Better Capital takes a stake in Fairline Boats

Turnaround specialist Better Capital has partnered with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to acquire luxury powerboat builder Fairline Boats in a £20.5 million deal.

Better Capital, which is chaired by venture capitalist Jon Moulton, will acquire a majority stake in Masco 30, a new company set up solely for the purpose of acquiring 100 per cent of the share capital of Fairline Boat Acquisitions Limited.

Under the agreement, West Register (Investments), a company owned by RBS, will acquire a minority stake in Masco 30. Better Capital and RBS have committed £16.6 million and £3.9 million respectively to finance the transaction and to fund restructuring and working capital requirements.

Fairline is a global brand specialising in the design, engineering, manufacture and distribution of luxury boats in the range of 38 to 80 feet and costing about £2 million. It sells its boats through an extensive independent dealer network in 69 locations worldwide and is headquartered in Oundle, Northamptonshire.

In recent years Fairline has struggled in the wake of the credit crunch. According to reports, the company, which was founded in 1963 by Jack Newington, experienced a 40 per cent drop in sales last year, and has cut headcount and ramped up marketing initiatives in response.

In 2005, chief executive Derek Carter led a £40 million management buy-out of the business with backing from private equity group 3i. It was rumoured that 3i put the business up for sale in October last year.

Nick Sanders, a member of Better Capital, will join the Fairline Group board as chairman.

Todd Cardy

Todd Cardy

Todd was Editor of between 2010 and 2011 as well as being responsible for publishing our digital and printed magazines focusing on private equity and venture capital.

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