YFM Equity Partners has sold its investment in GO Outdoors, the outdoor clothing and equipment retailer, to JD Sports Fashion in a GBP130 million deal.
The sale, together with the partial realisation in 2011, means that YFM has achieved close to 40x its original investment, with a GBP23 million total return.
When YFM originally invested alongside the founders Paul Caplan and John Graham, there was just one store in Sheffield generating GBP2 million in sales.
YFM helped GO Outdoors to professionalise the board and to manage its growth supporting the introduction of the membership store discount card and new expertise in e-commerce. YFM helped create a business with 58 stores, over 2000 employees and over GBP200 million of turnover.
This realisation follows on from the 8x return on YFM’s realisation of President Engineering, 5x return on Waterfall Services and adds to YFM’s long term track record of 3x returns from its last 29 realisations.
Paul Cannings, director, YFM, says: “We are delighted that GO Outdoors is taking the next steps of its development and growth. We have been involved with GO Outdoors and the management team throughout its journey from one store to market leader, with an open supportive relationship that has allowed the business to flourish.”
Chris Matthews, GO Outdoors chief executive, says: “I would like to personally thank YFM, for their active involvement, strategic advice and continued support which, in partnership with our exiting founders John Graham and Paul Caplan has helped to grow GO Outdoors into the UK’s largest outdoor retailer.”
David Hall, managing director, YFM, adds: “This investment has been our best return to date and showcases our experience and expertise in helping businesses develop, change and grow.
“This realisation builds on our long term track record of strong returns from investing in growing business in the UK. And is another example of a success story from a business based in the North of England.”