Blue Point Grabs Reins at Weaver Leather

Blue Point Capital Partners has acquired Weaver Leather from River Associates which had acquired the company from Connecticut-based Capital Partners in March 2016.

Weaver Leather manufactures and distributes branded and non-branded leather, nylon/synthetic, and hardware products used in the equine, pet, leather crafting, arborist, livestock and construction markets.

Weaver Leather was founded in 1973 by Harry Weaver as the Fryburg Shoe Shop. The company expanded to handcrafting leather horse and cattle halters and began selling them to local harness and tack shops. Today, the company’s products include bridles and bits, reins, boots and leg wraps, bags and grooming kits, logging belts, axe pouches, rope bags, mallets and hammers, stitching kits and knives. Weaver Leather, led by CEO and president Jason Weaver (the grandson of the founder) is headquartered south of Akron in Mount Hope, Ohio.

“The partnership with Blue Point will allow us to further build our platform of branded niche enthusiast products,” said Mr. Weaver. “Our mission, heritage and culture align extremely well with Blue Point’s values and team. We are completely aligned with the vision and goals for the company, and we are pleased to welcome Blue Point to the Weaver family.”

“We are thrilled to be able to invest alongside management to support Weaver in building on its rich history of success,” said John LeMay, a partner at Blue Point. “We were drawn to Weaver’s leading brands and niche market leadership position, along with the company’s terrific alignment with Blue Point’s culture, value-add capabilities, enthusiast consumer investment experience and preference for local partnerships. We look forward to working alongside the talented Weaver team to execute organic and M&A driven growth initiatives.”

Blue Point’s strategy for Weaver Leather includes new product development, continued development of the company’s digital marketing capabilities, and the pursuit of add-on acquisitions.

“Building on Weaver’s already-proven brands and broad product offering, we believe there is an excellent foundation for a successful partnership,” said Charley Geiger, a principal at Blue Point. “Together with management, we have identified numerous opportunities to leverage various elements of the Blue Point value creation toolkit. Simply having the opportunity to partner with the Weaver team and be part of the Company’s next chapter is exciting.”

Working alongside Mr. LeMay and Mr. Geiger on this transaction were Partner Sean Ward; Data & Digital Managing Director Tye Howell; Supply Chain/Asian Strategies Managing Director Dennis Wu; Senior Associates Bobby Grebenc and Laurie Kong; and Associate Kate McLarney.

Blue Point invests in companies that are active in the manufacturing, distribution and business services sectors and have from $25 million to $300 million in revenue and EBITDA greater than $5 million. The firm has offices in Cleveland, Charlotte, Seattle, and Shanghai. The buy of Weaver Leather is the ninth platform investment for Blue Point’s fourth fund, Blue Point Capital Partners IV LP, which closed at its hard cap of $700 million in January 2018.

Chattanooga, Tennessee-based River Associates, the seller of Weaver Leather, invests in US and Canadian-based companies with revenues of $20 million to $100 million and EBITDA of $3 million to $15 million. Sectors of interest include niche manufacturing, high margin distribution, industrial services, and business services.

Lincoln International was the financial advisor to Weaver Leather on this transaction.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | March 23, 2021

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