Change is in the air

At first glance, there would appear to be no similarity to the acquisition of Boats Group (YachtWorld, BoatTrader.com, boats.com, CosasDeBarcos and Yacht Closer) formerly Dominion Marine Media by Apax Partners and the acquisition of West Marine by Monomoy Capital Partners.

When you dig into them a little deeper, a connection appears and it is one that is likely faced by several other companies in our industry.  

Apax Partners describe themselves as 'having a proven strategy of sector focused investing, looking for opportunities where capital, experience and insight can release the potential of businesses and lead to significant growth. Typically, Apax Partners attempts to grow businesses by acting as a catalyst for change and we have established clear processes to maximize the value of our portfolio'.

Monomoy Capital Partners describe themselves as 'experts in strategic sales, product pricing, supply chain optimization, process improvement, cash management, cost reduction and lean manufacturing. We have rarely encountered a business that couldn't benefit from our ability to eliminate waste and create value'.

The connection between Boats Group and West Marine is that they are market leaders in their segment and have been for some considerable time. They have no serious competition and therein lies the problem. Both their product offerings and customer bases have matured to the extent that currently, only price increases can significantly improve their bottom lines.  Our industry is in no mood for price increases, especially for the same products.  

The connection between Apax Partners and Monomoy Capital Partners is that they will act as a catalyst for cost reduction in the existing business models of Boats Group and West Marine while increasing the efforts of both brands to find new customers and products. Change is in the air.

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