Tuesday 26 January 2021

Private Equity Firm Acquires S&S Activewear

Over the last decade, S&S Activewear has grown to become the only 3rd billion-dollar supplier in the promotional products industry. They operate 6 nationwide distribution centres, and offer one-day shipping to 41 states. Based on 2019 North American promo products industry revenue of $1.3 billion with current total company revenue is about $1.5 billion.

Since 2010, S&S has expanded geographically and made three key acquisitions. Those include the purchase of the large Canada-based wholesale apparel provider Technosport – an acquisition announced in December 2019. 

Private Equity Firm ,Clayton,Dubilier & Rice is becoming the majority stakeholder in the billion-dollar Top 40 apparel supplier. They have managed $30 billion worth of investments in 95 companies. 

Last Wednesday, January 20, S&S announced that Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) is investing alongside current owners and management to acquire the Bolingbrook, IL-headquartered supplier. CD&R will be the majority stakeholder in S&S. Financial terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, were not released.

According to Jim Shannon, president of S&S said “This transaction is an important milestone for S&S and a validation of our continued success. As successful as we have been over the last two decades, we believe our growth story is just beginning.”

Shannon said that CD&R is the perfect partner for S&S, as the firm is well-equipped to support long-term growth strategies. “CD&R has a deep understanding of our business, from sourcing, freight and distribution center scaling, to technology and sales and marketing,” Shannon said.

Once the transaction closes, Shannon will assume the role of S&S’s CEO. CD&R operating partner John Compton, a former president of PepsiCo, will become Chairman of the Board. S&S executives noted that there will be no management changes, adding that the long-tenured executive team will continue managing and operating the business.

Founded in 1978, CD&R has offices in New York City and London. It manages capital on behalf of institutions and individuals around the world, with clients in North America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. Clients that work with CD&R range from corporate pensions, public pensions, sovereign funds and foundations/endowments, to insurance companies and high net worth and family offices.

CD&R Partner, Ken Giuriceo

“We are delighted to partner with a talented, entrepreneurial S&S team that shares our core values in a business we know and understand,” said CD&R partner Ken Giuriceo. “We look forward to working together to achieve our vision for continued strong growth that creates exciting opportunities for employees, vendors and customers, as well as the local communities where they operate.”

Tuesday 19 January 2021

iPROMOTEu Announces New Vice President of Vendor Management

This month, top 40 distributor iPROMOTEu announced industry veteran, Joe Hoffmann's employment into the company. Hoffmann will join the brand as their VP of vendor management. With over 23 years of industry experience, he will oversea all aspects of the distributor's vendor interaction and supply chain. 

According to Ross Silverstein, President and CEO of iPROMOTEu, “Joe will be a great addition to our team, and we’re excited to have him on board,” said in a press release. “His experience and knowledge will have an immediate and significant impact on the wide variety of vendor services we provide our affiliates.”

Hoffmann previously served as regional vice president of sales for Top 40 alphabroder, where he was responsible for management of apparel and hard good sales in the company’s Northeast region.

“Throughout my years engaged with the industry’s top distributors, I have always held iPROMOTEu in the highest regard,” Hoffmann said. “It’s exciting to join the organization in a capacity that leverages my experience and relationships during a period full of challenge and opportunity for our industry.”

iPROMOTEu ranked 14th on the Counselor's most recent list of the largest distributors in the industry. They reported a $178 million product revenue on 2019 North American.

Tuesday 12 January 2021

Female Power Trio to Spearhead SnugZ USA in 2021

SnugZ USA announced the promotions of 3 of their executives to prepare for future growth of the company. With  a reported 2019 North American promotional products revenue of $57.5 million, SnugZ currently ranks 27th on Counselor’s latest list of Top 40 suppliers.

According to CEO, Brandon Mackay, all 3 women embody the SnugZ spirit and core values, he said in a statement "We take great pride in organic leadership where we all can excel together, and their proven leadership will continue to drive innovation and accelerated growth."

Formerly vice president of sales, Brittany David was promoted to chief revenue officer. She will be working closely with the company's sales, marketing and product development team.

Brittany David, Chief Revenue Officer

She recently finished a 5-year term on the PPAI's board of directors and ranked 15th on Counselor's most recent Power 50 list. "I'm extremely excited to take this next step with SnugZ and work alongside incredible teams to optimize the talent we have," David said. "There are many opportunities for growth both for our team and our customers, and I can't wait for the future ahead."

Kathy DiFrancesco

Kathy DiFrancesco will be stepping into David's shoes with her promotion to vice president of sales. The 14-year veteran of the promotional products industry has shown tremendous leadership while guiding the company’s outside sales team, according to SnugZ. DiFrancesco will be relocating from Dallas to join the SnugZ executive team in Salt Lake City.

Sabrina Franz

Sabrina Franz has been promoted to outside sales manager. Previously, she served as outside sales rep serving Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. 
Franz will turn her focus now to leading the company’s outside sales team and multiline reps. She has been with SnugZ for three years, and currently serves on the board of directors for the Upper Midwest Association of Promotional Professionals.


Tuesday 5 January 2021

Hit Closes Off 2020 with Promoting New Executives!

As we drew 2020 to a close, Hit Promotional Products announced the promotions of their President to President and CEO, C.J. Schmidt and their CIO to Chief Operating Officer, Eric Shonebarger.

Hit Promotes Top Executives

C.J. Schmidt, President and CEO, and Eric Shonebarger, COO of Hit

C.J. Schmidt is a recurrent member of the Counselor's Power 50 list, he has worked full-time at his family's company for the past 16 years. The role of CEO was held previously by his mother Liz, and his father, Bill Schmidt, who passed earlier in 2016. Schmidt said in a statement, "I’m anxious to start a new chapter, and if we act up, Liz and big guy upstairs will certainly put us in our place.”
Beginning his career with Hit over 15 years ago, Eric Shonebarger was named Counselor's Technology Executive of the Year in 2017. He was instrumental in overseeing efficiency improvements and expansion into new product categories. This resulted in Hit's doubling in revenue over 5 years.
President and Ceo, Schmidt had this to say about Hit's new COO, “Eric is a one-of-a-kind find in this business, and quite frankly any business. What he’s done for the advancements in the technology for our company, and industry as a whole, is truly remarkable, but that’s not where Eric’s talents stop. Eric is kind, generous, ethical and, most importantly, extremely humble despite all his accolades and achievements. … [We] could not have a more qualified individual to take Hit Promotional Products to the next level.”
With 2019 promotional products revenue of $495.7 million, Hit ranks sixth on Counselor’s most recent list of the largest suppliers in the industry.

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