Dutch is a designer and distributor of premium contemporary apparel under the labels JOIE, Equipment and Current/Elliott. The company has experienced in excess of 30% revenue and profit growth each year over the last five years. The Dutch brands are sold in more than 2,000 stores in 75 countries, including high-end department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Barney’s, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Printemps, as well as specialty boutiques in the US and international markets. JOIE and Equipment also both offer direct sales through the company’s recently launched e-commerce sites and through six retail boutiques in Los Angeles, New York and Newport Beach. Dutch operates primarily out of offices in Vernon, CA and New York, NY (www.joie.com) (www.equipmentfr.com) (www.currentelliott.com).
“We are very happy to be working with TA Associates,” said Serge Azria, CEO and Creative Director of Dutch, who will remain CEO of Dutch following TA’s investment. “Out of the numerous offers we received, we chose TA because of their reputation, credibility and strength. They are a firm with a long and successful track record in the consumer industry. Our team has delivered tremendous and consistent growth throughout the recent consumer recession by delivering great design to the premium customer as a new luxury. We are confident that, with TA’s support, we’ll be able to complete the evolution of our portfolio into true lifestyle brands for savvy, fashion-minded consumers throughout the world.”
TA Associates makes buyouts and minority recapitalizations of profitable growth companies in the technology, financial services, business services, healthcare and consumer industries. Since founding in 1968, TA has invested in over 425 companies globally and has raised more than $18 billion in capital. The firm was founded in 1968 and has offices in Boston, Menlo Park, London, Mumbai and Hong Kong (www.ta.com).
“We are incredibly excited to partner with Serge Azria, a leader in the contemporary fashion space who has created brands that have achieved a loyal following in their individual segments,” said James Hart, a Principal at TA Associates who will join the company’s Board of Directors. “Under Serge’s leadership, Dutch has developed partnerships with the most prestigious department stores and specialty shops worldwide and we look forward to maintaining and helping grow these relationships further. With the recent addition of e-commerce and company-owned retail boutiques, we believe that the Dutch brands are well positioned to become leading lifestyle brands in the contemporary segment. In this partnership, we are looking to support the growth of the Dutch brand portfolio and work with the longtime management team and retail and distribution partners to continue increasing the brands’ footprints, collections and overall profile in the marketplace.”
The Sage Group, a national investment bank that provides merger and acquisition advisory services to branded companies, provided advisory services to Dutch, LLC. Sage concentrates on the following sectors: apparel and accessories, specialty retail, luxury goods, footwear, personal care, action sports, tech-lifestyle, food and beverage, and other branded consumer segments. The firm is based in Los Angeles (www.sagellc.com).
“The new contemporary luxury segment has become an incredibly important revenue driver for both premium apparel companies and for retailers focused on this space,” said Jennifer Mulloy, a Managing Director at TA Associates who will also join the company’s Board of Directors. “We believe the contemporary niche represents an attractive opportunity for investment in the current economic environment, providing a great balance of design, quality and price, and that Dutch is well positioned to continue benefiting from these trends in the coming years.”
© 2013 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 1-11-13