Blue Point acquires a $100m leather manufacturer

River Associates-backed Weaver Leather gets sold to Blue Point, marking the company’s third partnership with institutional money.

Blue Point Capital Partners plans to grow newly-acquired Weaver Leather with add-ons and organic growth initiatives like supply chain and e-commerce improvements.

Weaver – a leather product manufacturer and wholesaler situated just an hour away from Blue Point’s Cleveland office – fit the firm’s strategy of investing in regional businesses. Based in Mount Hope, Ohio, the target generated over $100 million in revenue last year.

Blue Point invests in businesses between $25 million and $300 million in revenue.

The deal, which closed on Tuesday, marks Blue Point’s ninth investment out of $731 million fund IV, following an investment in aftermarket car parts maker Transtar Industries.

“We had heard about the company from incumbent lender Madison Capital,” said Blue Point Partner John LeMay. The debt financing firm was retained from the previous buyout of Weaver by River Associates Investments in 2016.

The sellers, advised by Lincoln International, conducted a limited auction process, and a letter of Intent was signed late January, LeMay said. No banker was involved on the buy-side.

The process involved interviewing customers of the target, who verified Weaver’s market position, and four in-person meetings with the management team took place.

The 45-year-old manufacturer scored its first institutional investment in 2008, when Heartwood Partners executed an LBO of the business.

Looking ahead, Blue Point aims to use its digital expertise to improve Weaver’s marketing and e-commerce channels.

“It has 25,000 SKUs; there’s a lot of complexity in the business and you can do a lot with pricing analytics,” he said.

In addition, the firm intends to focus on supply chain management, which involves managing cost at Weaver’s sourcing bases in Taiwan, China, India – “basically most of Asia,” LeMay said.

Weaver has made three acquisitions recently including Troxel Helmets, an equestrian helmet provider. Blue Point will support the team in future add-ons to the platform.