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Fox International sold for second time in 15 months

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For the second time in 15 months, UK tackle manufacturer, Fox International has been sold.
↑ Daniel Sasaki, of Mayfair Equity Partners says Fox was exactly the sort of business his company was looking to make an investment in.

One of Europe’s top tackle brands has changed hands for the second time in 15 months.

Fox International, once fishing’s biggest privately-owned company, was taken over by Next Wave Partners in Summer 2014, and has now been sold to private equity firm Mayfair Equity Partners, which reportedly values the business at £50m.

Company founder Cliff Fox, who founded his company in 1967, had remained in place in the earlier deal. But the industry veteran is believed to have taken retirement in this latest move.

The future of the rest of the company’s management team was unknown to Angling International at the time this story went to press.

Mayfair is one of he UK’s newest private equity firms and is headed by Daniel Sasaki, the former chief of Lloyds Banking Group’s private equity arm. Sasaki said Fox was exactly the kind of investment his business was looking for.

“Our skills and engagement can help a high-quality team realise the full potential of their business faster,” he added. “In fishing, niche image can bely true size and market opportunity.”

Mayfair hit the headlines in the financial press in April with a £200m takeover of Ovo Energy, a British power company.

Mr Sasaki’s partner at Mayfair, Kunal Dasgupta, described anglers as “swag conscious.”

“You have to have a reason to be in this market. The UK is competitive and crowded.”

Prior to receiving in the region of a £30m investment from Next Wave Partners, Fox was close to being bought by Zebco. However, the deal collapsed at the last minute, with Zebco going on to purchase rival UK business Preston Innovations.

Cliff Fox began his company in a rented workshop, with the first product to bear the Fox name – a metal baitdropper – appearing in 1967. Today the firm sells tackle in around 30 countries and has a large European distribution centre in Meer on the Belgium/Holland border.

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