Country Italy
Region Marche
Investor The Riverside Company

When The Riverside Company ("Riverside") invested in athletic and recreational swimwear brand Arena in October 2010, it planned to make the company a global leader. Building on Arena’s reputation for product innovation, Riverside supported the development of new products and helped position the brand at the premium end of the market.

With Riverside’s assistance, over the next four years, Arena expanded into ten new countries, including the highly attractive US market, and substantially increased sales by developing an online platform. With Arena well positioned for further international expansion, Riverside sold the business in 2014 to Swiss private equity investor Capvis.

Riverside was an ideal partner. They supported our growth and left us poised for more success in the future.

Cristiano Portas CEO, Arena Group

What did the business need?

  • Growth capital to cement the company’s position as global leader
  • Help with building new sales channels
  • Support for globalising the business
  • Networks to establish US operations

How did private equity backing create lasting value?

  • Created a roadmap for global growth
  • Built operations in the US that won Arena a new partnership with the US Swimming Federation
  • Expanded into nine additional new countries, including Canada and India
  • Enhanced the brand to address the premium end of the market
  • Improved Arena’s sourcing in the Far East
  • Developed an e-commerce platform to enhance Arena’s brand and drive online sales
  • Supported and increased product innovation

What outcomes did private equity investment achieve?

  • Increased sales by 7.7% between 2010 and 2014
  • Increased earnings by 12% between 2010 and 2014
  • Created a global premium swimwear brand
  • Enhanced Arena’s leadership in R&D, helping the company to outfit successful swimmers at the Olympics, World Championships and other elite events


new markets entered in four years


increase in sales 2010-2014

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