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Boats Group Acquired by Private Equity Firm

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Boats Group announced that a Permira Funds-backed company acquired a majority stake in the online classified marketplace, which includes BoatTrader, boats.com and YachtWorld, from funds advised by Apax Partners.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Miami-based Boats Group said it services more than 4,000 brokers and dealers in 140-plus countries with its English-language sites, as well as Cosas De Barcos, Annonces du Bateau and Botentekoop for Spanish, French and German clients, respectively.

“Boating has never been more popular, and as the foremost digital classifieds marketplace and technology provider for the industry, our growth potential has never been greater,” Boats Group CEO Sam Fulton said in a statement. “Apax has been a tremendous partner in our most recent phase of growth, providing leading strategies from their digital marketplace experience.”

Apax Partners, headquartered in London, cited Boats Group’s growth in the marketplace as a key factor in the acquisition. Apax’s investments range from real estate and automobile classified sites to digital retailers, online education, active wear and more.

“We saw an opportunity to accelerate growth at a well-positioned marketplace by recruiting a world-class management team, investing in product innovation and leveraging our extensive history of online classified investments,” said Apax partner Steve Kooyers. “It’s been a pleasure to partner with Sam and the team to drive value for boaters, dealers, brokers and OEMs throughout North America and Europe.”

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