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31 October, 2019 - 23:22 By Tony Quested

Motocaddy tees up global drive as Ethos takes majority stake

East of England law firm Birketts has advised the shareholders of Motocaddy Holdings Limited, Europe’s leading golf trolley and cart bag brand, on the sale of a majority stake to private equity firm Ethos Partners for £22 million.

Motocaddy sells its electric and push golf trolleys, golf bags and accessories in more than 40 countries. After reporting sales of £19.4m last year, it is intended that the deal will enable further international expansion.

The Hertfordshire-based company, formed 15 years ago retains its senior management team, while the Ethos Partners private investment group has introduced former KPMG Chartered Accountant Brian Phillips as the new Chairman.

Led by Chief Executive John Helas, who joined Motocaddy last year from the Black & Decker group, the executive team includes Neil Parker in the role of Sales Director and Paul Straker as Product Development Director. Marketing remains under the stewardship of Oliver Churcher and Steve Morris continues to manage sales across the UK & Ireland.

After more than a decade with Motocaddy and 30 years in the golf trolley industry, former Chairman David Wells is stepping down from the business in January along with former Managing Director Tony Webb, who both retain non-executive roles during the transition period.

Webb said: “We are proud of what the company has achieved over the last nine years since the original MBO back in 2010 and I am very grateful to the whole of my team for working so hard  to build a reputation for offering the very best in design, build and functionality in order to become leaders in our field. 

“This is an exciting time for Motocaddy and we hope that Ethos’s acquisition of a majority stake in the company will open up new opportunities for further development and growth in the UK and beyond.”

“Ethos Partners have an impressive record of investing in profitable companies that are primed for bigger things and Motocaddy fits that profile perfectly with our emphasis on new technology.”

“This new injection of investment enables us to consolidate our established business in Europe, while being in a stronger position to expand on a global scale. It puts us in a great position to move forward, based on our successful business model - innovation, reliability and offering value for money to help golfers enjoy the game more and play for longer.” 

Sandy Farmer, Partner at Ethos, commented: “The team at Motocaddy have successfully built an internationally recognised consumer brand, which is underpinned by the quality of its product, innovation and people. We believe the business is well placed to continue to expand internationally across existing markets and elsewhere.”

The Birketts’ team advising on the transaction included Rafael Ruiz, Adam Jones, Alex Forwood, Thomas Utting and Sabina Rooney (Corporate) with support from Karl Pocock and Ben Clarke (Tax), Abigail Hubert (Employment) and Matthew Grindley (Property).

Rafael Ruiz of Birketts added: “We were very pleased to have advised this longstanding client and leading golf brand on this transaction. Motocaddy is a global market leader in its product range and we look forward to continuing to work with the business as it embarks upon its next stage of growth.”

• PHOTOGRAPH: Sandy Farmer of Ethos Partners with Motocaddy chief executive John Helas

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