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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction Between YakGear, Inc. and T-H Marine Supplies, LLC, and Nautical Group International Holdings Limited

Benchmark International successfully facilitated the transaction of YakGear, Inc., a paddle sports and marine accessories distributor, to two buyers, T-H Marine Supplies, LLC and Nautical Group International Holdings Limited. YakGear Inc., based in Houston, Texas, also has operating agreements to provide RAILBLAZA products throughout North America, as well as distribution agreements with several other third-party water sports brands.

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YakGear Inc. is an industry-leading supplier of kayak equipment, paddle sports accessories, and boat-mounting accessories to individual consumers, as well as distributors across the United States via e-commerce and retail sales. The company has several partnerships with big-box retailers, distribution outlets, and e-commerce channels such as Amazon to market and reach a wide audience.

“I wanted to take the time to thank [Benchmark International] for all the hard work y’all did to make selling the company an easy thing. From the early beginning of the adventure, I knew I had someone to rely on and count on for conversation and guidance. It was a long road, over two years, but you brought many competent buyers to the table, it was just me looking for the right one to continue the tradition my team and I had built into YakGear for 17 years.” -Bill Bragman Founder of YakGear Inc.

Nautical Group Holdings (NGH) acquired all assets of YakGear Inc. that relate to RAILBLAZA distribution, including associated stock and direct-to-consumer (DTC) accounts. RAILBLAZA USA Inc. (RAILBLAZA USA) will operate as a 100% owned subsidiary of NGH from Houston, Texas, managing all RAILBLAZA operations and sales distribution to the North American market.

NGH aims to achieve a dominant market position for each of its niche portfolio brands while accelerating an innovation focus with speed to market while assisting portfolio companies to build out governance and corporate functions to a higher level of maturity to support growth. It will capitalize on a broad range of well-developed relationships with global distributors, partners, and customers, supplying best-in-class solutions.

Commenting on the transaction, CEO of NGH, Marc Michel, said, “Our thanks to the YakGear team who have done an amazing job of establishing and growing RAILBLAZA in the US market. This is a strategic acquisition to accelerate our momentum in the US market and put in place a focused RAILBLAZA team.”

The remaining assets of YakGear Inc. have been acquired by TH Marine, a division of OneWater (NASDAQ: ONEW). T-H Marine has grown to be one of the largest suppliers of marine parts and accessories in the United States. T-H Marine is based in Huntsville, Alabama, where it provides various products, including jack plates, outboard tilt and trim controls, rigging components, boat plumbing, hatches, LED lights, live well aeration, and more.

“Since 2006, YakGear Founder and President Bill Bragman and his team have done a remarkable job providing accessories to kayak, canoe, and stand up paddleboard enthusiasts, earning YakGear’s reputation as a household name among their audience,” said Jeff Huntley Sr., Chief Executive Officer for T-H Marine. “We’re thrilled to add the YakGear team, including Jerron Wosel, YakGear’s Director of Procurement and now President of the YakGear division, to T-H Marine, along with their expansive portfolio of paddle sport products. YakGear’s strong multi-channel approach to the aftermarket complements our platform and provides exposure to an entirely new set of paddle sports retailers and consumers, giving T-H Marine a stronger foothold in the space.”

“Representing an industry leader like YakGear was an honor for our team and are confident the acquiring parties will continue to grow within their niche and benefit from this transaction.” Brenda Spencer, Transaction Director said, “we wish success to all in their future endeavors”.

 

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Americas: Sam Smoot at +1 (813) 898 2350 / Smoot@BenchmarkIntl.com

Europe: Michael Lawrie at +44 (0) 161 359 4400 / Enquiries@BenchmarkIntl.com

Africa: Anthony McCardle at +27 21 300 2055 / McCardle@BenchmarkIntl.com 

ABOUT BENCHMARK INTERNATIONAL

Benchmark International’s global offices provide business owners in the middle market and lower middle market with creative, value-maximizing solutions for growing and exiting their businesses. To date, Benchmark International has handled engagements in excess of $8.25B across various industries worldwide. With decades of global M&A experience, Benchmark International’s deal teams, working from 14 offices across the world, have assisted thousands of owners with achieving their personal objectives and ensuring the continued growth of their businesses.

Website: http://www.benchmarkintl.com
Blog: http://blog.benchmarkcorporate.com

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2020 M&A In The Global Sports World

In early 2020, there was plenty of optimism for investment opportunities and growth in the sports sector prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has since caused disruption in nearly every sector around the world. Financial uncertainty has been a large factor in addition to issues surrounding player contracts and broadcasting rights. Mergers and acquisitions activity in the global sports world has experienced a downward trend but there is hope on the horizon.

Italian Football

Amidst COVID-19 delays, Italian football (calico) has had its share of off-the-field matters this year. In August, the Italian club A.S. Roma announced the completion of a takeover by Texas-based Friedkin Group: an 86.6% stake in for €591 million, a large decrease from the previously agreed upon figure of €750 million prior to the pandemic. This lower price demonstrates how lost matches, sponsorship, and broadcasting income all impact the valuation of sports clubs. In light of these decreasing valuations, PE firms could be motivated to seek out bargain M&A and financing opportunities.

Italy’s Serie A has also embraced private investment. In September, its 20 clubs agreed to create its own media company financed partially by PE funds in order to better organize the sale and promotion of the league's TV rights. The move is designed to improve governance and increase revenue, especially abroad.

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Benchmark International Completes Sale Of Charron Sports Services, Inc. To Corvus Industries, Ltd., DBA Br Bleachers And DBA Facili-serv

Benchmark International has successfully negotiated the sale of Charron Sports Services, Inc. (“Charron”) to Corvus Industries, LTD. (“Corvus”).

Based in Liberty, South Carolina, Charron is an industry

 leader in the installation, maintenance and restoration of aluminum bleachers, telescoping bleachers (gymnasium bleachers) and other seating. The company’s other offerings include basketball backstops and other various gym equipment items.

Since 1991, Charron has been committed to providing reliable and dependable bleacher repair services to some of the Southeast’s largest schools systems. Since inception, the company has grown from a small family business to a profitable venture. The company’s technical knowledge, experienced staff, and professionalism not only ensure client retention, but foster additional growth opportunities within the industry.

With operations dating back to 1973, Corvus is recognized nationally as a major player in the bleacher repair and maintenance space. Bleachers are considered a great liability for institutions, and Corvus has been dedicated to ensuring that bleachers are safe and current with the latest safety codes. Today, Corvus industries is further expanding its geographic presence with the strategic acquisition of Charron Sports.

Tyrus O’Neill, Director at Benchmark International, stated, “It was a pleasure to represent Charron Sports in this transaction, and on behalf of Benchmark International, we are extremely pleased with the outcome. Allowing both the seller and acquirer to prosper and benefit is always an ideal end result.”

Senior Associate, Trevor Talkie, added, “We have really enjoyed working with our client, Maury Purcell, and bringing to the table a company that very closely represents Charron’s ideal candidate in terms of corporate culture and values. Overall, this has been a thoroughly satisfying experience and we wish both parties the best of luck moving forward.”

President and Founder of Charron Sports, Maury Purcell, stated, “Benchmark International played an instrumental role in facilitating a transaction quickly and fairly. I would like to thank the Benchmark International transaction team for the extraordinary effort in representing Charron Sports in this deal. We strongly feel this end result could not have been achieved without the help of each member there."

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