Private Equity Firm Invests in Nixon Watches, Accessories

In What's New, Industry News by Accessories Staff

New York–Boardsport lifestyle brand Nixon got a ramp up on its watch and accessories business this week. Trilantic Capital Partners, a global private equity firm, and its affiliates, invested $130 million in convertible preferred stock into Nixon Inc., a brand targeting the global youth accessories market.

Trilantic partnered with Nixon’s founders, Andy Laats and Chad DiNenna, who will invest alongside Trilantic in the transaction, as well as current Nixon shareholder Billabong International Ltd., a global marketer, wholesaler and retailer in the boardsports sector.

The investment will help Nixon expand globally. Led by the same management team who founded the business 15 years ago, Encinitas, California-based Nixon has experienced strong growth in sales and global brand awareness with distribution in more than 70 countries for its watches, soft goods, electronics and accessories.

Investment to ‘Deepen Roots in Action Sports’ Market

New women's ceramic Time Walk watch

Spring belt style by Nixon

“Nixon is the preeminent watch and accessories brand in the action sports category with tremendous customer loyalty and momentum. We look forward to working with the Nixon team and partnering with Billabong to deepen Nixon’s roots in action sports and expand the reach of the brand and products into new channels and markets,” said Charlie Moore, partner at Trilantic Capital Partners. “This partnership complements our existing portfolio of consumer companies and highlights our focus on developing long-term plans with founder-run businesses.”

Meanwhile, Billabong revealed this week that it had rebuffed an $824 million cash deal by TPG Capital to buy it out. Instead, Billabong sold its 51.5% stake in Nixon to Trilantic and Nixon management for about $285 million.

Trilantic’s portfolios of consumer investments include recent acquisitions of Implus, a footwear, outdoor and fitness accessories firm, and Fortitech, a worldwide leader in the development of nutritional premixes. Until last year, Trilantic held a substantial interest in SRAM, a global designer and marketer of branded bicycle components.

According to Laats, “our partnership with Trilantic and the opportunity to significantly increase the level of ongoing investment in the business to help us accelerate growth for all products in established and new markets.” 

About Trilantic Capital Partners

Trilantic Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused on control and significant minority investments in North America and Europe, with primary investment focus in consumer, energy, transport, financial services and business services. Trilantic Capital Partners was formed in 2009 by the former principals of Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking (“LBMB”), where they established LBMB, and now Trilantic, as a partner of choice for management teams, entrepreneurs and family-owned companies. Trilantic currently manages two institutional private equity funds with an aggregate capital commitment of $3.8 billion.


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