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MVC Group acquires 70% of Zoot and enters the triathlon market

MVC Group , specialized in outdoor and cycling clothing with the Castelli, Karpos and Sportful brands , has announced the acquisition of 70% of Zoot , a leading American company in the production and marketing of triathlon clothing and accessories. Founded in 1946 by the Cremonese family, now in its third generation, MVC Group is 40% owned by the Equinox fund and in 2022 achieved a consolidated turnover of 132.4 million euros.

“The acquisition of Zoot is part of our growth and expansion strategy and is very important for the consolidation of MVC in the American market, where we have already operated with a subsidiary for more than 20 years, as well as allowing us to enter the triathlon segment, a sport that is experiencing significant growth rates with an attractive high-spending consumer base. Zoot's direct presence in the Philippines will also allow us to benefit from vertical production integration with a further strengthening of our platform which, to date, manages the Castelli, Sportful and Karpos brands", commented Alessio Cremonese, CEO of MVC Group .

Born in 1983 in Kona, Hawaii, with headquarters since 2003 in San Diego, California, a factory owned in the Philippines, Zoot is today one of the most important and recognized companies for triathlon . The company expects to close 2023 with revenues of approximately $10 million and EBITDA of $3 million.

“Thanks to the acquisition of Zoot, in addition to strengthening ourselves in triathlon, we have the opportunity to consolidate the Group's positioning in a strategic segment such as the Direct To Consumer channel, where Zoot generates approximately 70% of its turnover, with an operating margin above 30%”, underlined Alberto Cremonese, president of MVC and head of the IT division.

The Direct to Consumer channel represents an important development driver for MVC Group, and is an integral part of the growth project carried out after Equinox's entry into the shareholding structure. The goal is to bring the channel, which currently generates approximately 14% of turnover, to 20% of the total by 2025.

“We are proud to be alongside MVC in this acquisition which will allow the Group to pursue its growth and development path, with the addition of a new important brand of a sport that is increasingly conquering new consumers, the implementation of the DTC and the strengthening of the subsidiary in the USA, which will draw on the skills of Zoot's management team to manage MVC's entire American business. With this operation, MVC Group also confirms its ability to grasp the challenges and trends of the market and to be an active part as an industrial unifying reality in the sector", added Massimiliano Monti, partner of Equinox.

Following the acquisition, Doug Vargo, current CFO of Zoot, will be named CEO of Zoot and MVC US ; Shawn O'Shea takes over as global head of the triathlon division and will manage both the Zoot and Castelli brands for the triathlon.

“We are thrilled to be able to become part of a Group like MVC and we are convinced that the great expertise of its management and the synergies that can be developed will offer new development opportunities for Zoot. Thanks to MVC's e-commerce platform we will also be able to expand our borders and reach new and interesting markets such as Europe, Japan and China", concluded Shawn O'Shea, current president of Zoot.

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