28 Nov 2016
YFM Equity Partners achieves stellar return on sale of GO Outdoors
YFM Equity Partners (“YFM”), the specialist private equity fund manager has realised the investment in GO Outdoors Limited (“GO Outdoors”), the outdoor clothing and equipment retailer, through a £130m sale to JD Sports Fashion plc.
The sale, together with the partial realisation in 2011, means that YFM has achieved close to 40x the original investment, with a £23m total return.
When YFM originally invested, through British Smaller Companies VCT plc, one of its advised VCTs, alongside the founders Paul Caplan and John Graham, there was just one store in Sheffield generating £2m in sales, but the firm could see potential for rapid expansion.
YFM helped GO Outdoors to professionalise the board and to manage its transformational growth supporting the introduction of the membership store discount card and new expertise in e-commerce. YFM’s long-term partnership with the business helped create a market leading retail business with 58 stores, over 2000 employees and over £200m of turnover.
This realisation follows on from the 8x return on YFM’s realisation of President Engineering, 5x return on Waterfall Services and adds to YFM’s long term track record of 3x returns from its last 29 realisations.
Paul Cannings, Director, YFM, said: “We are delighted that GO Outdoors is taking the next steps of its development and growth. We have been involved with GO Outdoors and the management team throughout its journey from one store to market leader, with an open supportive relationship that has allowed the business to flourish.”
Chris Matthews, GO Outdoors Chief Executive, commented: “I would like to personally thank YFM, for their active involvement, strategic advice and continued support which, in partnership with our exiting founders John Graham and Paul Caplan has helped to grow GO Outdoors into the UK’s largest outdoor retailer.”
David Hall, Managing Director, YFM added: “This investment has been our best return to date and showcases our experience and expertise in helping businesses develop, change and grow.
“This realisation builds on our long term track record of strong returns from investing in growing business in the UK. And is another example of a success story from a business based in the North of England.”