Norwegian technical outdoor firm, Helly Hansen has bought the British brand Musto as part of its plans to become the world's leading suppliers of sailing clothing and technical wear

British sailing brand Musto has been bought by the Norwegian technical outdoor firm, Helly Hansen.

The move is seen as a “complimentary purchase”, with Musto remaining in the UK. It will continue to produce its own brand sailing and outdoor clothing and gear.

The acquisition makes Helly Hansen one of the world’s leading suppliers of sailing clothing and technical wear.

In a media release, Helly Hansen said the acquisition reinforced its “ambitions in the UK market, its growth strategy, and its desire to replicate its own performance with the Musto brand”.

Peter Smith, CEO of Musto, will continue to lead the business, and report to Paul Stoneham, CEO of Helly Hansen, who will also become Executive Chairman of Musto.

Stoneham said the two brands are highly complementary.

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“Musto accelerates Helly Hansen’s long-term aspiration to become a global leader in sailing, matching our leadership position in professional skiing,” he said.

“Our focus will be to expand Musto internationally as an iconic British lifestyle brand with deep technical sailing credentials alongside Helly Hansen. The two brands are highly complementary and hold in common a deep regard for the sailing community and commitment to preserving our oceans,” added Stoneham.

Peter Smith, CEO of Musto said: “This is an incredibly exciting next phase in Musto’s evolution and we are invigorated by the prospect of working with a business as complementary to our own as Helly Hansen. We look forward to leveraging Helly Hansen’s global network and R&D capabilities, as we grow our market leading position in sailing, country and outdoor apparel.”

Musto, which has two British Royal Warrants, is the official supplier to the British National Sailing Team through to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Olympic sailing silver medallist Keith Musto, who identified a gap in the market for high performance apparel, established the brand in 1964.

Since then, it has often been the British brand of choice for professional yachtsmen and women and dinghy sailors.