Sycamore Partners, the private equity firm that owns Pure Fishing, has invested in Rapala VMC Corporation.
The move comes just a week after Rapala bought the Okuma brand and its associated property rights in Europe and Russia, declaring it as its flagship brand in rods and reels.
According to a stock exchange release from Rapala, US-based Sycamore purchased 7.5 million shares, which represents 19.23% of total shares and voting rights. The aggregate ownership increased above the 15% threshold on February 11th, says the release. The transaction makes Sycamore the second biggest shareholder in the Rapala VMC group behind Veillard Migeon & Cie., which has 15 million shares (38.46%).
Nicolas Warchalowski, President and CEO of Rapala VMC, responded to Angling International’s request for a comment by saying: ”The Viellard family has been a long-term owner of Rapala VMC and they have been instrumental, together with the Chairman of the board, Louis d’Alançon, in the strategic stewardship of the new ONE RAPALA VMC transformational journey that we are now pursuing with great initial results.
“For our company to have such a committed long-term owner as the Viellard family is a true advantage and means that the senior management team and myself get to continue with business as normal.”
Pure Fishing, which was bought by Sycamore from Newell Brands for a reported $1.3billion in 2019, currently has 19 brands, including household names like Berkley, Abu Garcia, Shakespeare, Hardy and Penn, and is the world’s biggest producer of fishing tackle by volume.
Headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina, Pure Fishing is strong in almost all tackle categories, with the possible exception of hooks, where companies like VMC, Eagle Claw, Mustad, Owner, and Gamakatsu enjoy strong market shares.
Rapala VMC, which itself has 14 brands, reported net sales of €261m for 2020 and employs more than 2,000 people in 42 countries.