Outerstuff, a designer, manufacturer and marketer of licensed children’s sports apparel for all of the major sports leagues in North America, today announced that it has closed an investment with Blackstone.
Blackstone will invest alongside founder and CEO Sol Werdiger, who will roll over equity in the transaction, and Blackstone will share equal economics and governance with the current shareholders. Blackstone will support Outerstuff in the next phase of its growth as it expands its presence in the sports apparel industry, both domestically and internationally.
“At Outerstuff, our vision is to become the preeminent global provider of apparel serving our sports league and brand partners,” said Sol Werdiger, Outerstuff founder and chief executive officer. “Our partnership with Blackstone gives us the financial resources and expertise we need to realize that vision. I am extremely excited about working with Blackstone as we begin the next chapter of our growth story.”
Outerstuff has established itself as an industry leader in the branded youth apparel market by leveraging its in-house design team, low-cost manufacturing, sophisticated demand-planning methodology and long-standing relationships with the leagues, brands, and retailers. Outerstuff designs and produces children’s jerseys, t-shirts and other clothing items for the leading brands in American sports, including the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS, US Olympic Committee, and more than 200 leading colleges and universities, as well as Adidas’ youth apparel. The company operates via exclusive contracts with the leagues to produce their branded youth apparel, which it sells through specialty sporting goods stores and general retailers. Outerstuff was founded in 1983 by Sol Werdiger and is based in New York (www.outerstuff.com).
“Sol Werdiger is a visionary entrepreneur who has built Outerstuff into a unique and important strategic partner to sports leagues and sports apparel companies alike,” said Peter Wallace, a Senior Managing Director with Blackstone’s Private Equity business. “We are excited to partner with Sol and his outstanding management team and we look forward to supporting Outerstuff’s continued growth and expansion.”
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment and advisory firms. The firm’s alternative asset management businesses include the management of private equity funds, real estate funds, hedge fund solutions, credit-focused funds and closed-end funds. Blackstone also provides various financial advisory services, including financial and strategic advisory, restructuring and reorganization advisory and fund placement services. Blackstone is headquartered in New York (www.blackstone.com).
Sullivan & Cromwell served as legal advisor to Outerstuff during the transaction. Blackstone was advised by Wells Fargo Securities and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.
2014 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 5-28-14