MOTORCYCLE apparel maker Dainese has been acquired by Investcorp, a "leading global provider and manager of alternative investment products".
Investcorp has acquired an 80 percent stake in the specialist Italian business at a price that values the business at €130 million, with founder Lino Dainese retaining a minority stake in the company alongside Investcorp.
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Founded in 1972, Dainese has been one of the most "recognised and respected brands for safety and quality in the motorcycle and other dynamic sports markets. Originally famed for its competitive motorcycling racing wear, Dainese has subsequently diversified its product range and today provides protective gear for road and racing use alike, as well as for use in winter sports, biking and horse riding.
In addition, through the AGV brand name, Dainese is also one of the leading protective helmet manufacturers for the motorcycle market.
Through its Dainese Technology Centre (D-Tec), an R&D technical centre "for the study of protective technology and the development of innovative products", the company says that it can ensure that it "remains at the forefront of innovation".
Lino Dainese is credited with inventing products such as back protectors, knee sliders and the Dainese air bag (D-Air), an "intelligent" protection system that recognises and responds to a dangerous fall by deploying special airbags around motorcyclists’ bodies.
About the deal, Lino Dainese is quoted as saying "it was hugely important for us to find the right partner in this period of strong development for the company. I believe that Investcorp’s proven track record, global presence and network will support the company’s continued international expansion and product innovation.
"I also believe that their support will enable me to refocus on my passion, driving forward technological advances in our product line and, in particular, the D-Air system.”
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Hazem Ben-Gacem, Head of Investcorp’s European corporate investment team, said:
“We are honoured to have the trust and confidence of Mr Dainese and to be the custodian of this exceptional business. Dainese is an iconic brand with a track record of leadership in a multi-billion dollar market. It is exactly the type of company we look to invest in: a founder managed successful business looking for a partner for the next phase of growth."
Investcorp was founded in the early 1980's at the behest of the AMF (Arab Monetary Fund) and is publicly traded on the Bahrain Bourse (INVCORP). It has offices in London, New York, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, and has three primary business areas - corporate investment in the US, Europe and the Gulf, real estate investment in the US, and global hedge funds. As at June 30, 2014, Investcorp had $11.4 billion in total assets under management. Providers of what founder Nemir Kirdar famously once described as "silent capital", Investcorp's involvements down the years have included several luxury brands such as Tiffany and Gucci, Saks Fifth Avenue, Circle K, Helly Hansen, CSK Auto, Apcoa and American Tire Distributors.