Avon Rafts Sold in Zodiac Deal


Long-time rafting supplier Avon was sold as part of a package that included the entire Zodiac line. OpenGate Capital, LLC has acquired Zodiac Recreational from Zodiac Marine & Pool, a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Maker of the world-renowned Avon inflatables, Zodiac Recreational is the world’s leader in the design, manufacturing and distribution of inflatable and Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs). Zodiac offers an extensive range of products including RIBs, recreational tenders, inflatable boats, jet tenders, life rafts, and related boat accessories as well as the branded lines of Bombard and Avon. It is unknown how the acquisition will affect production or distribution for Avon retailers.

The acquisition of Zodiac Recreational included two other business units, stratospheric balloons and multi-layer insulation, both of which serve the aerospace industry. Zodiac Recreational employs 430 people throughout its main operations in France, Tunisia and the in the U.S., as well as its sales offices located in Spain, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada.

“Zodiac Recreational joins the OpenGate portfolio, our family of businesses, at an opportune time of disciplined growth and expansion,” said Andrew Nikou, OpenGate Capital’s founder, managing partner and CEO. “We continue to seek out businesses around the world that can benefit from our operational strategies, and Zodiac Recreational has all the characteristics and challenges that we see as opportunities for growth. We are confident that given the Zodiac brand heritage, extensive dealer network, and continued strong demand for the Company’s product range, we can leverage these strengths to create a much stronger and vibrant business than ever before.”

The acquisition of Zodiac Recreational represents OpenGate Capital’s sixth transaction for the year 2012 including the acquisitions of Getronics LATAM from KPN, “Réponse à Tout!” from Group Ayache, Hamilton Scientific from Thermo Fisher Scientific, and the signed agreement to acquire Profialis from Tessenderlo Group. Additionally, OpenGate Capital announced in December of 2012 that it successfully sold one of its earlier acquisitions, Gabriel Ride Control, for a significant return on investment.

OpenGate Capital, LLC is a global private investment firm specializing in the acquisition and operation of businesses seeking revitalization through growth and operational improvements. Established in 2005, OpenGate Capital is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, and maintains offices in Paris, France, and São Paulo, Brazil. OpenGate’s seasoned professionals possess the critical skills needed to acquire, transition, operate and build successful businesses. To date, OpenGate Capital has executed more than 20 transactions ranging from corporate divestitures to turnaround acquisitions, industry consolidations and other special situation investments. The OpenGate portfolio of wholly owned businesses generates nearly $2 billion in revenue and includes businesses from a wide range of industries and geographic markets.