Oakley Capital Private Equity has acquired Tomasoni Topsail S.p.A by its portfolio company North Technology Group. Tomasoni holds the exclusive license to manufacture and distribute North Sails branded clothing throughout Europe and Asia. The acquisition follows Oakley Capital’s investment in North Technology Group (owner of the North Sails brand) earlier this year involved in acquiring the sailing gear manufacturing branch of the brand and marks the final stage in consolidating North Sails global operations back under common ownership.
“We are delighted to be backing the most iconic brand in sail making as it looks to deliver its ethos of performance, innovation and technology to new ranges of consumer products,” said Peter Dubens, managing partner of Oakley Capital. “The acquisition of the apparel licensee will enable North Sails to broaden its significant brand heritage and awareness within the sailing community to a larger international range of consumers on and off the water.”
North Sails clothing collections will benefit from North’s technologically advanced approach to materials in sail making. “The North Sails brand stands for performance and innovation to which we will be adding aesthetic excellence. The new collections will not only be functional and innovative but will be and look great as well,” declared Eric Bijlsma (ex. Scotch and Soda), who will invest alongside Oakley and join the business as the new CEO of Tomasoni. “We will launch two new apparel collections: North Sails Blue, a casual line embodying the brand’s heritage and sailing lifestyle and North Sails Black, a super-premium collection available exclusively in the world’s finest retailers for the 2015 fall / winter season.”
“This acquisition is the final step towards unifying the North Sails brand,” said Tom Whidden, CEO of North Technology Group. “Our brand development team is looking forward to collaboration between sails and apparel and the obvious synergies this represents. North Sails is globally recognized for producing performance products of the highest quality. These principles will remain the foundation of our reinvigorated North Sails brand.”
“We are so pleased to be able to conclude this transaction with Oakley, Eric Bijlsma and North Technology Group,” said Leopoldo Poppi, previous owner and founder of Tomasoni. “The acquisition consolidates the brand ownership under one umbrella and provides the foundations for strong international growth. I wish the new owners every success and my ongoing support for the company in the future”. Tomasoni Topsails’ estimated turnover is €50 million, and counts a distribution network of about 1,500 independent stores and 50 monobrand stores.