NI: Arthur Cox advises surfboard manufacturer on £500k investment
The Belfast office of Arthur Cox advised Northern Ireland’s first surfboard manufacturing company in securing a £500,000 investment boost.
The firm acted on behalf of the Skunkworks Surf Company, based in Coleraine, in a joint deal involving local private investors Andrew and Jillian Marsden and Co-Fund NI, which is a fund created by Invest NI and managed by Clarendon Fund Managers.
Co-Fund NI is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.
Alan Taylor, corporate partner at Arthur Cox in Belfast, said: “As the go-to firm for large multi-national corporates and thriving SMEs alike, Arthur Cox was the natural legal partner for The Skunkworks Surf Company. We are delighted to see completion on an equity finance deal which we know will help facilitate the company’s exciting growth plans.
“Skunkworks is one of Northern Ireland’s most dynamic recent start-ups, having been recognised with a host of industry accolades. We look forward to seeing the firm continue its upwards trajectory as it seeks to establish its products in new markets.”
Currently employing a team of five people, which is set to grow to eight by the end of June, Skunkworks won the 2015 Northern Ireland Science Park’s Invent Award for best engineering, and was also a runner-up in the ‘New Things’ category of last year’s Virgin Media ‘Business Pitch to Rich’ competition, which secured a £10,000 investment.
Ricky Martin, co-founder and head of sales and marketing at Skunkworks, said: “This a landmark investment for Skunkworks and one which will play a major role in helping us realise the ambitious targets we have set ourselves. We have recently returned from a trade mission in California where the interest in, and demand for, our products is huge – this funding can help us make inroads into the US market.
“We have just taken on a 10-year lease on new and bigger premises in Coleraine Harbour and plan to employ 15-18 people in the next three years. This investment is a major vote of confidence not just in Skunkworks, but in the local SME sector in general. We would like to thank the investors for the funding and Arthur Cox for legal guidance.”
Brian Cummings, investment director at Clarendon Fund Managers, added: “We are delighted that this is our 30th investee company. The private investors are a great fit with the team and will no doubt help Ricky and Chris achieve their ambition of making The Skunkworks Surf Company a global surfboard business.”