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Riverside Company has agreed to sell aquatic sports brand Arena

The Riverside Company has agreed to sell Tolentino, Italy-based Arena, an aquatic sports and competitive waterwear brand to Capvis. The sale is expected to close in early 2014, subject to regulatory approval.

Press Release

The Riverside Company has reached an agreement to exit Arena, one of the world’s best-known brands in aquatic sports and competitive waterwear. The sale is expected to close at the beginning of 2014, subject to regulatory approval.

Riverside invested in Tolentino, Italy-based Arena in 2010. Under its ownership, Arena significantly expanded in the U.S. market, including becoming the sponsor of the U.S. Swimming Federation, in addition to growing its presence in international markets. Riverside also helped Arena to set up an e-commerce platform that improved Arena’s brand visibility and image, as well as growing online sales. Arena is now positioned as a global leader in technical swimwear. At the recent FINA World Championships in Barcelona, athletes wearing Arena took 49% of the medals, outperforming competing brands and marking an all-time record  for the company.

Riverside Senior Operating Partner Fabio Pesiri credited Arena’s world-class management team with helping the company thrive.

“It has been wonderful to see how Arena has grown from a European leader into a global one,” said Pesiri. “The passion and commitment from CEO Cristiano Portas and his team were instrumental in helping create a bigger and better company during our ownership period and I am confident that Arena will continue its development path.”

“During Riverside’s ownership, Arena developed into a truly global firm that is ready to advance to new levels of international expansion,” said Riverside Principal Dr. Michael Weber. “By working closely with a talented management team we’ve been able to significantly enhance the market position of Arena to begin to dominate competitive pools.”

Riverside Vice President Sven-Hendrik Schulze is working with Weber and Pesiri on the transaction.

Allen and Overy,Lincoln International and KPMG advised Riverside on the sale of Arena to Capvis, the Swiss-based private equity firm.

The Riverside Company ( or

The Riverside Company is a global private equity firm focused on acquiring growing businesses valued at up to $250 million (€200 million in Europe). Since its founding in 1988, Riverside has invested in more than 320 transactions. The firm’s international portfolio includes more than 70 companies.