Investcorp buys Italian safety apparel manufacturer

The Bahraini firm has acquired family-owned Dainese in a deal valuing the company at €130m

Bahrain-based Investcorp has acquired a majority stake in Italian retailer Dainese in a deal valuing the company at €130 million.

Lino Dainese, the founder and president of the company, which creates safety apparel for the motorcycle and sports markets, will retain a minority stake in the business and will remain on the company’s board. Dainese’s current management team will also remain in place.

Dainese, originally known for competitive motorcycling racing wear, provides protective gear for road and racing, as well as for winter sports, biking and horse-riding. Through its AGV brand name the company also manufactures motorcycle helmets.

Investcorp made the investment from its balance sheet. It is understood that debt for the transaction was arranged and underwritten by Mediobanca, but further financial details were undisclosed.

“[Dainese] is exactly the type of company we look to invest in: a founder managed successful business looking for a partner for the next phase of growth,” Hazem Ben-Gacem, head of Investcorp’s European corporate investment team, said in a statement.

Lino Dainese, who founded the company in 1972, said Investcorp’s support will allow him to refocus his attentions on technological advances in the company’s product line. He is credited with inventing products such as back protectors and knee sliders, as well as the Dainese air-bag, an intelligent protection system which detects dangerous falls and deploys airbags around motorcyclists’ bodies.

Investcorp has a particular interest in luxury brands. In the 1980s the firm invested in luxury Swiss watch manufacturer Breguet, US jewellery group Tiffany & Co. and Riva, an Italian manufacturer of luxury speedboats and yachts. It also invested in Italian luxury goods designer Gucci in the 1990s.

This is Investcorp’s second acquisition in the space of a week, having bought US-based software and services firm PRO Unlimited alongside Bahraini sovereign fund Mumtalakat for around $300 million, according to media reports.

In August the firm sold Chicago-based Berlin Packaging, a supplier of rigid packaging products and services, to Oak Hill Capital Partners in a deal valued at $1.43 billion. PEI previously reported that for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, Investcorp returned around $1.3 billion to investors and posted a 25 percent increase in net profit, according to earnings statements.