West Marine Acquired by Private Equity Firm

West Marine, an integrated, omni-channel provider of aftermarket products and services to the boating, fishing, sailing and watersports markets in the U.S. announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by L Catterton. 

Catterton is the largest global consumer-focused private equity firm and has extensive experience building enthusiast brands. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1968, West Marine operates 237 physical locations across 38 states and Puerto Rico and two eCommerce platforms reaching domestic, international and professional customers. In partnership with L Catterton, West Marine plans to continue to expand its industry-leading consumer marine centers, fast track the advancement of its digital content, commerce and community capabilities for customers, and over deliver value with product, knowledgeable advice and an exceptional and differentiated consumer experience.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with L Catterton in the next phase of growth for West Marine,” said Ken Seipel, CEO of West Marine. “The L Catterton team brings invaluable consumer, brand building and digital expansion expertise to help us accelerate our growth plans. In partnership, we look forward to enhancing our digital capabilities and elevating our consumer experience to not only provide the broadest product offering in the industry, but to deliver the most comprehensive and rewarding consumer experience no matter where or how our boaters choose to engage with us. We look forward to our new partnership with Catterton.”

“As the established leader, West Marine is incredibly well-positioned in the marine aftermarket, and we are excited to support the Company as it expands its omnichannel offerings and further cements its leadership across the country,” said Marc Magliacano, managing partner at L Catterton. “West Marine has moved beyond its heritage as a retailer and is a highly trusted marine specialist and resource for boaters and salt-water enthusiasts. By leveraging our own experience building enthusiast brands, we will be able to accelerate the development of West Marine’s advanced omni-channel capabilities and enhance its consumer engagement, while creating an industry defining digital experience. West Marine will use its scale, product breadth, and expert field associates to deliver on all the needs of consumers looking to have an exceptional on water experience.”

"The U.S. marine aftermarket industry is a fundamentally attractive category benefiting from favorable consumer tailwinds including long-term growth in boating usage for leisure and time spent with family, higher focus on outdoor lifestyle activities including water sports and fishing, and the rise of boat sharing and clubs bringing more people into the category,” said Matt Lischick, partner at L Catterton. “We expect the aftermarket to continue its consistent secular growth based on the growing installed boat base and rising boating participation. West Marine stands out as the front-runner in the category and we look forward to partnering with Ken and his proven leadership team to further build the Company’s authority as the go-to, consumer-centric marine aftermarket player.”