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.”

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