Leading UK outdoor clothing and equipment firm GO Outdoors is pushing ahead with plans to more than double the number of stores it has throughout the UK after getting a £28 million boost from 3i.
The venture capital group is taking a minority stake in Sheffield-based GO Outdoors, which was named one of the three fastest growing private equity-backed companies in the UK earlier this year.
The founders, management and YFM Equity Partners, will continue to hold significant stakes in the company, whose value is believed to exceed £100 million following the 3i investment.
GO Outdoors has grown rapidly in recent years by acquiring stores in large out-of-town locations and offering a wide range of products at highly competitive prices.
The group currently has 30 stores and plans to add another 40 over the next four years.
David Whileman and Justin Maltz of 3i join the board of the company, based just off Bramall Lane, and Colin Holmes takes over as chairman from John Lovering.
Mr Holmes joins the company after a long and successful career at Tesco, where he led fast expansion of the superstore and convenience stores business and the development of its supply chain for fresh produce.
GO Outdoors’ founding shareholders were advised by Stephen Ingram of Sheffield-based BHP Coprorate Finance, which also played an important part in the overal transaction.
Mr Ingram has acted for Go Outdoors since 1998 when he advised company president Paul Caplan and chief executive John Graham on a Buy-in Management Buyout of CCC, which became Go Outdoors in 2005.
He has advised the company on acquisitions, fundraising and its rapid growth strategy.
GO Outdoors’ advisers also included PwC Corporate Finance.
Meanwhile, GO Outdoors has also made its first appearance in the Sunday Times PwC Profit Track 100 table, at number 39.
The tableranks Britain’s top 100 private companies with the fastest growing profit over the last three years of available audited accounts.
GO Outdoors’ profits have risen 65% a year, from £1.3m in 2006 to £43.4m in 2009.