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Padi SOLD for $700 Million

Padi SOLD for $700 Million


In the month of March, the Wall Street Journal reported the sale of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), the world’s largest scuba certifying agency. PADI was sold by investment company Providence Equity Partners, LLC who first acquired the company from former private equity partners Lincolnshire Management, in 2015. PADI was sold for $700 million after an initial asking price of $1 billion.

PADI was sold to a consortium which purchased the company via a holding company called Mandarinfish Holdings with the investors drawn by PADIs effort at promoting marine conservation.

PADI was founded in 1966 by John Cronin and Ralph Erickson with the goal of improving standards and increasing access to scuba diving via accredited courses. Since its inception over 50 years ago, PADI has issued over 25 Million certifications.

There have been no details of any forthcoming plans after the purchase, but there’s a growing market in China in scuba diving, and this necessitates the presence of a certification agency, and this may get the attention of PADI’s new owners. It was reported by the Dow Jones that Providence Equity tripled its investment with the sale of the company to its new owners.

PADI’s ownership has changed hands several times before now, and it will continue to be seen as an important investment in any company’s portfolio. PADI, like any other great business, will continue its normal operations, regardless of who owns it.

Recent changes in membership fees and business practices has seen some dive centers and instructors make a switch to PADI’s rivals, particularly, Scuba Schools International (SSI) who holds a significant market share in the Asia-Pacific region. With the new ownership of PADI, it may herald a drive to regain the losses which have been incurred.

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