted marine specialist and resource for boaters and salt-water enthusiasts. By leveraging our own experience building enthusiast brands, we will be able to accelerate the development of West Marine’s advanced omni-channel 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 deliver on all the needs of consumers looking to have an exceptional on water experience.”
“The U.S. marine aftermarket industry is a fundamentally attractive category benefiting from favorable consumer tailwinds including long-term growth in boating usage for leisure and time spent with family, higher focus on outdoor lifestyle activities including water sports and fishing, and the rise of boat sharing and clubs bringing more people into the category,” said Matt Lischick, Partner at LCatterton. “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 front-runner 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.”
About West Marine
For more than 50 years, West Marine has been the premier retailer of boating, fishing, sailing and paddling gear. With 237 stores located in 38 states and Puerto Rico and an eCommerce website reaching domestic, international and professional customers, West Marine is recognized as a leading resource for cruisers, sailors, anglers, yachters and other boating enthusiasts. West Marine crew members share the same love for the water as their customers and provide knowledgeable advice on the gear and gadgets they need to be safe and have fun. West Marine allows customers to spend less time worrying about their boat and more time enjoying their boat. To learn more about West Marine, please visit the West Marine website at westmarine.com.
About L Catterton
L Catterton will be investing in West Marine out of its Flagship Fund IX, a $4.5+ billion fund. L Catterton has over $25 billion of equity capital across its fund strategies and 17 offices around the world, making it the largest global consumer-focused private equity firm. L Catterton’s team of nearly 200 investment and operating professionals partners with management teams around the world to implement strategic plans to foster growth, leveraging deep category insight, operational excellence, and a broad partnership network. Since 1989, the firm has made over 200 investments in leading consumer brands. For more information about L Catterton, please visit www.lcatterton.com.
L Catterton Contact
Andi Rose / Kate Thompson Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher 212-355-4449