ACON-backed Igloo completes Cool Gear acquisition

Igloo Products Corp., a portfolio company of ACON Investments, has closed its acquisition of Cool Gear International. No financial terms were disclosed. Also, Igloo has hired Mark Parrish as president. Parrish is replacing Gary Kiedaisch. Cool Gear is a provider of food storage and personal hydration bottle solutions.


WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — ACON Investments, L.L.C. and its affiliates (“ACON”) announced today that its portfolio company, Igloo Products Corp. (“Igloo” or the “Company”), a leading cooler manufacturer, has completed the purchase of Cool Gear International, LLC (“Cool Gear”) and that Mark Parrish has been hired as Igloo’s new President. Parrish is replacing Gary Kiedaisch, who is stepping down from day-to-day management. Kiedaisch will remain an investor in the Company and may assist the Company on special projects at the direction of the Board.

Cool Gear is a leading provider of innovative solutions in the food storage and personal hydration bottle categories and is respected for its high quality products and rapid pace of innovation. The combined company will not only be a market leader in the storage of food and beverages, but will also enjoy one of the most robust portfolios of intellectual property in the space.
Igloo acquired Cool Gear from RAF Industries, which along with Cool Gear’s founders—Donna and Hank Roth—will remain shareholders in the combined company. The terms of the Cool Gear transaction were not disclosed, but the acquisition represents a significant transaction for Igloo and comes just nine months after an affiliate of ACON acquired Igloo.
In connection with the consummation of the Cool Gear acquisition, Igloo’s Board of Directors has decided to further invest in the

Company’s leadership, bringing Parrish on board as President of Igloo and adding Donna and Hank Roth and Parrish to the Board. Aron Schwartz, Managing Partner of ACON, said, “It speaks volumes about the combined company’s opportunity that we have been able to attract an executive as skilled as Mark Parrish and that Donna, Hank and Mark have agreed to join our Board.”

Schwartz added, “Mark has an accomplished record of leading organizational transformations of U.S.-based manufacturers. His contributions have yielded tremendous results with other well-known consumer brands like Harley-Davidson and Simmons, as well as, other industry leaders including Ply Gem Windows, Interface, Inc. and Deceuninck North America—each world-class manufacturers known for their rapid product innovation.”

In assuming his new responsibilities, Parrish offered, “I sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence placed in me by the Igloo Board. Much like Harley-Davidson and Simmons, Igloo is an iconic brand that is an essential part of America’s proud manufacturing legacy. I look forward to the challenge of leveraging Igloo’s market leading position, committed associates and state of the art Katy, Texas factory to launch exciting new products and continue delivering the superior customer service our channel partners have come to expect.”

Regarding the Cool Gear acquisition, Igloo’s EVP of Sales Tony Carfagno commented, “Cool Gear has an extraordinary portfolio of products that is exceeded only by what Cool Gear has in the pipeline. The entire Igloo management team is thrilled to begin working with Donna, Hank and their team to further grow and leverage the impressive business they have built. Many of their products are complementary offerings to the cooler category, and we eagerly anticipate realizing the full potential of those adjacencies.”

“Igloo brings fresh capital, broader distribution and other resources to Cool Gear, which will help us continue to penetrate new markets and categories with product extensions and additional innovations. We are very excited about this new partnership with Igloo and the benefits it will bring to our valued trade partners,” added Donna Roth, President and co-founder of Cool Gear.
“Both Igloo and Cool Gear possess tremendous potential. By working together, we can build upon each company’s foundation and leverage each other’s strengths. We thank our prior partners at RAF Industries for their support these last several years. Our partnership with Igloo signifies the beginning of a thrilling new phase for Cool Gear,” said Hank Roth, co-founder of Cool Gear.

“We are pleased to be executing the strategy articulated at the time of the Igloo acquisition—to build Igloo into a larger, more dynamic and diversified consumer products company through organic growth and acquisitions of market leading companies,” said Ken R. Brotman, a Founding Partner of ACON. “Cool Gear’s founders have built a strong foundation for continued success and expansion with its core products, and we are excited to have them engaged to help us expand the combined businesses,” added Brotman.

“This transaction provides demonstrable opportunities to broaden the product offerings in every channel in which we participate, expand the combined distribution network and develop more innovative solutions for the end consumer. The Igloo and Cool Gear brands are not only synonymous with the categories they serve, but also offer true performance advantages,” said Brotman.

About Igloo
Igloo Products Corp. is a Texas-based international designer, manufacturer and marketer of coolers and other outdoor products and housewares. Founded in 1947, Igloo originated the cooler category and remains today the number one cooler brand worldwide. For more than 65 years, the Igloo brand has been synonymous with quality, durability and innovation. Offering more than 500 different products, Igloo coolers are sold by more than 110 thousand retailer storefronts around the world. For more information, visit

About Cool Gear
Cool Gear International, LLC creates innovative products that strive to revolutionize the green movement with the hopes of eliminating disposable plastic bottle waste, as well as encourage a healthier and happier you. Through the company’s patented technology, Cool Gear helps provide cool, clean water, as well as fresh, crisp food for a busy on-the-go lifestyle. Every product has a sleek design that promotes individuality through its unique color and graphics. Consumers need products that fit into their schedule and reflect their personality. For more information, visit

About ACON Investments
ACON Investments, L.L.C. is a Washington, DC-based international private equity investment firm that manages private equity funds and special purpose partnerships that make investments in the United States and Latin America. Founded in 1996, ACON and its principals have managed over $3.5 billion of capital. ACON has professionals in Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Mexico City, São Paulo and Bogotá. For more information, visit