U.S. consumer private equity firm Brentwood Associates has invested nearly $50 million in SAXX Underwear, a Vancouver designer of men’s underwear brands. Founded in 2006 by Trent Kitsch, SAXX was acquired in 2010 by private investors, who remain the majority shareholders. The company reports showing revenue growth of more than 75 percent annually since 2012. Brentwood said it plans to build on this growth by helping broaden SAXX’s product portfolio, enhance its digital presence, and expand its international distribution. SAXX is led by CEO Tim Bartels and chaired by Terry Holland, head of Canadian private equity firm Krystal Financial Corp.
SAXX Underwear Announces Significant Investment from Brentwood Associates
Private equity firm supports existing management team, plans substantial investments to support growth initiatives
December 14, 2016
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Brentwood Associates, a leading consumer-focused private equity investment firm (“Brentwood”), has made a significant investment in SAXX Underwear, headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. With its superior design and quality that is tailored to support an active lifestyle, SAXX has become one of the fastest growing premium men’s underwear brands in North America. The company benefits from a deeply loyal customer base that values and demands better basics in categories that have historically lacked innovation. SAXX is led by Chief Executive Officer, Tim Bartels, whose prior experience with such companies as Columbia Sportswear, Keen, DC Shoes, and Nike, provides a strong foundation for his leadership in driving extraordinary growth. The company was acquired in 2010 by a group of private investors, who will collectively remain the majority shareholder following this transaction.
Founded by an athlete and avid outdoorsman, and driven by a spirit of innovation, SAXX’s authentic mission is to revolutionize the core staple of every wardrobe. By offering a truly differentiated product with a unique design and patented technology, SAXX has created a compelling lifestyle brand serving an extremely loyal customer base. The company’s products are made from the highest quality functional fabrics to address the specific needs of each customer, ranging from everyday lifestyle pieces to high performance gear. With market leading customer satisfaction, driven by exceptional product comfort and fit, SAXX is well poised to continue its successful track record of revenue growth, which has exceeded 75% annually since 2012. In partnership with Brentwood, SAXX will seek to broaden its product portfolio, enhance its digital presence, and expand its international distribution.
Commenting on the new partnership, Bartels said, “As one of the fastest growing brands in our space, we are excited to partner with the Brentwood team to continue that momentum. Their track record of success in the consumer space and extensive experience partnering with multi-channel brands will be a great asset as we extend our leadership position in the market.” Bartels continued, “With a nearly $50 million cash infusion from Brentwood, we are eager to build upon SAXX’s strong foundation and continue to fuel our core growth strategies, ultimately providing greater value and variety for our customers. Our new product pipeline is robust, and the support and enthusiasm from our customers has never been higher.”
Terry Holland, SAXX’s Chairman, said, “When we began this process to raise outside capital, we established a number of guiding principles for selecting the best partner for our next phase of growth. We met several very high quality firms with valuable perspectives and learned a lot from that process. We are, in the end, particularly pleased to be working with Brentwood. The fit between the two shareholder groups is almost as good as that of a pair of SAXX!”
Eric Reiter, partner at Brentwood, commented, “SAXX fits perfectly with our strategy of investing in growing, lifestyle brands that foster consistently high customer loyalty, while delivering strong, profitable growth. We will continue to support the company in such areas as product innovation, targeted print and digital marketing, and operational excellence across its global distribution and fulfillment platform. We look forward to working with Tim and his leadership team to build upon their tremendous success and the impeccable reputation they have established within their core market.”
SAXX is the ninth investment by Brentwood Associates’ latest fund, Brentwood Associates Private Equity V, L.P., which held a final close in December of 2014. Other current and prior apparel investments include Allen Edmonds, Ariat International, Filson, J.McLaughlin, Soft Surroundings, and Sundance Catalog.
SAXX received investment banking advice from Lazard Middle Market and legal advice from DLA Piper. Brentwood was represented by Perkins Coie LLP.
About SAXX Underwear
SAXX is a pioneer in the underwear industry, producing a patented product like nothing else seen before on the market. Created by an athlete and avid outdoorsman, SAXX Underwear Co. was founded with a mission to revolutionize the core staple of every man’s wardrobe. The original producer of internal mesh panel underwear, SAXX continues to develop the most comfortable, authentic design-driven apparel available. Providing unmatched support for men, SAXX is one of the fastest growing men’s underwear companies in North America.
For additional information on SAXX Underwear Co. please visit www.saxxunderwear.com.
About Brentwood Associates
Brentwood Associates is a leading consumer-focused private equity investment firm with a 30-year history of investing in leading middle-market growth companies. Brentwood focuses on investments in growing businesses where it is able to leverage its extensive experience in areas such as: branded consumer products; multi-location strategies; direct-to-customer marketing, including direct mail and e-commerce; niche brands with specialty distribution; education; and business services. Since 1984, Brentwood’s dedicated private equity team has invested in over 50 portfolio companies with an aggregate transaction value of over $6 billion. With significant experience in both investing and brand building, Brentwood is a value-added partner with entrepreneurs and senior management teams building world-class companies. For more information about Brentwood, please visit www.brentwood.com.
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