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Lino Dainese practically invented the motorcycle safety apparel business 42 years ago, in 1972. From its humble beginnings, Dainese has come to be one of the most respected names in motorcycle safety, and today it was announced that Investcorp, a leading global provider and manager of alternative investment products, has reached an agreement with Lino Dainese to acquire the brand for €130 million ($162 million). Mr Dainese, will retain a minority stake in the business alongside Investcorp.

Originally famed for its competitive motorcycling racing wear, Dainese has subsequently diversified its product range and today provides protective gear for road and racing use alike, as well as for use in winter sports, biking and horse riding.  In addition, through the AGV brand name, Dainese is also one of the leading protective helmet manufacturers for the motorcycle market.

If you weren’t aware, Dainese has an R&D technical center – D-Tec – where it studies crashes, and uses that information to develop the next wave of protective equipment. Dainese is credited with inventing many common items we motorcyclists take for granted now, like back protectors and knee sliders. Dainese’s latest innovation is the D-Air system of airbag protection for motorcyclists.

Lino Dainese will remain at the company he founded, where he will now use his time focusing on developing innovative protective equipment.

Lino Dainese, founder and President of Dainese, said; “It was hugely important to us to find the right partner in this period of strong development for the company. I believe that Investcorp’s proven track record, global presence and network will support the company’s continued international expansion and product innovation. I also believe that their support will enable me to refocus on my passion, driving forward technological advances in our product line and, in particular, the D-Air system.”

Hazem Ben-Gacem, Head of Investcorp’s European corporate investment team, said; “We are honored to have the trust and confidence of Mr. Dainese and to be the custodian of this exceptional business that Mr. Dainese has built over 40 years ago. Dainese is an iconic brand with a track record of leadership in a multibillion dollar market. It is exactly the type of company we look to invest in: a founder managed successful business looking for a partner for the next phase of growth. We look forward to working in partnership with the current management team, and Mr. Dainese, to consolidate Dainese’s deserved reputation as an innovator and to strive to increase its penetration into new markets.”