Aqua Leisure, which is backed by Blackford Capital, has named Peter Delahunt as chief financial officer. His appointment is effective immediately. Aqua Leisure is a provider of aquatic products and pool accessories.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Aug. 11, 2021 — Blackford Capital portfolio company Aqua Leisure, a company that designs, distributes and develops products for swimming and recreational water activities, announced today that Peter Delahunt has been appointed chief financial officer, effective immediately. Delahunt brings strong financial, strategic, and operational capabilities to Aqua Leisure, and over 20 years of executive experience at companies with both private equity and publicly traded ownership structures.
Delahunt, 58, will report to CEO Steve Berenson and will work with the management team as well as a board of directors that has been expanded by Blackford Capital to help steer Aqua Leisure through a strategic growth plan.
“Peter stood out to the Aqua Leisure team as a highly talented and experienced consumer-products executive with considerable private equity knowledge,” said Martin Stein, founder and managing director of Blackford Capital and Chairman of the Aqua Leisure board. “He is the perfect person to guide the team as we enter the next chapter of our ownership, developing the infrastructure to position the business for the future.”
Throughout his career, Delahunt has demonstrated an ability to execute both corporate restructurings and rapid expansion strategies. At KT Tape, the largest manufacturer of kinesiology tape, he quadrupled revenue and improved profit margins as he oversaw a transition from a founder-led, cash-rich company into company with far better financial and operational controls. Delahunt also has experience improving financial performance at retail brands including Chicos, J. Jill and Talbots, Inc.
Aqua Leisure, has been in the business of developing, designing, and distributing consumer products that make swimming, diving, and playing in water fun for over 50 years. The company’s products include aqua lounges, Dolfino and Aqua Swim & Dive swim gear, and aquatic games. Blackford Capital acquired Aqua Leisure in January 2021 with the goal of diversifying its customer base, expanding its product portfolio and elevating its brand awareness.
“There were a number of factors that brought me to Aqua Leisure, but more than anything else, I wanted a new adventure, a new challenge,” Delahunt said. “Throughout my career, I have had the good fortune of being a part of a number of dynamic teams that achieved some truly great things. But if we come even remotely close to the long-term, strategic goals that we have identified for Aqua Leisure, I am confident that this could be the greatest personal and team achievement of my career.”
About Aqua Leisure
Avon, Mass.-based Aqua Leisure was founded in 1970 and is one of the largest designers and distributors of high quality, performance-based aquatic products, and pool accessories under a variety of brand names and proprietary designs, including swim goggles, “Learn to Swim” products and pool floats. For more information, visit https://www.aqualeisure.com/.
About Blackford Capital
Founded in 2010, Blackford Capital is a private equity investment firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Blackford Capital makes majority control investments in founder and family-owned, lower middle-market manufacturing, industrial and distribution companies. Currently, Blackford Capital has eleven portfolio companies. Blackford and their team members have received a number of recognitions over the past several years, including M&A Adviser Private Equity Firm of the year, Corp. Magazine Small Company of the Year (Michigan), GR Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year (West Michigan), numerous recognitions on the Inc. 5000 fastest growing private companies list and M&A Adviser Private Equity Professional of the Year (Martin Stein). For more information, visit www.blackfordcapital.com.