Inside the outdoor industry

Q&A: Jake Doxat

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UK outdoor clothing and accessories company Montane, has been acquired by a Scottish investment firm, selling a majority stake to Edinburgh-based, Inverleith. The Scottish firm said it aims to expand the distribution of its specialist fast-paced mountain sport products both in the UK and internationally, with a sharpened focus on product development.

MD, Jake Doxat, talked us through some of the details of the deal.

What was behind the timing of the deal?
After 22 years at the helm, living a long way from the business, I knew I needed a partner for the next chapter. We appointed KPMG to help in April 2019, and the deal with Inverleith is the culmination of that.

Why an investment company and not an established outdoor company?
I wanted a partner who was prepared to see value in investing in the business and building on what we’ve done to create further value; whereas an established outdoor business would probably have seen the quickest route to value by combining businesses and cutting costs. We did have plenty of interest, but Inverleith stood out with their vision and ambition for the brand. The arrangement with Inverleith also allows me to gradually transition out of the hot seat, whilst remaining as part of the team, on the board for the long-term.

How will it change Montane as a company and as a brand/product range?
Very little. We have a really enviable position in the performance end of the outdoor market, and that is precisely what attracted Inverleith. We are simply going to amplify what we already have.

What will that extra investment mean for your presence at retail?
As we make the brand more famous the consumer will inevitably see more and more of our range in store, both in the UK and overseas.

And for product development?
There’s no plan to change the positioning we have nor the direction product development is heading in. “Further. Faster.” is our mantra and the guiding principle behind all marketing and product development.

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