After EBITDA Double, NEP Sells Christy to TZP

TZP Capital Partners has acquired Christy Sports, one of the largest snow sports retailers in the Western US, from Norwest Equity Partners.

Christy Sports is a specialty retailer of ski and snowboard equipment, apparel, and accessories and also provides custom fitting, mounting, tuning, repair and rental services. The company has 60 retail stores located in resorts and ski areas across Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Washington, and operates multiple e-commerce sites. During the off-season, Christy operates an outdoor furniture retail business and cycling products business that allows it to use its operational infrastructure, employees and distribution facilities. Christy was founded in 1958 and is headquartered near Denver in Lakewood, Colorado.

Under TZP ownership, Christy’s will continue to be led by CEO Matt Gold, VP of Operations Dan Fox, Vice President of Business Development Hugh O’Winter, and Vice President of Merchandising Thomas O’Winter. The company’s management and the O’Winter family, led by former CEO and Chairman, Patrick O’Winter, will retain equity ownership in the business and Patrick O’Winter will remain on Christy’s board of directors.

“The entire Christy Sports team valued and enjoyed our time with NEP,” said Mr. Gold. “In addition to capital resources, the NEP team provided us strong and steady support with guidance and partnership to realize our growth opportunities. NEP understood our culture and that we are both a profitable business and a caring enterprise. They have been true partners in every sense of the word.”

During NEP’s ownership term, which began in October 2015 when the company had just 41 stores, Christy’s revenue and EBITDA doubled through both organic growth and five add-on acquisitions.

“Christy has been a great investment for our consumer focused-portfolio,” said Todd Solow, a partner at NEP. “The company has worked hard to build its reputation over the last 60 years as a trusted, ‘go-to’ rental and retail center for snow sports enthusiasts. Christy offers a value proposition that is evidenced by its brand equity and established loyal base of customers who return to Christy time and time again.”

NEP makes equity investments of $30 million to $250 million in companies that have more than $10 million in EBITDA. Sectors of interest include agriculture, business services, consumer, distribution, industrials, energy, and healthcare. The firm is currently investing Norwest Equity Partners X LP, a $1.6 billion fund that closed in April 2015. NEP was founded in 1961 and is headquartered in Minneapolis with an additional office in Palm Beach.

“We are grateful to have the opportunity to build upon the enduring success of Christy Sports,” said Dan Galpern, a partner at TZP Group. “We look forward to working with Matt and the entire Christy team to accelerate their growth and enhance their already world-class customer experience.”

New York City-based TZP Group makes control investments of between $20 million and $100 million in companies with enterprise values between $50 million and $250 million and EBITDA between $8 million and $35 million. Sectors of interest include business and consumer services.

William Blair was the financial advisor to Christy Sports on this transaction.

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | December 2, 2019

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