Seafolly merges with Maaji to create world’s largest independent swimwear business

A new super group set to become the world’s largest independent swimwear and beach lifestyle business has been formed in Asia.

L Catterton Asia, the consumer-focused private equity firm backed by luxury goods house LVMH, announced the news after acquiring Colombian beachwear brand Maaji.

The sale comes two years after the firm purchased a majority stake in Australian swimwear business Seafolly.

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L Catterton is merging the two brands to create a global beach lifestyle retail platform with the aim of generating $500 million in sales within the next five years.

The firm will control a 61% share in the combined business, with the founders of both businesses holding a 18% stake each, reports the Australian Financial Review.

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Commenting on the latest transaction, Ravi Thakran, chairman and managing partner of L Catterton Asia said in a statement: “With this unparalleled combination, we look to grow our portfolio and create the largest independent house of beach lifestyle brands. The two brands are market leaders from two large, but distinct beach destinations – Australia and Latin America, with each possessing a very unique style and positioning.

“When we invested in Seafolly, we had at that stage, envisaged a roll-up strategy to aggregate a portfolio of high quality beachwear brands in a market segment that is large, growing, but highly fragmented,” he continued.

“This combination will bring many synergies to the fold, including geographic expansion, retail roll-out and product sourcing.”

Seafolly was founded in 1975 by Peter & Yvonne Halas Seafolly. Their son Anthony took over the business in 1998 and gradually built the business across several international markets.

Today, Seafolly is sold in 41 countries, through leading retailers and major online sites, in 32 Seafolly stores in Australia, the US and Singapore and through its own direct-to-consumer e-commerce site.

Maaji has been dedicated to the design and marketing of whimsical and innovative beachwear since 2002.

Influenced by their Colombian heritage, co-founders and sisters Manuela and Amalia Sierra pursued their dream to create a brand that would capture a worldwide audience.

The brand now has a presence in more than 54 countries and has 12 stand-alone stores across the Americas.

Commenting on the collaboration with L Catterton Maaji, CEO Miguel Piedrahita said: “This partnership is a critical step towards achieving our vision of positioning ourselves as a global beach lifestyle leader while continuously meeting the high-quality demand of our #RealMermaids.

“Seafolly and Maaji rank among the most creative, unique and innovative beach lifestyle brands in the market; we believe joining forces with them through our new admired partner L Catterton Asia, will enable us to deliver game-changing products and experiences to our consumers.”

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