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Blackford Capital invests in Massachusetts-based water sports manufacturer COURTESY PHOTO

Blackford Capital invests in Massachusetts-based water sports manufacturer

BY Wednesday, January 13, 2021 11:11am

GRAND RAPIDS — Private equity firm Blackford Capital has invested in Aqua-Leisure Industries Inc.,  a maker of leisure products for water sports and recreation based in Avon, Mass.

The 50-year-old company produces swim goggles, pool floats, learn-to-swim and other products that are sold at retailers under a variety of brand names. 

In announcing the deal, Grand Rapids-based Blackford Capital said the company has maintained growth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and that it plans to “help Aqua-Leisure seize these opportunities to gain market share and capitalize on key industry trends, including unprecedented consumer demand through e-commerce and online sales channels.”

Blackford Capital founder and Managing Director Martin Stein said Aqua-Leisure is “another diversified consumer products business with a vision for continued evolution.” 

“The company has impressive and decades-long relationships with excellent customers, which have strengthened recently as Aqua-Leisure’s products have experienced tremendous consumer demand for backyard use and ‘staycations’ driven by the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic,” Stein said. “Throughout this period, Aqua-Leisure has proven itself to be an incredibly reliable partner and supplier.”

Aqua-Leisure’s management team remains with the company. Terms of the deal were undisclosed. 

Varnum LLP served as legal adviser and Grant Thornton was financial and tax adviser, and Rush Street served as debt financing adviser to Blackford on the transaction. Grand Rapids-based Mercantile Bank provided debt financing and Muzinich & Co. provided debt and equity financing.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct a typo in Martin Stein’s name.

Read 2773 times Last modified on Thursday, 14 January 2021 10:05