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Bregal Partners buys athletic brand Shock Doctor

Middle market private equity firm Bregal Partners has acquired Shock Doctor from Norwest Equity Partners. No financial terms were disclosed. William Blair & Company represented Norwest Equity Partners in the transaction, while Bregal Partners was represented by law firm Dechert. Shock Doctor is a provider of athletic performance and protective equipment.


NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bregal Partners, a leading middle market private equity firm, has acquired Shock Doctor, Inc. (“Shock Doctor” or the “Company”), a leading provider of athletic performance and protective equipment. The acquisition was made in partnership with management.
Shock Doctor is the #1 brand for athletes around the world who demand superior protection and performance. Widely recognized for innovative design and superior technology, Shock Doctor’s products are trusted by athletes, from youth to amateur to professional, in a growing number of sports. In addition to its full line of patented, technologically advanced mouthguards, Shock Doctor offers a comprehensive line of protective and performance products for hockey, football, baseball, basketball, soccer, martial arts and boxing, and lacrosse, amongst other sports. Current product categories include core protective, performance sports therapy, Cutters® sports gloves, and insoles.
Bregal Partners’ co-founder and Managing Partner Robert Bergmann noted that Shock Doctor was an ideal platform to participate in the growth occurring at the intersection of consumer products and healthcare, a space that Bregal has been pursuing for some time. “We see a great opportunity for Shock Doctor to continue to revolutionize the $9 billion global market for performance and protective equipment with new, innovative, and disruptive products. Beyond entering new categories, the Company should also benefit from overall market growth and an ability to acquire other industry participants.”
There are also favorable industry tailwinds. “Research shows that sports specialization is leading to higher injury incidence and thus greater focus on injury prevention,” Mr. Bergmann said. Specialization refers to the increasing trend for youth athletes to focus narrowly on one or two sports. High-profile injuries and media attention have driven awareness of sports injuries, especially concussions and head injuries. “Shock Doctor will benefit from this heightened awareness that has made parents and athletes increasingly willing to purchase products to avoid or minimize injuries.”
Mr. Bergmann added that the transaction gives Bregal Partners a chance to work together for a second time with Tony Armand, Shock Doctor’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are also delighted to be partnering together again with Tony with whom we have a 15-year relationship. The talent and track record of Shock Doctor’s management team is a key reason we are so excited about the transaction.”
Mr. Armand stated, “The entire team at Shock Doctor is thrilled to be teaming with Bregal Partners as we enter our next phase of growth. They bring a unique blend of consumer and healthcare investment experience that will undoubtedly help us hit the ground running. Having personally worked with the team at Bregal in the past, I know for a fact that we could not have found a better partner.”
Shock Doctor had been a portfolio company of Norwest Equity Partners, a middle market equity investment firm, since 2008. Investment bank William Blair & Company represented Norwest Equity Partners, while Bregal Partners was represented by law firm Dechert LLP. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
About Shock Doctor
Shock Doctor is a leading provider of protective and performance sports equipment. With a relentless focus on innovation and technology, its products are trusted by athletes, from youth to amateur to professional, across a growing number of categories and sports. Shock Doctor has the best-in-class mouthguard offering and also provides a full continuum of innovative athletic products including core protective, performance sports therapy, sports gloves (under the Cutters® brand), and insoles. Its products are sold through major sporting goods retailers, independent dealers, online retailers, and health care professionals throughout the United States and around the globe. For more information on Shock Doctor, please visit
About Bregal Partners
Bregal Partners is a private investment firm that invests alongside management teams to build industry leading companies in the middle market. Areas of focus include energy services, consumer, food and retail, and healthcare. With $500 million of committed capital funded by a sixth-generation family foundation with roots back to 1841, Bregal Partners brings experience, stability, and a long-term outlook to all of its investment activities. Bregal Partners is part of Bregal Investments, a global family of private equity and fund investment vehicles that has invested more than $9 billion since 2002. For more information on Bregal Partners, please visit