Berkshire Partners, New Balance Holding buy The Rockport Company

Berkshire Partners LLC, along with New Balance Holding Inc., have closed their buy of The Rockport Company. The adidas Group is the seller. Financial terms weren’t announced. The deal calls for Drydock Footwear LLC, a New Balance affiliate and home to the Cobb Hill, Aravon and Dunham brands, to join with The Rockport Company to form The Rockport Group. Bob Infantino will serve as CEO of The Rockport Group. Canton, Massachusetts-based Rockport designs and markets comfort footwear for men and women. Brands will include Rockport, Cobb Hill, Aravon and Dunham. New Balance Holding Inc. is the investment arm of New Balance.

PRESS RELEASE

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Berkshire Partners LLC, a Boston-based investment firm, together with New Balance Holding, Inc., the investment arm of New Balance, today announced that they have completed the acquisition of The Rockport Company from the adidas Group. The Rockport Company is a leading designer and marketer of high-quality comfort footwear for men and women. As part of the transaction, Drydock Footwear LLC, currently a New Balance affiliate and home to the Cobb Hill, Aravon and Dunham brands, will join together with The Rockport Company to form The Rockport Group with Bob Infantino serving as CEO. The Rockport Group, which will remain based in the greater Boston area, will be a new stand-alone company offering high-quality dress and casual footwear to customers globally across four brands—Rockport, Cobb Hill, Aravon and Dunham.
Rockport, headquartered in Canton, Massachusetts, was founded more than 40 years ago, when father and son, Saul and Bruce Katz, hit the roads of New England, selling shoes out of their trunk. Their vision, which continues to inspire Rockport products today, was to utilize innovative sports technology to create a unique level of comfort in dress and casual shoes. Rockport products are sold through a multi-channel network of leading wholesale partners, as well as through the company’s retail stores and website.
Drydock was founded in May 2011 when Bob Infantino, an industry veteran with a long and successful history of building and leading footwear brands, joined with global athletic leader New Balance to create an independent business committed to delivering innovative, on-trend and comfortable dress and casual shoes across three brands: Cobb Hill, Aravon and Dunham.
Goodwin Procter LLP served as legal counsel to Berkshire Partners and New Balance Holding, Inc.
About The Rockport Group:
The Rockport Group designs, markets and sells comfort footwear with distribution in premier independent, online and department stores in North America and more than 63 markets worldwide. In August 2015, Drydock Footwear Group acquired The Rockport Company to form The Rockport Group, the new home to the companies’ combined portfolio of men’s and women’s brands, including Rockport, Cobb Hill, Aravon and Dunham. Headquartered in the greater Boston area, the Company merges Drydock and Rockport’s collective vision, talent and commitment to innovation, dating back to Rockport’s beginnings in 1971. For more information, visit www.rockport.com.
About Berkshire Partners:
Berkshire Partners, the Boston-based investment firm, has invested in over 110 middle market companies since 1986 through eight private equity funds with aggregate capital commitments of over $11 billion. Berkshire has developed specific industry experience in several areas including consumer products and retail, business services, industrials, communications and transportation. Berkshire has a strong history of partnering with management teams to grow the companies in which it invests with the goal of consistently achieving superior investment returns. The firm is currently investing from Berkshire Fund VIII, a $4.5 billion fund raised in 2011. The firm seeks to invest $50 million to $500 million of equity capital in each portfolio company. For additional information, visit www.berkshirepartners.com.