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L Catterton Acquires Leslie’s Holdings

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A group led by L Catterton, the largest consumer-focused private equity firm in the world, recently announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Leslie’s Holdings, Inc., the world’s largest retailer and online marketer of swimming pool and spa supplies and services. An affiliate of GIC, a leading global investment firm and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, will also make a substantial investment alongside L Catterton. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1963 as a one-man pool supply operation in North Hollywood, Leslie’s has grown to become the world’s largest and most trusted retailer of swimming pool and spa supplies, with more than 890 retail stores in 35 states and a robust omni-channel platform. With over 30,000 SKUs, Leslie’s provides everything pool and spa owners need, from chemicals and equipment, to floats and toys. Leslie’s highly trained staff also provides best-in-class, personalized services, including professional on-site installation and repairs. In partnership with L Catterton, Leslie’s plans to continue expanding its national footprint and enhancing the in-store and online customer experience.

Scott Dahnke, Global Co-CEO of L Catterton, said: “This is an exciting investment opportunity for L Catterton, and the first from our recently closed $2.75 billion flagship fund, L Catterton VIII. Our investment strategy is based on building enduring businesses, characterized by strong consumer demand fundamentals, and fueled by powerful and growing consumer brands. Leslie’s fits this strategy perfectly, as the undisputed leader in the stable and growing, yet still highly fragmented, pool supplies and services category. With a well-deserved reputation for delivering pool products and services at great value, we are excited to work with Leslie’s proven leadership team to build on the strong foundation that they have set in place.”

“We are thrilled to partner with L Catterton, which brings deep retail expertise, brand building experience and an outstanding track record of growing consumer businesses,” said Larry Hayward, Chairman and CEO of Leslie’s. “L Catterton’s partnership approach with management to create long-term value is highly attractive to the Leslie’s team. They clearly distinguish themselves with their growth-oriented focus and their deep understanding of our brand and our consumer. Together with the support of our new partners, we look forward to enhancing Leslie’s online and brick and mortar experience, while continuing to provide comprehensive, high-quality products and services to our ever-growing customer base.”

Marc Magliacano, Partner at L Catterton, said, “The Company’s intense focus on personalized customer service and support has built a strong and loyal base of pool and spa owners who look to Leslie’s as a full-service provider for all their pool and spa needs and water treatment solutions. Through its successful omni-channel platform, Leslie’s is well-positioned to connect with customers at every point of sale, from retail stores, to e-commerce, to commercial service centers. We look forward to partnering with Leslie’s outstanding leadership team to reach even more residential and commercial pool owners to deliver outstanding and reliable product and service solutions and make Leslie’s a household name.”

L Catterton has significant experience investing in specialty retail brands including Restoration Hardware, Sweaty Betty, Peloton, PIRCH, Hanna Andersson, Pinarello and Baccarat.

Nomura Securities served as financial advisor to L Catterton. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to L Catterton and Sidley Austin LLP served as legal advisor to GIC.

(Source: L Catterton)

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