North Castle Partners has entered into an agreement to sell Ignite USA, a developer and marketer of thermal mugs, to Newell Rubbermaid (NYSE: NWL) for a purchase price of $308 million. North Castle invested in Ignite in March 2013. The sale of Ignite USA represents its first sale of a portfolio company from North Castle’s recently closed fifth fund.
“We are proud of our successful partnership with CEO Sami El-Saden and the entire Ignite management team. As a focused fund, North Castle identifies high-growth, niche segments within larger industries, and partners with extraordinary management teams to build great companies,” said Chip Baird, Founder and Managing Director of North Castle. “We believe that Ignite, as part of the Newell Rubbermaid family of brands, is well positioned to be a global leader in two of the fastest growing segments of the housewares industry.”
Ignite USA is a developer and marketer of reusable, environmentally friendly thermal mugs and hydration bottles primarily sold under the Contigo and Avex brands. The company is expected to have annual sales in 2014 of approximately $125 million. Ignite sells its products in over 50 countries through the club, mass, sporting goods, specialty, and direct-to-consumer channels. The company is headquartered in Chicago (www.gocontigo.com) (www.avexsport.com).
North Castle makes control investments in consumer-driven product and service companies located in North America with enterprise values ranging from $50 million to $500 million. Sectors of interest include: beauty & personal care; consumer health; fitness, recreation & sports; home & leisure; and nutrition. North Castle is headquartered in Greenwich, CT (www.northcastlepartners.com).
“North Castle’s mission is to partner with accomplished entrepreneurial management teams to build great companies that provide high quality, innovative products, which promote healthy and sustainable living,” said Alison Minter, a North Castle Managing Director. “In partnership with Sami El-Saden, Ignite’s CEO, we accelerated the company’s growth by leveraging our experience with innovation-driven product businesses, such as Cascade Sports and Octane Fitness, as well as companies with mass market distribution and channel expansion experience, including Atkins Nutritional, Enzymatic Therapy, Flatout Flatbread, Leiner Health Products, and Avalon Natural Brands.”
“We are always interested in new opportunities across the Healthy, Active and Sustainable Living markets to leverage our knowledge, network and experience in building market leaders like Ignite,” said Ms. Minter.
Morrison Cohen represented North Castle Partners and Ignite in the transaction.
2014 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 7-22-14