Huron Adds to IQ Brands

Huron Adds to IQ Brands

IQ Brands, a portfolio company of Huron Capital since November 2011, has acquired Wheel House Designs. This is the fourth add-on acquisition completed by IQ Brand’s under Huron Capital ownership.

Wheel House Designs is a producer of more than 450 variations of novelty socks that are sold through specialty stores and boutiques throughout North America. One of Wheel House’s first products was the iconic spotted cow sock for Ben & Jerry’s. Today, Wheel House offers socks across 12 categories: Dogs, Birds, Cats, Country, Garden, Novelty, Wildlife, Life on the Coast, Life in the Southwest, Holiday, Winter & Warm and Children’s.

Wheel House was founded in 1989 by Gail Bourne and is headquartered in Morrisville, VT ( Ms. Bourne will remain active with IQ Brands after the acquisition.

“We are excited to join the IQ Brands platform and work with Huron Capital’s team of industry experts,” said Ms. Bourne. “We believe this is a mutually beneficial opportunity that will enhance product offerings, increase customer bases and expand growth prospects.”

IQ Brands was originally founded as Socks and Accessory Brands Global and has made three previous acquisitions: Twin City Knitting Company, TopSox and IQ Brands.  The company sells private label, licensed, and branded merchandise to specialty footwear retailers, sporting goods stores, department stores, and discount retailers. IQ Brands is headquartered in Advance, NC (

Brian Rassel, Vice President at Huron Capital, said Wheel House’s experience in the gift and novelty space is expected to provide an opportunity for IQ Brands to expand more of its products into this channel. “We believe that Wheel House Designs, known for its imaginative, playful designs, along with its commitment to quality craftsmanship, will be a great fit with IQ Brands’ roster of well-known retail and corporate brands,” said Mr. Rassel. “This acquisition provides additional design and operational resources which we believe will further enhance the platform and help to solidify its position as a leader in the sock and apparel accessories market.”

Huron Capital invests up to $70 million per transaction in middle-market companies that have revenues up to $200 million and EBITDAs of $5 million or more. Sectors of interest include business services, consumer products & services, and specialty industrials. Huron was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Detroit (

© 2018 Private Equity Professional | October 15, 2018

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