Monte Rosa Capital invests under the motto “Healthy and Happy”, which guides its investments in sport, leisure, and health technology. The investment strategy is rooted in extensive experience of working with meaningful businesses that makes people’s lives better, while utilizing the competence and knowledge of the team.
In the summer of 2006, the opportunity to acquire Helly Hansen presented itself. A classic heritage brand, Helly Hansen was founded in 1877 by Helly Juel Hansen with the early beginnings of inventing waterproof apparel. It was a brand we had known since we were born, and it was the only truly Norwegian consumer brand with international recognition. Enduring 10 difficult years with accumulated negative EBITDA, Helly Hansen presented the perfect restructuring challenge.
We had five great years with Helly Hansen where we successfully revitalized the brand by bringing it back to its roots: «Bridging the gap between human will and nature’s forces». On this platform we launched new product lines, built more focused businesses, improved margins, and accelerated growth. In 2011, the Survival business was sold to Montague and in 2012, sport and workwear was sold to OTPP.
Helly Hansen was a great learning experience that gave us the self-confidence to go after new opportunities in sport and sport apparel, particularly brands with authentic heritage. As a result, after two years of dialogue with the Rossignol Group, we acquired it in an exclusive process in 2013.
Coming out of challenging times under the ownership of Quicksilver, our idea was to turn around the winter sport equipment business and better leverage the brand that was created by Abe Rossignol in 1907.
We believed that «by selling skis, you create more brand equity than you can use to sell skis». Therefore, we made the decision to reintroduce the heritage logo and build an apparel business under the Rossignol brand. It has been a successful journey, and the «sport-chic» Rossignol collection has found its place in global ski and winter wear.
In parallel, we embarked on creating Navico, the world leader in marine electronics for recreational boating. This journey began with the acquisitions of Simrad, Lowrance and Brunswick New Technologies. In 2007 we entered the global financial crisis with 7 brands, 16 product platforms, and 7 manufacturing sites. This required a major restructuring and consolidation effort, where the business was refocused around three distinct brands with authentic heritage:
Navico is now part of the world’s largest boat builder group, Brunswick Corp.
The knowledge and experience gained from these investments have been important in shaping the continued focus on heritage brands and technology that can improve and enrich people’s lives – being more “Healthy and Happy”.