Gridiron Acquires GSM Outdoors from Sentinel

Gridiron Capital has acquired Good Sportsman Marketing Outdoors (GSM), a provider of accessories used in the hunting, sport shooting, and outdoor enthusiast markets, from Sentinel Capital.

GSM is a developer, manufacturer, marketer, and seller of a portfolio of branded hunting and sport shooting products including Stealth Cam (game scouting cameras); Cyclops (specialty outdoor lighting); Walker’s (hearing protection and enhancement devices); Western Rivers (game calls); American Hunter (game feeders); HME (hunting knives and tools); and SME (targets and related accessories). Other company-owned brands include Muddy Outdoors, Birchwood Casey, Big Game, and Hawk.

GSM’s products are sold through online retailers, sporting goods stores, mass merchants, outdoorsman retailers, farm and fleet stores, and dealers/distributors across the US and Canada. GSM, led by CEO Eddie Castro, was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Irving, Texas.

“We are pleased to partner with Gridiron as we execute the next phase of our in it to win it strategy together,” said Mr. Castro. “We are passionate about our brands, just like the customers and outdoor enthusiasts we serve.  We plan to leverage Gridiron’s extensive experience investing in specialty consumer businesses and M&A to continue our strong growth trajectory.  We cannot be more excited about this partnership and the alignment of our winning cultures.”

“GSM is a branded outdoor enthusiast company and management team that we have long admired for their winning culture and proven track record of organic and acquisition led growth,” said Kevin Jackson, a managing partner at Gridiron. “Eddie and the GSM team have developed a scalable platform built on continuous innovation, category-leading brands, and an intense passion for serving their diversified set of customers.”

Sentinel acquired GSM Outdoors from Huron Capital in June 2018. “It has been a privilege to partner with Eddie Castro and the rest of the GSM management team as they solidified GSM as the leader in the outdoor enthusiast industry,” said John Van Sickle, a partner at Sentinel. “In our two and a half years together, GSM executed a well-conceived acquisition strategy that, combined with its product innovation and development capabilities, expanded GSM’s brand offering, grew its market share, and deepened its loyal customer base.”

“GSM Outdoors has become the leading branded outdoor product supplier in the industry through innovation, customer service and support, and strategic acquisitions.  We are looking forward to partnering with Eddie Castro and his management team to continue to build upon this platform of success and support him with Gridiron’s resources in e-commerce, product innovation, M&A, and operations,” added John Warner, a managing director at Gridiron.

Gridiron invests in manufacturing, service, and specialty consumer companies with enterprise values from $75 million to $575 million and EBITDA from $8 million to $50 million. Sectors of interest include branded consumer, business-to-business and business-to-consumer services, and niche industrial. Gridiron is headquartered in New Canaan, Connecticut.

New York City-based Sentinel Capital Partners invests in management buyouts, recapitalizations, corporate divestitures, and going-private transactions of businesses with EBITDAs up to $65 million. Sentinel targets eight industry sectors: aerospace and defense, business services, consumer, distribution, food and restaurants, franchising, healthcare, and industrials.

Robert W. Baird was the financial advisor to GSM.

© 2020 Private Equity Professional | November 18, 2020

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