Freeman Spogli, Investcorp to buy Totes Isotoner, say sources-Reuters

(Reuters) – Buyout firm Freeman Spogli & Co and Bahrain-based investment company Investcorp have agreed to acquire Totes Isotoner Corp, the world’s largest marketer of umbrellas, gloves and rainwear, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The deal values Totes Isotoner at between $500 million and $600 million, the people said. The company is being sold by private equity firm MidOcean Partners, which acquired Totes Isotoner in 2007 in a $288 million deal.

The sources asked not to be identified because the deal has not yet been officially announced. MidOcean and Investcorp declined to comment while Totes Isotoner and Freeman Spogli did not respond to requests for comment.

Cincinnati-based Totes Isotoner designs and distributes cold and wet weather accessories, such as umbrellas and gloves, as well as slippers, sandals, headwear, and sunglasses.

The deal marks Totes Isotoner’s fifth generation of private equity ownership. Bain Capital LLC, under the direction of former presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, took over Totes in 1994 from Chicago businessman Brad Phillips, and in 1997 the firm merged it with glove maker Isotoner.

In 2001, private equity firm Swander Pace Capital LLC bought the company from Bain and in 2004 it sold it to another buyout firm, Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co LLC. MidOcean bought the company in 2007.

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