About This Project
Nixon was founded by Andy Laats and Chad DiNenna in 1997. Headquartered in Encinitas, California, Nixon products include wristwatches, accessories, apparel, headphones, and portable speakers.
In the beginning…
Both Laats and DiNenna worked in the action sports industry and were introduced through mutual people working in those circles. Laats, a former snowboard product manager at Burton with an engineering degree from Cornell University, was in the process of earning his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Stanford University when he and DiNenna met to discuss the start up of Nixon. DiNenna, originally from Southern California, had studied Communications at California State University, Long Beach and previously worked in publishing at TransWorld Media for five years prior to the launch of Nixon.
Laats and DiNenna raised nearly US$1 million from venture capitalists to start Nixon and, in 1997, the debut catalog was released; seven models were released through 200 retailers. Nixon opened a subsidiary in France in 2000, and by 2005 had 90 models and 60 employees, with sales growing by 55 percent annually.
During the spring of 2012, after six years under the Billabong umbrella of brands, Nixon once again became an independent brand. Nixon established an agreement with Trilantic Capital Partners (“TCP”) and Billabong, each of which now owns a 48.5% stake in the brand, with the balance 3% held by Nixon management, including Laats and DiNenna. The resulting transaction values Nixon at approximately US$464 million, representing a multiple of approximately 9.2x LTM EBITDA.
Andy has been a long-time supporter of USD-Entrepreneurship and V2.