Gresham House Ventures has sold its equity stake in outdoor apparel manufacturer Equip Outdoor Technologies UK Ltd (Equip), realising a 6.9x* money multiple to date on its original £4.45mn investment.

Founded in 1993, Equip’s portfolio includes two technical outdoor brands; Rab, which it has owned since 2003, and Lowe Alpine, which it acquired in 2011.

The business has seen rapid growth in recent years, with Rab gaining market share in many markets and Equip increasing its activity in the US.

Equip also remained resilient through the pressures of Covid-19, with demand for outdoor apparel remaining strong and the business continuing to fulfil orders.

As a result, Equip increased its turnover from £61mn in the year to January 2021 to £97mn in the year to January 2022, while EBITDA grew from £10mn to over £18mn over the same period.

The Gresham House-advised Mobeus VCTs initially invested in Equip in 2011 to support the business’ acquisition of Lowe Alpine. The Mobeus VCTs’ equity stake will be bought out via a refinancing, involving funding through increased credit facilities from a new bank, with HSBC UK replacing Santander. The Mobeus VCTs will continue to provide funding to the business via an existing loan which will remain in place.

The exit builds upon a busy period for Gresham House Ventures, as it continues to deploy capital in promising UK businesses across a diverse range of specialist sectors. Notable investments in recent months include £4.5mn of funding for eating disorder clinic Orri, a £1.2mn investment in plant-based ice cream business Northern Bloc, and £3.5mn of capital for real estate software company fu3e.

Ed Wass, Portfolio Partner at Gresham House Ventures, said:

“Our investment in Equip has been a true success story for the Mobeus VCTs and Gresham House Ventures, delivering an outstanding return for our investors and supporting a promising British business in achieving exceptional growth. With Equip’s management team now looking to build the business in a new direction, our exit at this time represents a positive outcome for all parties and the additional funding now being injected into the business will ensure Equip is well supported on the next phase of its journey.”

Matt Gowar, CEO at Equip, said:

“The Gresham House Ventures team has played a valuable role as a supportive investor partner since 2011. It has enabled the business to substantially increase its turnover and profits in a competitive market, despite supply chain issues and Covid-19 in recent years. They have been flexible during the refinancing discussions, which, as we continue to build our presence in the growing outdoor goods sector, will enable Equip to continue to grow and develop ever more sustainable and technical products for our customers over the coming years.”


*as at November 2022, Gresham House.


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