Providence Plans $1 Billion Sale of Diving Group PADI

  • Buyout firm is said to be work with Deutsche Bank on process
  • Providence acquired stake in scuba diving association in 2015

A freediver plays with a stingray.

Photographer: James Morgan/Getty Images/Robert Harding World Imagery

Providence Equity Partners is exploring a sale of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors that could value the company at about $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

The private equity firm is working with Deutsche Bank AG to find buyers for the Rancho Santa Margarita, California-based organization, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. A sale process is planned for the first quarter of 2017, the people said.

Providence, which bought a majority stake in PADI from private equity firm Lincolnshire Management in 2015, has focused on expanding the company in Asia, including in Indonesia and Malaysia, one of the people said. Asian buyout firms may be among interested bidders for the company, the people said.

Representatives for Providence and Deutsche Bank declined to comment. A representative for PADI didn’t immediately respond to e-mails seeking comment.

PADI was founded in 1966 by John Cronin and Ralph Erickson with the aim of improving standards and widening access to scuba diving through accredited courses. The company employs about 400 employees globally, according to its website.

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