North Castle Partners has completed the sale of Ignite USA, a developer and marketer of thermal mugs, to Newell Rubbermaid for a purchase price of $308 million. North Castle invested in Ignite in March 2013. The sale of Ignite USA represents North Castle’s first sale of a portfolio company from its recently closed fifth fund.
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).
“The sale of Chicago-based Ignite continues to validate our strategy to partner with entrepreneurial management teams to build high growth brands for sale to strategic buyers,” 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.”
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).
“We are proud of our successful partnership with Sami and the Ignite management team,” said Chip Baird, Founder and Managing Director. “As a focused fund, North Castle identifies high-growth, niche segments within larger industries, and partners with extraordinary management teams to build great companies. 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.”
“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,” added Ms. Minter.
Morrison Cohen represented North Castle Partners and the company in the transaction.
2014 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 9-5-14