J.W. Childs Names New Motorcycle Platform

J.W. Childs Names New Motorcycle Platform

jw childs nf1Completing the process it began when it acquired RevZilla last month, J.W. Childs has formed to place all of its motorcycle enthusiast investments under a common umbrella. Comoto will have equity investments in both RevZilla and Cycle Gear, two retailers of apparel, accessories and parts for motorcycle enthusiasts.

revzilla nf15RevZilla, acquired by J.W. Childs in February 2016, is an e-commerce retailer of motorcycle apparel, parts and accessories. Products include jackets, helmets, gloves, pants, boots, exhaust systems, and tires. Annual revenues are approximately $100 million. The company was founded in 2007 by Anthony Bucci, Nick Auger and Matt Kull and is headquartered in Philadelphia (www.revzilla.com).

cyclegear nf11Cycle Gear, acquired by J.W. Childs in January 2015 from Harvest Partners, is a national retailer of helmets, jackets, pants, boots, gloves and other motorcycling related products.  The company operates 113 stores in 34 states, has a significant online business, and distributes more than 13 million catalogs annually.  Cycle Gear was founded in 1974 and is headquartered north of San Francisco in Benicia, CA (www.cyclegear.com).

RevZilla and Cycle Gear will continue to operate as independent sister companies with headquarters in Philadelphia and Benicia. Each of the three RevZilla founders – Anthony Bucci, Nick Auger and Matt Kull – will maintain their positions at RevZilla. Messrs. Bucci and Kull will join the board of directors of Comoto along with Joseph Fortunato, executive chairman of Cycle Gear. Mr. Fortunato joined the Cycle Gear board in January 2015 when J.W. Childs acquired the company. He is a long-time specialty retail executive and was CEO of General Nutrition Corporation from 2005 to 2014.

“Matt, Nick and I are thrilled about our new ownership in Comoto and the opportunity to complement our digital leadership and expertise with the seasoned leadership and retail acumen that Joe and J.W. Childs possess,” said Mr. Bucci. “Moving forward, RevZilla will only accelerate its ability to advance the experience of motorcycle enthusiasts in new and expansive ways.”

J.W. Childs expects to make more investments in the motorcycle enthusiast sector under the Comoto umbrella in order to build the brand awareness and national retail presence of Cycle Gear and RevZilla.

Jeff Teschke nf2“Cycle Gear and RevZilla are leaders in the motorsports industry through their brick and mortar and digital expertise, respectively, and the opportunity for J.W. Childs to participate in both markets as each improves the community interaction and shopping experience for their enthusiast customers is an exciting endeavor,” said Jeff Teschke, Partner of J.W. Childs. “The investment is a great fit with our strategy of investing in leading specialty retailers and consumer brands and we look forward to participating in this next phase of growth at both Cycle Gear and RevZilla.”

J.W. Childs invests in middle market companies based in North America. Sectors of interest include consumer products, specialty retail and healthcare. The firm was founded in 1995 and is based west of Boston in Waltham, MA (www.jwchilds.com).

© 2016 Private Equity Professional • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 3-15-16

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