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Mishcon de Reya advises Boats Group on acquisition of Boats and Outboards Marketplace and the Boatshop24 Marketplaces

Posted on 16 February 2021

Mishcon de Reya has advised Boats Group, the tech business behind the largest online marketplaces for boats and yachts in the world (Boat Trader, YachtWorld, boats.com, Cosas De Barcos, iNautia, Annonces du Bateau, Botentekoop), on the acquisition of the leading boating marketplaces in England: BoatsandOutboards.co.uk and Boatshop24.co.uk, as well as the popular sister site in Germany, Boatshop24.com, from Friday Media Group.

Adding the three portals to their growing portfolio of international sales platforms strengthens Boats Group with increased consumer engagement throughout Europe and reinforces the company's focus on expanding its global footprint.   

Sam Fulton, CEO of Boats Group commented: "England and Germany are major boating nations and represent important markets in the global leisure marine industry. Acquiring Friday Media Group's leading online boating marketplaces was an attractive opportunity for us to widen our reach to more water enthusiasts and accelerate our international plan for growth."

Brian Wolf, COO of Boats Group, said "This was the first time we had worked with Mishcon de Reya and we were very happy with the service provided.  They worked well with our deal team and gave strong legal and commercial advice throughout."

Boats Group's marketplaces connect the largest global audience of boat buyers with sellers and manufacturers, and the company now begins technical upgrades and marketing investments to further enhance user experiences on the newly purchased platforms. For customers currently marketing inventory on BoatsandOutboards.co.uk, Boatshop24.co.uk or Boatshop24.com, this acquisition offers new access to more international markets as they now have the option to list and market boats on any Boats Group-owned portal around the world.

Kevin McCarthy who led the Mishcon deal team commented: "We were delighted to work with Boats Group on this transaction. The online nature of both the client's and the target's business played to the strengths of our Tech-focussed M&A team. We are excited to see how these new acquisitions help drive the continued international growth of the business and look forward to building the relationship with the Boats Group for the future."

Alongside Kevin, the Mishcon transaction team comprised Associate Leanne Maund and Trainee Liz Barrett from Corporate, Dom Boon providing Employment advice, Lewis Cohen, Martyn Hann and Tom Murray providing Commercial advice, and Gary Richards and Sarah Hein providing Tax advice.

Co-headquartered in Miami, Florida and Fareham, England, with additional offices in Padova, Italy and Barcelona, Spain, Boats Group owns and operates the largest online boating marketplaces around the world and have been partners in the boating industry for more than two decades. Boats Group also provides marine businesses with a comprehensive suite of technology-based marketing solutions, including advertising, lead generation, CRM, website design and hosting. Additionally, Boats Group supports brokers and dealers by providing services through its YachtCloser contract management solution, and BoatWizard, the industry's leading inventory management system and MLS.

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