FEBRUARY 6, 2013 — Oaktree Capital has taken 100 percent ownership of Zodiac MILPRO (Military and Professional) Group, which is now completely separate from the recreational activities that were divested by parent company Zodiac Marine and Pool in December 2012.
Oaktree now manages some $77 billion worth of capital assets and the new ownership promises to give the company a significant advantage in the competitive market for professional and military inflatable and rigid inflatable boats (RIBs).
The new future means a new logo and corporate image for Zodiac MILPRO which will no longer use the Avon brand but will offer its products under the two strong and well established brands Zodiac MILPRO and Zodiac HURRICANE.
As a consequence, the Llanelli, South Wales based Avon Inflatables Ltd will now operate as Zodiac MILPRO UK Ltd and will continue manufacturing its current military and professional product range and providing its full range of servicing activities to its customers under the brand Zodiac MILPRO.
The declared policy of Oaktree is to endorse the management independence of its companies while remaining available to provide support and guidance when it is needed. This approach will also benefit the market as it is expected to create a new surge of innovation and product development from Zodiac MILPRO.
"This is a very exciting time for us," said Marc Lavorata, who continues as chief executive of Zodiac MILPRO. "We have several new products and innovations in development that we are planning to launch in the near future. The strong and confident backing of Oaktree Capital will be a major boost to our capabilities and will also benefit our customers, our global network of nearly 200 distributors and our factories and sales offices in Europe, the U.S.A., Canada and Australia."
Zodiac MILPRO supplies inflatable and semi-rigid craft for professional users such as police, coast guard, special forces, anti-terrorism units, fire teams, the offshore industry and other military users. Zodiac MILPRO is headquartered in Paris and its product range also includes high performance Zodiac HURRICANE RIBs that are manufactured by the company's North American arm. Zodiac MILPRO boats can be supplied as turnkey or custom products that range from 4.7 m to 12 m long. They are available as inflatable and rigid inflatable configurations that include with aluminum or fibreglass hulls, inflatable or foam tubes, diesel inboard or gasoline outboard engines and a variety of cabin accommodation designs.