Barings, one of the world's leading investment managers, has entered into exclusive discussions to acquire 100% of the Aqualung Group.
All key stakeholders, including Barings as shareholder, as well as the lenders of the Aqualung Group, have officially endorsed a binding agreement that outlines this significant capital evolution.
This transaction will enable Aqualung to bolster its ongoing transformation initiated in 2023 after the appointment of a new management team, led by Bruno Cercley, and the launch of the ambitious ‘Horizon 2027' plan.
Barings has already established a strong working relationship and possesses extensive knowledge of Aqualung as part of the lender group that has been providing financial support to the company since its acquisition by Montagu, the private equity firm, six years ago.
Benjamin Gillet, Managing Director Global Private Finance at Barings, commented: “We are delighted to continue our longstanding partnership with Aqualung, a global historical leader in its markets, renowned for its strong brands and diverse range of technical products, through this new and major role. We have full confidence in the Group's capabilities and are committed to reinforcing our operations together, injecting a fresh impetus into sales. We have full trust in the management as they have demonstrated decisive expertise and unwavering dedication. With this shared vision and collaborative approach, we look forward to achieving new milestones and driving further success”.
Bruno Cercley, President and CEO of Aqualung Group, said: “After six years of consistent support from Montagu as the company's shareholder since the takeover from Air Liquide in 2016, the Aqualung Group is entering a new era focused on accelerating its development with a shareholder that possesses deep knowledge of the company. I am thrilled that we have taken this initial step and excited to lead the continuous improvement plans we have implemented and coordinated for over ten months in this new environment.”
The anticipated closing of the acquisition is scheduled for the autumn of 2023 following receipt of customary regulatory clearances.
The transaction amount remains undisclosed.