Target: Totes-Isotoner Corp.
Sponsor: MidOcean Partners
Seller: Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill
The firm agreed to buy a majority stake in private equity darling Totes-Isotoner Corp., the maker of cold weather gear, footwear, raingear and sunglasses, from
TheTotes-Isotoner senior management team and Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill will continue to maintain a significant position in the company, according to MidOcean.
Totes-Isotoner has been on an odyssey of sorts, journeying from private equity firm to private equity firm for more than a decade.
The company’s gloves, hats, scarves, umbrellas, slippers, and other products are marketed under the Totes, Isotoner, Raines and ESNY names; they are sold by more than 5,000 major department stores, mass merchants, drug stores, and specialty retailers in North America, the U.K. and France. The company also operates a network of more than 100 outlet mall-based stores that it owns.
Doug Gernert, who has led Totes-Isotoner for more than 10 years, will continue as its CEO and also assume the role of chairman of the board. “Our goal is to provide retailers with a single point of contact for their accessories needs,” Gernert said in a prepared statement. The company intends to continue to expand into new retail channels, as well as internationally, building on its position in the U.K. and France.
Mid-market buyout shop MidOcean, based in New York and London, got its start in early 2003 after buying the merchant banking portfolio of Deutsche Bank. Credit Suisse advised Totes-Isotoner and has agreed to provide financing for the transaction. Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal counsel to MidOcean and Dechert LLP provided legal counsel to Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill.—E.B.