Allen Edmonds Corporation is to be acquired by an affiliate of Brentwood Associates. Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison of Minneapolis led the purchase of Allen Edmonds in 2006 and is selling its stake in the business.
Allen Edmonds Corporation has agreed to be acquired by an affiliate of Brentwood Associates, a Los Angeles based private equity firm founded in 1972 with a strong track record of successful investments in growth-oriented consumer companies. Allen Edmonds will remain an independent private company, according to its president & chief executive officer Paul Grangaard, and will now have greater access to investment capital as a result of a successful ownership transition from Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison of Minneapolis, the private equity firm that led the purchase of Allen Edmonds in 2006.
Grangaard also announced that the leadership team responsible for the company’s significant growth over the last five years will remain with the company. He emphasized that Allen Edmonds remains completely committed to its “Made in USA” manufacturing strategy and its expanding Port Washington, Wis. production operation. Allen Edmonds has been handcrafting shoes in communities just north of Milwaukee since 1922.
Funding Will Fuel Continued Growth
“We’re absolutely delighted to partner with Brentwood Associates as we drive the development of this 91-year-old growth company,” said Grangaard. “This smooth transition provides us with the capital needed to continue building the Allen Edmonds brand, broadening our product line and taking our Made in USA products to new cities around the globe.”
Allen Edmonds is coming off two consecutive record years and is on pace for a third in 2013. After Grangaard became CEO of Allen Edmonds in 2008, he assembled a senior leadership team of experienced insiders and key new hires. The team recommitted to a U.S. manufacturing and quality strategy. Recently it even began exporting its branded Made in America product to China. The growth has created over 250 new jobs in three years at the company headquarters, manufacturing and distribution facilities in Wis. and in its retail stores across the country.
“The Allen Edmonds brand fits perfectly with our strategy of investing in category-defining brands with exceptional customer loyalty,” said Steve Moore, Partner of Brentwood Associates, who leads the investment with Roger Goddu, another Brentwood partner. “Paul and his leadership team have been excellent stewards of the company over the past five years and have proven their ability to grow and strengthen the business even in difficult times. We are confident that tremendous growth lies ahead for the brand in both the U.S. and key international markets.”
“We’re very excited to be working with Steve, Roger and the entire Brentwood team. They have proved to be tremendous, value-added partners in their past investments and we’re eager to call on their experience in consumer brands and multi-channel retailing,” said Grangaard. Roger Goddu added, “The Allen Edmonds brand represents extraordinary craftsmanship, and we will support the company in delivering the same high-quality products, service and value that Allen Edmonds customers have come to know and expect. We see fantastic potential for this company going forward.”
Goldner Hawn Helped Build a Strong Foundation for Growth
“In many ways the Allen Edmonds brand belongs to its customers,” said Jack Morrison, Managing Director of Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison. “We understood from the beginning that Allen Edmonds customers value the brand a great deal, enough to pass it on from generation to generation. That thought was always on our minds as we worked with the company. Now it’s time to build upon their strong momentum. We’re very pleased to have been part of Allen Edmonds’ illustrious history and wish everyone on the team continued success.”
“We were very privileged to have had the support and insight of Goldner Hawn for the past seven years,” emphasized Grangaard. “Their foresight, confidence and support allowed the company to navigate the difficulties faced by all consumer businesses during the Great Recession. On behalf of all of our employees, I’m extremely grateful for all Goldner Hawn did to put Allen Edmonds on secure footing for this bright future.”
Goldner Hawn, the company and management were represented in this transaction by Robert W. Baird & Company, investment bankers, and by the Faegre Baker Daniels and Godfrey & Kahn law firms. Brentwood Associates was represented by the Greenberg Traurig law firm.
About Allen Edmonds Corporation
Founded in 1922, Allen Edmonds Corporation is a privately-held, U.S.-based retailer of premium men’s footwear, apparel, leather goods and accessories with a focus on American manufacturing. Allen Edmonds’ famous Goodyear welted shoes are handcrafted in Port Washington, Wis. using a 212-step production process. Consistent with the company’s heritage, Allen Edmonds remains committed to providing excellent products at exceptional value for style and quality conscious men worldwide. By partnering with like-minded US manufacturers, the company’s offering includes men’s clothing and accessory needs from head to toe. Allen Edmonds products are available at premier stores worldwide, including 45 company-owned Allen Edmonds stores across the United States, and online at www.allenedmonds.com.
About Brentwood Associates
Brentwood Associates is a leading consumer-focused private equity investment firm with over $850 million of capital under management and a thirty-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; consumer services; direct marketing, including direct mail and e-commerce; education; health and wellness; restaurants; and specialty retail. Since 1984, Brentwood’s dedicated private equity team has invested in 42 portfolio companies with an aggregate transaction value of over $5 billion. With significant experience in both investing and brand building, Brentwood is a value-added partner with entrepreneurs and executives building world-class companies.
About Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison
Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison was founded in 1989 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For nearly 25 years, GHJM has been a source of private capital to leading lower middle market companies located in the Midwest. Through strong collaborative partnerships with business owners, management teams, financing sources and professional advisors, GHJM has built a track record of creating value by taking a long-term approach to investing, providing expertise in a wide range of business disciplines and focusing efforts in the geographies and industries where its relationships and knowledge help give portfolio companies a competitive advantage. Since its founding, GHJM has led investments of over $600 million in 33 platform companies.