For longer than all but the most senior divers have been alive, scuba giant and pioneer Aqua Lung has been a subsidiary of Air Liquide. But today it was announced that, like many other large companies these days, Aqua Lung has been sold to a private equity firm. The firm, Montagu Private Equity, has offices throughout Europe. Their business is to buy other businesses and maximize investor value. If this is like other buyouts, this usually means the company’s priority now shifts from serving customers to serving dissociated investors. Montagu’s website is peppered with statements like,”Montagu does not have target industry sectors. Instead, it looks for companies producing products or services which would be badly missed if the business did not otherwise exist.”
It was hard to find any companies in Montagu’s portfolio we could recognize. There were quite a few pharmaceuticals of course. We wondered if was an omen when the first company listed was Funeral Services Partnership. Time will tell for consumers and Aqua Lung’s over 1000 employees.