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Investcorp acquires POC for $65 million

Published October 8, 2015

STOCKHOLM (BRAIN) — Swedish skiing and cycling helmet and apparel company POC has been acquired by Investcorp Group, an investment management firm, for $65 million from its parent, outdoor equipment company Black Diamond.

Investcorp, which is publicly traded on the Bahrain Bourse under the symbol INVCORP, manages corporate investments in the U.S., Europe and the Persian Gulf, real estate investment in the U.S and global hedge funds.

Investcorp has a history of involvement with consumer sporting businesses in Europe, both apparel and gear, with Riva Boats, its first European investment in 1984, followed by Helly Hansen, Dainese, AGV and now POC.

POC was founded in 2005 and has been growing successfully in more than 40 countries across multiple product lines for skiers, snowboarders, mountain bikers and road cyclists. 

“We are delighted to be partnering with Investcorp in the next stage of our development. With Investcorp, POC has the capability to further accelerate, to grow sales, increase penetration into new markets and drive forward innovation, while not deviating from our ultimate mission of doing the best we can to possibly save lives and reduce consequences of accidents for gravity sports athletes and cyclists,” said Stefan Ytterborn, POC’s founder and CEO.

“POC is one of the fastest-growing, dynamic and innovative companies in the sports gear and protection sectors. Its cross-generational reach, intrinsic focus on technical innovation and commitment to safety make it the perfect fit for our portofolio,” said Gilbert Kamieniecky, principal of Investcorp’s European Corporate Investment Group. “Leveraging our sector expertise, experience of working with high-quality brands and industry connections, we believe Investcorp is well placed to further support POCs already impressive growth trajectory.”

The acquisition comes almost a year after Investcorp acquired the specialist gear and protection maker Dainese. There are synergies between the two businesses that will be explored.

Black Diamond bought POC in July 2012 for approximately $44.9 million. For the 12 months ending Dec. 31, 2014, POC recorded sales of approximately $34.8 million. 

The sale comes after Black Diamond's strategic review process in March. Black Diamond said it plans to maximize shareholder value by focusing on the profitability of both the Black Diamond Equipment and PIEPS brands while redeploying the proceeds of the sale to potentially unrelated and diversifying investments. Black Diamond will provide a financial update on its third-quarter earnings in early November. The company expects to realize net proceeds of about $60 million after purchase price adjustments, fees, expenses and taxes. 

"We would like to thank all of our employees and partners for their work in building POC into one of the most innovative, fastest-growing and hottest brands in the action sports protective gear market," said Peter Metcalf, CEO of Black Diamond. "We are proud of the reputation POC has built around safety and protection for gravity sport athletes, and are also confident in its bright future under Investcorp's portfolio, which includes Dainese, the most recognized and respected brand for safety and quality in dynamic sports markets."

POC-sponsored athletes include the Cannondale-Garmin Professional Cycling team, five-time Olympic medalist Julia Mancuso, Olympian Aaron Blunck, renowned snowboarder Jeremy Jones, freeride mountain biker Martin Söderström and numerous top Olympians and world champion athletes and teams.
  
As at June 30, 2015, the Investcorp Group managed $10.6 billion in assets, including assets managed by third-party managers. The company has offices in London, Bahrain, New York, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.

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