Oriens Capital invests in Nautical Group Holdings Limited, marking its first investment in Fund 2

On 30 September 2021, the Oriens Capital Fund 2 LP completed the acquisition of Nautical Group Holdings Limited (NGH), a new entity that has acquired all the shares of Railblaza Limited and NTD Plastics Limited. This will be the first investment in Oriens Capital’s second fund which closed at its $100m maximum in July of this year.

Oriens Capital has taken a 68% stake in NGH alongside the founder Ross Pratt and two existing senior staff. The directors of the board of NGH are Ross Pratt, founder and continuing shareholder of NGH, Peter Tinholt of Oriens Capital and Nigel Jeffries as co-investor with Oriens Capital. Marc Michel, a highly experienced senior executive, has been appointed as the new CEO of NGH which will see Ross Pratt transition out of his operational role over the next few months whilst remaining as a director. Marc starts with NGH on October 11.

NGH is ambitious and is seeking further acquisition opportunities in the marine, boating and related products sectors.

About the Group

Railblaza, based in Silverdale, was founded by Ross Pratt in 2010 and has become a leading international player in small-end marine and paddle sports accessories. Its product range includes kayak carts, rod holders and a range of mounts sold under the Railblaza and C-Tug brands. Railblaza products are found in all major marine markets including the USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

NTD was purchased by Ross Pratt (90%) in 2016. It operates a high-quality injection moulding facility in Napier. NTD is one of only a handful of businesses in New Zealand to offer integrated toolmaking and injection moulding services to customers. Approximately half of NTD’s manufacturing work derives from Railblaza and the remainder is custom tool making and injection moulding services for other customers.

Oriens Partner, Peter Tinholt describes how Railblaza has benefited from a shift in consumer preferences since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic where “everyone is looking for safe outdoor activities to do that are closer to home” which has driven the increase in participation of marine recreational activities around the globe. Going forward the focus for NGH will be on driving continued growth of the Railblaza brand globally and to improve the resilience of the group through increasing its New Zealand manufacturing capacity.

About Oriens Capital

Oriens Capital, established in 2016, is a Tauranga based private equity fund. It has made six investments through its first fund with committed capital of $50.6m, taking both majority and minority stakes in a range of kiwi businesses. Its second fund recently closed at $100m and this investment in NGH will mark the first investment in Fund 2. Oriens Capital continues to target investments in businesses with enterprise values between $10m and $50m, providing both expansion (growth) and succession (buyout) capital.
Following the successful fundraise of its second fund, Oriens Capital also expanded the team in July 2021 to take it to six investment professionals.

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