Shock Doctor is a provider of protective and performance sports equipment used in hockey, football, baseball, basketball, soccer, martial arts and boxing, and lacrosse. Products include mouthguards, ankle and knee braces, sports gloves (under the Cutters brand), and insoles which are sold through sporting goods retailers, independent dealers, online retailers, and health care professionals throughout the United States and internationally. The company is headquartered in Minnetonka, MN (www.shockdoctor.com).
Bregal Partners feels that Shock Doctor is an ideal platform to participate in the growth occurring at the intersection of consumer products and healthcare, a space that Bregal has been pursuing for some time.
“We see a great opportunity for Shock Doctor to continue to revolutionize the $9 billion global market for performance and protective equipment with new, innovative, and disruptive products. Beyond entering new categories, the company should also benefit from overall market growth and an ability to acquire other industry participants,” said co-founder and Managing Partner Robert Bergmann.
Bregal Partners acquired Shock Doctor in partnership with the company’s management team including Tony Armand, President and Chief Executive Officer. Before joining Shock Doctor in May 2010, Mr. Armand served as CEO of Bravo Sports, a prior portfolio company of Bregal Partners that manufactured pop-up tents and other sporting goods products. “We are delighted to be partnering again with Tony with whom we have a 15-year relationship. The talent and track record of Shock Doctor’s management team is a key reason we are so excited about the transaction,” said Mr. Bergmann.
Bregal Partners invests from $25 million to $75 million of equity in companies operating in the consumer, food & retail, energy services and healthcare industries. Target investments generate $15 million to $75 million or more of EBITDA. Bregal Partners is based in New York (www.bregalpartners.com).
“The entire team at Shock Doctor is thrilled to be teaming with Bregal Partners as we enter our next phase of growth. They bring a unique blend of consumer and healthcare investment experience that will undoubtedly help us hit the ground running. Having personally worked with the team at Bregal in the past, I know for a fact that we could not have found a better partner,” said Mr. Armand.
“Research shows that sports specialization is leading to higher injury incidence and thus greater focus on injury prevention,” said Mr. Bergmann. Specialization refers to the increasing trend for youth athletes to focus narrowly on one or two sports. High-profile injuries and media attention have driven awareness of sports injuries, especially concussions and head injuries. “Shock Doctor will benefit from this heightened awareness that has made parents and athletes increasingly willing to purchase products to avoid or minimize injuries.”
Investment bank William Blair & Company represented Norwest Equity Partners on this transaction.
© 2014 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 3-17-14