Brentwood Associates has agreed to acquire shoe manufacturer and retailer Allen Edmonds Corporation from Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison which acquired the company in 2006. The management team of Allen Edmonds, including President and CEO Paul Grangaard, will remain with the company.
Allen Edmonds is a retailer of premium men’s footwear, apparel, leather goods and accessories. The company’s products are available at stores worldwide, including 45 company-owned Allen Edmonds stores across the United States, and online at AllenEdmonds.com. The company was founded in 1922 and is based in Port Washington, WI (www.AllenEdmonds.com).
“We’re absolutely delighted to partner with Brentwood Associates as we drive the development of this 91-year-old growth company,” said Mr. Grangaard. “This smooth transition provides us with the capital needed to continue building the Allen Edmonds brand, broadening our product line and taking our Made in USA products to new cities around the globe.”
Allen Edmonds is coming off two consecutive record years and is on pace for a third in 2013. After Mr. Grangaard became CEO of Allen Edmonds in 2008, he assembled a senior leadership team of experienced insiders and key new hires. The team recommitted to a US manufacturing and quality strategy. Recently it even began exporting its branded Made in America product to China. The growth has created over 250 new jobs in three years at the company headquarters, manufacturing and distribution facilities in Wisconsin and in its retail stores across the country.
Brentwood Associates is a consumer-focused private equity investment firm with over $850 million of capital under management. Sectors of interest include branded consumer products; consumer and business services; direct marketing, including direct mail and e-commerce; education; health and wellness; restaurants; and specialty retail. The firm was founded in 1972 and is based in Los Angeles (www.brentwood.com).
“The Allen Edmonds brand fits perfectly with our strategy of investing in category-defining brands with exceptional customer loyalty,” said Steve Moore, Partner of Brentwood Associates, who leads the investment with Roger Goddu, another Brentwood partner. “Paul and his leadership team have been excellent stewards of the company over the past five years and have proven their ability to grow and strengthen the business even in difficult times. We are confident that tremendous growth lies ahead for the brand in both the US and key international markets.”
Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison invests from $10 million to $25 million in companies located in the upper Midwest that have enterprise values from $20 million to $150 million. Sectors of interest include food manufacturing and distribution, consumer products, business services, transportation and niche manufacturing. Since its founding in 1989, Goldner Hawn has led investments of over $600 million in 33 platform companies. The firm is based in Minneapolis (www.ghjm.com).
“In many ways the Allen Edmonds brand belongs to its customers,” said Jack Morrison, Managing Director of Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison. “We understood from the beginning that Allen Edmonds customers value the brand a great deal, enough to pass it on from generation to generation. That thought was always on our minds as we worked with the company. Now it’s time to build upon their strong momentum. We’re very pleased to have been part of Allen Edmonds’ illustrious history and wish everyone on the team continued success.”
“We were very privileged to have had the support and insight of Goldner Hawn for the past seven years,” said Mr. Grangaard. “Their foresight, confidence and support allowed the company to navigate the difficulties faced by all consumer businesses during the Great Recession. On behalf of all of our employees, I’m extremely grateful for all Goldner Hawn did to put Allen Edmonds on secure footing for this bright future.”
Goldner Hawn, Allen Edmonds, and management were represented in this transaction by Robert W. Baird & Company.
© 2013 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 11-5-13