On July 2nd, 2018 a new blog post appeared on online social journalism publishing platform Medium that posed the question “Is Aqua Lung buying PADI?  Asking price US$1.2B?”.

Written by Darcy Kieran, a diving industry veteran who has held numerous senior positions including sitting on the Board of Directors for DEMA, it has caused quite a stir both online and offline.

The article quoting various un-named sources put forward a premise that Mandarinfish Holdings, the private equity firm that purchased PADI for USD$700M in 2017, was in advanced talks with Montagu, another private equity firm that purchased Aqua Lung in 2016, to sell PADI for an asking price of USD$1.2 billion.

PADI President and CEO - Drew Richardson
PADI President and CEO – Drew Richardson

PADI President and CEO Drew Richardson has publicly responded to the article with a public message on the PADI Pros Americas Blog saying “I’m setting the record straight”.  In the personal blog post, Richardson was very clear that PADI is not up for sale:

“a recent internet rumor that PADI is up for sale again. It is not. There are no discussions anywhere at any level to sell or buy PADI. The news on this is that there is no news.”

Richardson was also clear that he is very much in control of PADI and has the support of the Mandarinfish investors:

“As most in the dive industry knows, in 2017 the PADI organization secured support from a strong international consortium of long-term individual and group North American and European investors. This group does not involve itself in PADI’s day-to-day decisions or operations, but fully supports the PADI family’s missions to lead the dive industry and help shape a positive future for our oceans. We’re blessed with a growing group of exceptional managers and employees in international offices, but final authority and responsibility stops on my desk.”

You can read the full original Medium blog post, as well as Drew Richardson’s response.

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Stephan Whelan
Stephan is the Founder of DeeperBlue.com. His passion for the underwater world started at 8 years-old with a try-dive in a hotel pool on holiday that soon formulated into a passion he pursued in all his spare time. In 1996 his passion for the underwater world led him to setup DeeperBlue.com. When he gets time he enjoys both Freediving and Scuba Diving when not traveling for work or enjoying time with his family in London.

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