alphabroder, a distributor of imprintable sportswear and a portfolio company of Littlejohn & Co., has acquired Ash City Worldwide, a promotional apparel manufacturer and supplier. The newly combined company has annual revenues exceeding $1 billion.
Ash City is alphabroder’s second acquisition (the company’s first add-on was Imprints Wholesale in February 2013) since Littlejohn & Co. acquired the company in late 2012. At that time the company was named Broder Bros. In January 2014, Littlejohn & Co. rebranded the company as alphabroder.
alphabroder is a distributor of imprintable sportswear and accessories. The company sources undecorated T-shirts and imprintable sportswear and distributes them to apparel screen printers who decorate them for a wide variety of purposes. alphabroder offers more than 40 brands including a selection of trade brands from Gildan, Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, Jerzees and Bella + Canvas to an assortment of retail brands including Adidas Golf, Ashworth, Champion, Russell Athletic, alternative and Dickies. With the addition of Ash City, alphabroder also offers private label brands including Ash City, North End, Core 365, Devon & Jones, Chestnut Hill, and Harriton. alphabroder operates eight distribution facilities and ten “express” facilities offering pickup services to customers. The company was founded in 1919 and is based in Trevose, PA (www.broderbros.com).
The combination of alphabroder and Ash City Worldwide creates North America’s leading seamless-source provider of promotional apparel. “This transformational acquisition creates an industry leader that delivers a comprehensive selection of promotional apparel with an unmatched distribution network and customer support. For over 35 years Ash City has demonstrated a commitment to excellence through its innovative products, strong customer service and expanding product portfolio,” said Norman Hullinger, CEO of alphabroder.
“We were pleased to support alphabroder in its efforts to build an industry leader with international reach and superior products and services,” said David Simon, a Managing Director at Littlejohn & Co. “This strategic acquisition is another important step in alphabroder’s continued evolution over the past 18 months. We look forward to additional opportunities to support alphabroder’s future growth as it seeks to build its portfolio and strengthen customer relationships and vendor partnerships.”
Littlejohn & Co. makes control and non-control investments in middle-market companies that are undergoing a fundamental change in capital structure, strategy, operations or growth. The firm is currently investing from Littlejohn Fund IV which has over $1.3 billion in capital commitments. Littlejohn & Co. is based in Greenwich, CT (www.littlejohnllc.com).
“The addition of Ash City is our first step toward international expansion and further secures our position as the North American industry leader and innovator in the promotional apparel space,” said Dan Pantano, President of alphabroder.
© 2014 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 1-10-14