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Lew’s Holdings Strikes Deal To Merge With Fox International

American firm Lew’s Holdings, which specialises in fishing equipment, has struck a major deal that will see the company merge with global fishing tackle manufacturer Fox International. The deal is set to complete at the end of the week with Lew’s reportedly paying in the region of £150m for the iconic brand, started by Cliff Fox back in 1967.

Fox is being acquired from current shareholders including Mayfair Equity Partners and Next Wave Partners, both of which are selling their entire stakes, while Lew’s and Fox are said to be planning to retain their existing management structures and brands following the transaction. Since Fox was acquired by Mayfair Equity partners, it has made two international acquisitions: lure brand Salmo and bait-dispensing product Spomb.

This deal will be one of the biggest the angling industry has ever seen, with Lew’s fighting off stiff competition to purchase the brand from a number of other interested parties, and the merger will create a major global player within the sport fishing sector.

Fox International commented in a statement: “The current Fox management will continue to lead and drive the European business, led by CEO Paul Reeves. Fox is committed to its strategy of innovation, heavyweight marketing and outstanding customer service and looks forward to continuing its successful relationships with customers, suppliers and partners.

“Lew’s (including Strike King) is a very successful fishing tackle business in North America, driven by outstanding innovation, product quality, marketing and best in class customer service. It has excellent technologies and brand strength, especially in reels and hard and soft lures. As such it is an excellent complement to the Fox product portfolio. Lew’s also has very little business in Europe, which we view as a significant opportunity for both us and our customers. Importantly there is also an excellent cultural fit with Fox as we share a deep knowledge of fishing and an understanding of the needs of the passionate angler.”

Paul Reeves added: “We are delighted to be joining with Lew’s, which is a highly complementary partner. We are also equally committed to continuing the extraordinary organic growth of Fox, while exploring acquisitions and partnerships with other high-quality businesses.”

The transaction is expected to complete in several weeks and is subject to customary legal conditions.

Author: John Hunter

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