Champlain leads acquisition of footwear maker La Canadienne

A consortium led by Canadian private equity firm Champlain Financial Corp has acquired La Canadienne, a Montréal-based maker, distributor and retailer of women’s winter footwear.

No financial terms were disclosed. The consortium includes La Canadienne’s founders, among them Penny Shuster.

Fashion industry professionals Nicholas Martire and Nicolas Topiol have joined the company respectively as CEO and chairman.

Established in 1961, La Canadienne sells its boots and shoes, as well as outerwear and accessories, online and in stores across North America.

Champlain Partner Scott Jackson said his firm will support La Canadienne’s expansion into new markets.


Champlain Financial Corporation leads acquisition of La Canadienne

MONTREAL, July 31, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – An investor group led by Champlain Financial Corporation is pleased to announce the acquisition of La Canadienne (the “Company”), a leader in the manufacturing, distribution and retailing of women’s winter footwear. The investor group, which counts the Company’s founders among its key investors, is looking to build upon La Canadienne’s solid brand foundation and broaden its customer base across the globe.

Manufacturing premium footwear under the La Canadienne brand in Montreal, QC for over 20 years, the Company has built a solid reputation for quality, reliability and a loyal customer portfolio. With two flagship stores in Montreal and a growing web and wholesale business, the Company is well positioned for its next chapter.

Two seasoned industry veterans, Nicholas Martire (incoming CEO) and Nicolas Topiol (incoming Chairman) have joined the leadership team and will be spearheading the Company’s growth initiatives. M. Topiol is the current CEO of international fashion house Maison Christian Lacroix, while M. Martire’s related experience includes his recent tenure as SVP, International at The Aldo Group.

Company founder Penny Shuster commented: “We’re very excited about bringing on new partners to help take the company to the next level. Our customers have high expectations when it comes to our products – and our focus to date has been on ensuring that this is never compromised. With Champlain and top tier leaders now joining the family – we can now start to focus on expansion”.

“We believe La Canadienne is great example of a local brand that – while well-known and appreciated by its devotees for its quality and style – still has immense potential to grow outside its own backyard”, says Scott Jackson, Partner at Champlain Financial Corporation. “In this sense, we see many similarities with Kanuk, another one of our portfolio companies. We’re looking forward to introducing La Canadienne to new markets and to the next generation of devotees”.

Champlain was advised by BCF, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP and KPMG.

About La Canadienne:
Characterized by its Canadian heritage, handcraft expertise, manufacturing excellence and customer loyalty, La Canadienne has been making quality women’s footwear under its namesake brand since 1997. Its waterproof collection of footwear is made in Canada, ethically crafted and provides an uncompromising balance between comfort and fashion.

For more information on La Canadienne, please visit

About Champlain Financial Corporation:
Champlain Financial Corporation, a Canadian private equity firm based in Montreal, has been building a diversified private investment portfolio since 2005, with a series of investments throughout Canada and the United States. Champlain’s core focus is to serve as a value-added partner in providing equity capital and growth management expertise to small and middle-market companies.

For more information on Champlain, please visit

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