August offloads media group to Pembroke

The sale of Boat International comes a week after August closed its third fund on its £200m hard-cap.

August Equity, a UK lower mid-market firm, has sold Boat International Media, a specialist publishing and events group, to Pembroke Venture Capital Trust and growth investor Lepe Capital.

Financial details of the transaction were undisclosed, but it is understood that the deal value was in excess of £10 million.

August Equity acquired the business in 2007, when it backed a £29 million management buyout of the digital publisher. August provided £13.4 million of equity while the management team funded the balance of the equity, with Lloyds providing some of the debt in the transaction, PEI reported at the time.

Boat International Media, founded in 1983, is a media provider for the global superyacht community, offering magazines, books, events and digital services to superyacht owners, builders, captains and crew and brokers. The business publishes more than 1.4 million magazines annually, sells in over 57 countries worldwide and organises eight annual events, according to a statement.

It is unclear which fund August used for the original investment. August did not respond to a request for comment at press time.

August Equity Partners I, a $294 million, 2001-vintage fund, generated a 3x return for investors, a source told PEI in July. Its Fund II, a £155 million, 2008-vintage, has so far made two exits that have repaid half of the commitments, the source said at the time. In November, a source told PEI the valuation of Fund II rose consistently quarter by quarter.

The exit comes a week after August closed its third fund on its £200 million hard-cap. The vehicle, which was oversubscribed, held a £100 million first close in July.

The London-headquartered firm has already made two investments from the new vehicle. In November, it acquired The Old Deanery Care Village, an Essex-base dementia care home provider. In July, August invested in education provider Minerva Education.

August typically invests between £10 million and £30 million in UK-based companies. While the firm has no explicit sector specialism, it tends to operate in the healthcare, education, technology services and business services space.

The acquisition of Boat International Media represents Pembroke’s thirteenth investment since it was launched in April to invest in early-stage consumer businesses. Pembroke aims to raise £20 million and is managed by Oakley Capital Management, part of the Oakley group, an asset management and financial advisory business led by private equity veteran Peter Dubens.