We are pleased to announce the successful sale of Lewmar Marine to LCI (NYSE: LCII) subsidiary, Lippert Components, Inc.
Founded in 1948, Lewmar has become one of the world’s premier suppliers of leisure marine equipment for yachts, sailboats, and powerboats.
Shackleton originally acquired a significant interest in Lewmar in December 2007 as part of a direct equity portfolio bought from 3i Group (FTSE: III). At the time the company was making heavy losses, with over £10m lost in the years 2006-2008, and it had £14m of net debt. Lewmar needed our help. So in 2008, having encouraged Peter Tierney to join Lewmar as Chairman and CEO, we backed Peter’s turnaround and growth plan with a substantial investment.
Despite the global turbulence at that time this plan was superbly executed. As a result by 2010 Lewmar had become consistently profitable and cash generative. In 2014 Shackleton invested further, to facilitate Lewmar’s entry into the glass hatch business, alongside new investors including Bestport Private Equity. This was another highly successful move for Lewmar, which has now become a leading supplier of glass to many of the world’s boat manufacturers.
By 2018 Lewmar was able to report EBITDA of over £5 million on Revenues that had grown to £56 million. The company’s strong and sustained growth has been driven by a continuing stream of innovative new products and effective marketing. The company now designs, manufactures, and distributes a wide range of components including anchoring systems, hatch and portlight solutions, powered and manual glazing systems, sail control winches and hardware, docking products, and steering systems.
Hugh Stewart, Managing Partner of Shackleton Ventures, commented: “We are delighted to have been part of the Lewmar story. Peter and his team did a fantastic job in restoring Lewmar to being, once again, an outstanding company and a fine example of British engineering at its best. Peter is one of that rare breed who can both turn around a company and then make it grow. It has been a joy to work with him and the rest of the Lewmar management team and we wish the company and the employees the best in the next chapter in the company’s history.”
Peter added: “We have greatly enjoyed working with Shackleton who have been brave, challenging, fun and straightforward in all their dealings with us”.
Shackleton’s investment in Lewmar was from its second fund, Shackleton Secondaries II LP, formed in 2007. This fund has achieved a 14% gross IRR to date, consistent with all four of Shackleton’s principal funds, and like its predecessor Shackleton Secondaries LP, it is strongly in cash profit. In total, including Lewmar, Shackleton has had 20 profitable exits since its formation in late 2006.