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L Catterton Asia Combines Newly Acquired Maaji with SEAFOLLY to Create Global Swimwear Business

4 April 2017

L Catterton Asia acquired Colombian beachwear brand MAAJI and merged it with portfolio company SEAFOLLY.

(Press Release) SINGAPORE, AUSTRALIA, COLOMBIA – APRIL 4, 2017 – L Catterton Asia, the Asian arm of the world’s largest consumer-focused private equity firm L Catterton, which was formed in 2016 through the partnership of Catterton, LVMH and Groupe Arnault, is pleased to announce the creation of the leading global swimwear and beach lifestyle platform. This unique house of brands is formed through a combination of existing portfolio company SEAFOLLY, the number one swimwear brand in Australia with MAAJI, the leading Colombian beachwear brand. L Catterton Asia will be the controlling shareholder of the combined business, with the founders of both businesses continuing as minority shareholders. This industry-defining move is the first step in the aggregation of the fragmented swimwear/beach wear industry, made possible in large part by leveraging the global footprint of the L Catterton platform.

SEAFOLLY is one of the world’s most recognized swimwear and beach lifestyle brands, known for its innovation and fit, with a unique history drawing inspiration from the spirit of the “Australian Summer”. Founded in 1975 by Peter & Yvonne Halas, the brand was led by Anthony Halas since 1998 when he became CEO, and since, has gradually built the business across several international markets in Europe, North America and Asia. In December 2014, L Catterton Asia acquired a controlling interest in SEAFOLLY. Following the investment, the company has continued to grow both domestically and internationally. Today SEAFOLLY is sold in 41 countries, through leading retailers and major online sites, in 32 SEAFOLLY stores (22 in Australia, 6 in the U.S. and 4 in Singapore) and through its own Direct to Consumer e-commerce.

MAAJI has been dedicated to the design and marketing of whimsical and innovative beachwear since 2002. Influenced by their Colombian heritage, the family’s entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to
contributing to the sustainable development of the country, Manuela and Amalia Sierra, co-founders and sisters, began pursuing their dream of creating a brand that would enchant the world with its unique inventiveness. The Colombian beachwear leader, with presence in more than 54 countries, has 12 stand-alone stores across the Americas, as well as numerous partners such as Nordstrom, Revolve, Amazon, Zappos, Neiman Marcus, Anthropologie and Bloomingdales.

Commenting on the transaction, Chairman and Managing Partner of L Catterton Asia, Ravi Thakran, stated: “With this unparalleled combination of SEAFOLLY and MAAJI, we look to grow our portfolio and create the largest independent house of beach lifestyle brands. The two brands are market leaders from two large, but distinct beach destinations – Australia & Latin America, with each possessing a very unique style and positioning. When we invested in SEAFOLLY, we had at that stage, envisioned a roll-up strategy to aggregate a portfolio of high quality beachwear brands in a market segment that is large, growing, but highly fragmented. MAAJI was the type of unique brand than we wanted to bring on board. This combination will drive many synergies, including geographic expansion, retail rollout and product sourcing. This combination also allows us to play on our strengths as being part of the world’s largest consumer-focused private equity firm as we were able to effectively look at a combination of businesses from two very different geographies with the support of our Latin America team.”

With L Catterton Asia’s investment, extensive network, deep global consumer understanding and leadership in brand building, SEAFOLLY and MAAJI plan to expand their markets and grow existing and new swimwear and beach lifestyle product categories such as active-wear, resort-wear and accessories. The goal is to preserve each brand’s DNA and heritage, while enabling the brands to enhance their global growth.

Founder of Seafolly, Anthony Halas stated, “Seafolly is currently a leader in swimwear and beach lifestyle, offering innovative designs and unparalleled fit. Coupled with MAAJI and bringing together our target markets and value propositions, this merger will create a unique and powerful offering on the global landscape. With the backing of L Catterton Asia, we will gain access to their ability to
source supplies, improve product distribution and enhance retail channels.”

“This partnership is a critical step towards achieving our vision of positioning ourselves as a global beach lifestyle leader while continuously meeting the high-quality demand of our #RealMermaids. SEAFOLLY and MAAJI rank among the most creative, unique and innovative beach lifestyle brands in the market; we believe joining forces with them through our new admired partner L Catterton Asia, will enable us to deliver game-changing products and experiences to our consumers,” said Miguel Piedrahita, MAAJI’s CEO.