Versa Capital Management LLC has formed Eastern Outfitters LLC after the Philadelphia-based private equity firm restructured and recapitalized retailers Eastern Mountain Sports and Bob’s Stores. No financial terms were disclosed. EMS and Bob’s will now be part of Eastern Outfitters LLC, a holding company that will be headquartered in Meriden, Connecticut and led by CEO Mark Walsh.
PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Versa Capital Management, LLC (“Versa”) is pleased to announce today the formation of Eastern Outfitters, LLC, which will continue the restructured and recapitalized operations of Eastern Mountain Sports (“EMS”) and Bob’s Stores (“Bob’s”). EMS and Bob’s will operate as business units of Eastern Outfitters, LLC, a new holding company with over $400 million in annual multi-channel revenue that will be headquartered in Meriden, Conn. with the senior management team under the leadership of CEO Mark Walsh.
“Today is a new day for our customers, employees and partners,” said Mark Walsh, CEO of Eastern Outfitters. “We move forward with a focused strategy and strengthened capital structure that will enable EMS and Bob’s to prosper. The management team and I would like to thank our trade and service partners for their unwavering support and for recognizing the value of our brands and their confidence in our strategic plan. We are excited to begin this new chapter and the growth trajectory we have outlined for our future.”
Eastern Outfitters’ brands will continue to focus on advancing their leadership positions among their core demographic groups in the Eastern and Mid-Atlantic regions. EMS is the second largest U.S. multi-channel retailer of human-powered outdoor sports apparel and equipment with stores in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. Bob’s is a 60-year-old, award-winning Northeastern retailer of value-oriented footwear, apparel and work wear. More information about the two retailers is available at www.ems.com and www.bobstores.com.
“We are pleased that this transaction provides EMS and Bob’s – two strong and growing retailers – the opportunity to continue providing exceptional service to their loyal customer bases,” said Gregory L. Segall, Chairman and CEO of Versa. “We appreciate the significant support the companies received from their trade creditors. Their affirmation of the important positions EMS and Bob’s hold in their respective markets was a major catalyst for this successful and accelerated restructuring.
“With an enhanced capital structure and healthy balance sheet, EMS and Bob’s now have the flexibility they need to prosper in the current retail environment that rewards brands that offer unique products with highly attentive customer service at attractive price points. The Versa team and I look forward to continuing our close collaboration with Mark Walsh and his leadership team to advance Eastern Outfitters at every level.”
About Versa Capital Management
Based in Philadelphia, Versa Capital Management is a private equity investment firm with more than $1.4 billion of assets under management focused on control investments in special situations involving middle market companies where value and performance growth can be achieved through enhanced operational and financial management. Versa’s portfolio includes retailers Avenue Stores, Eastern Outfitters, and The Wet Seal; performance fabric manufacturer Polartec; western restaurant chain Black Angus Steakhouses; and manufacturers that service a variety of industries. More information can be found at www.versa.com.