Duke Street keeps Navimo from sailing away

Restructuring of the yacht accessories maker has reduced the firm’s stake to 30%, with BNP Paribas taking 30% and management 40%.

Duke Street Capital has injected Navimo with just under €5 million in equity, enabling it to maintain equal footing with the company’s lenders, which in turn have written down around €30 million of Navimo’s debt.

As part of the restructuring, Duke Street has had its stake in the boat and yacht accessories company reduced to about 30 percent from nearly 100 percent, according to a source close to the process. BNP Paribas now holds a 30 percent stake, while the company’s management owns the balance.

Unlike other restructurings made public in recent months, Navimo’s problems stemmed not from an overleveraged balance sheet but from a severe slow down in the yachting industry, the source said. “Orders just were not coming in anymore,” the source said.

Yacht accessories: choppy sector

Several private equity firms have lost control of yacht industry investments in restructurings this year. The most recent being Bain Capital, which last month lost Bavaria Yactbau to distressed debt specialists Oaktree Capital and Anchorage Capital. Oaktree and Anchorage had in the last year purchased about €900 million in debt related to the company’s €1.3bn LBO in 2007. The lenders agreed to write down most of the company’s debt and to support the company with a €55 million investment.

Duke Street purchased Navimo from fellow London-based private equity firm Bridgepoint in September 2004. A source close to the deal at the time said the price had been roughly equal to the company then-annual turnover of €120 million.

The investment was made from Duke Street’s fifth fund, which closed on €650 million in 2002. The fund has so far returned a multiple of 1.9x, with five investments left to realise.