Berkshire Partners has signed an agreement to acquire a majority equity interest in Implus Corporation, currently a portfolio company of Trilantic North America. The Implus management team – led by CEO Seth Richards and President Todd Vore – is co-investing alongside Berkshire in this transaction.
Implus is a supplier of insoles, shoe care products, performance socks, home fitness and other wellness products to the footwear, fitness and recreational accessories categories. Implus’ products are sold under the following brand names: Sof Sole, Yaktrax, apara, Airplus, Sneaker Balls, Sof Comfort, Little Hotties, Perfect, TriggerPoint and ICETrekkers. Through its network of retail partners, the company’s products are distributed to over 75,000 retail outlets across North America and in over 70 countries worldwide. Implus is headquartered in Durham, NC (www.implus.com).
“We are excited to begin our partnership with Berkshire Partners,” said Mr. Richards. “We appreciate Trilantic’s support during a transformative part of our company’s growth and believe this new development will ensure our ability to continue providing retailers with an innovative selection of high quality products and the superior customer service for which we strive every day.”
Berkshire Partners invests from $50 million to $500 million of equity capital in mid-sized companies operating in the following sectors: consumer products and retail, business services, industrials, communications, and transportation. The firm is currently investing from Berkshire Fund VIII, a $4.5 billion fund raised in 2011. Berkshire Partners was founded in 1986 and is based in Boston (www.berkshirepartners.com).
“Implus is the leader in the segments in which it operates and is clearly a valued vendor to its retailers,” said Dave Bordeau, Managing Director of Berkshire Partners. “We believe the breadth of opportunity for organic and acquisition-driven growth is compelling. We look forward to working with Seth and Todd and the rest of the Implus team to support the next phase of the company’s development.”
“We would like to thank Seth, Todd and the rest of the team at Implus for their dedication in building the company throughout the duration of our partnership,” said Jamie Manges, Partner at Trilantic North America. “We look forward to their next chapter of success as they embark on their new relationship with Berkshire Partners.”
Trilantic Capital Partners makes control and significant minority investments in North America and European companies that have enterprise values of $100 million to $1 billion. Sectors of interest include business services, consumer, energy, financial services and media & telecommunications sectors. Trilantic currently manages four institutional private equity funds with aggregate capital commitments of $5.6 billion. The firm is based in New York (www.trilantic.com). Trilantic was formed in 2009 by the former principals of Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking.
Robert W. Baird & Co. acted as the financial advisor to Implus and Kirkland & Ellis served as legal counsel to the company and Trilantic North America. Ropes & Gray served as legal counsel to Berkshire Partners.
2015 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 5-1-15