Bridges Ventures backs MBO of SealSkinz with £1.35 million investment

Bridges Ventures, the venture capital company with a social mission, announces that it is backing the management buyout of SealSkinz, the Norfolk-based manufacturer of unique waterproof socks and gloves beloved of bikers and hikers.

With a turnover of £2m, SealSkinz sells a range of outdoor clothing products mainly through specialist outdoor and cycle retailers such as Cotswold Outdoor, Blacks and Evans Cycles.

Bridges Ventures is investing £1.35m alongside a management team led by managing director Andrew Dahl to buy the company from its parent KL Technologies.

The company fits Bridges Ventures social criteria because of its location in an underinvested area of King’s Lynn, Norfolk, as measured by the Government Index of Multiple Deprivation.

Antony Ross of Bridges Ventures said: “We are delighted to be backing such an exciting company in an area where successful businesses of this kind bring enormous benefits to the community. SealSkinz has a great range of products and is building a well-recognised brand in a number of growing activity markets.”

Andrew Dahl of SealSkinz said: “This deal will allow us to focus on producing exciting new products based on the SealSkinz technology and developing the SealSkinz brand. New products include the world’s first waterproof breathable football sock and an ultra tough glove made from Kevlar. We are delighted to be working with Bridges.”

SealSkinz increased turnover by 35% last year and plans to continue manufacturing domestically at their existing King’s Lynn site.

For further information please contact:

The Company Sealskinz Ltd Andrew Dahl (CEO) www.sealskinz.com


Bridges Community Ventures: Antony Ross, Director led the transaction on behalf of Bridges Community Ventures; Matt Harris and Laura Howard, Associates also worked on the transaction. www.bridgesventures.com

HSBC Bank: David Lawrence and Colin Lewis let the transaction on behalf of HSBC Bank

Advisors: ER Consultants Martyn Sakol (management due diligence)

Vantis Catherine Holland (financial due diligence)

Wragge & Co, Baljit Chohan (legal advice to BCV)

Bridges Ventures invests in the most deprived 25% of areas in the country, as defined by the Index of Multiple Deprivation. Bridges Ventures’ second fund can also invest in businesses outside these target areas if they demonstrate strong social benefits in healthcare, education or the environment.

The company was founded by Apax Partners, Tom Singh of the retail chain New Look, and 3i.   Bridges Ventures invests up to £10m per company in growth companies at the early and expansion stages, as well as management buy-outs and property-backed businesses. Entrepreneurs can find out whether their business is eligible for investment by going to the website www.bridgesventures.com or calling 020 7262 5566.