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CSW Private Equity sells Berkshire Blanket to SUMEC

The SUMEC Group has acquired Berkshire Blanket Inc, which was backed by CSW Private Equity LLC. No financial terms were disclosed. TM Capital advised Berkshire on the transaction while Reed Smith LLP advised SUMEC. Based in Ware, Massachusetts, Berkshire is a maker of blankets, throws and soft home goods.

PRESS RELEASE

ATLANTA, Sept. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — TM Capital, a leading middle market investment banking firm with offices in New York, Boston and Atlanta, served as exclusive financial advisor to Berkshire Blanket, Inc. (“Berkshire” or the “Company”), a portfolio company of CSW Private Equity, LLC (“CSW”), in its sale to SUMEC Textile Light Industry Co., Ltd., a subsidiary company of The SUMEC Group (“SUMEC”).

Berkshire Blanket, based in Ware, Massachusetts, with its primary showroom in New York City, is the leading designer, importer and marketer of blankets, throws and soft home goods in the United States. Since its inception 23 years ago, Berkshire has created new, innovative, industry-leading fabrics, technologies, styles, designs, patterns, textures and colors suitable for all ages, seasons and occasions.

These products are sold under the Company’s brands in addition to private label and licenses through a “who’s who” roster of specialty, wholesale club, department store, mass merchant, and internet and TV retailers, including: Bed Bath & Beyond, TJX, QVC, Costco, Ross, Target and Macy’s.

New York–based CSW acquired a majority interest in Berkshire in 2006. During its ownership, CSW pursued a series of initiatives designed to improve the Company’s performance and support accelerated growth. As a result, Berkshire more than doubled revenue while engineering transformative change in its product mix. A business which had previously derived 91% of revenues from blankets is, today, a diversified soft home goods resource generating nearly 50% of revenue from non-blanket offerings. Enhancements included strengthening design and strategic sourcing resources, leadership upgrades and significant investment in ERP systems. These initiatives positioned Berkshire Blanket to both weather the Great Recession and expand its product breadth and key account relationships.

CSW partner and Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Holdings Michael Smart commented: “Berkshire has been established and built into an authentic brand with an enviable market position and attractive opportunities to expand into adjacent home goods categories. We are gratified that SUMEC recognized this value, and we wish them continued success.”

TM Capital worked closely with CSW and Berkshire’s management team to craft an investment thesis highlighting the Company’s value as a platform for growth. TM Capital Managing Director and partner David Felts stated: “Our collaboration with CSW has spanned many years, and we’re thrilled to have been selected to represent CSW in this important transaction. Leveraging almost three decades of experience and relationships in the soft home goods industry, we were able to coordinate a robust, global marketing process that ultimately resulted in completing an attractive transaction with SUMEC. This transaction reflects a continuing wave of cross-border interest in companies with established brands and strong relationships with the largest U.S. retailers.”

Mr. Smart added: “We were impressed with TM’s nuanced understanding of the Company, sector and the universe of potential buyers. We knew the highest value would likely come from a buyer with strategic synergies and an ability to further leverage the platform we built. The TM team did a great job crafting that thesis and then accessing a global buyer universe with individually-tailored messaging.”

Baker Hostetler LLP acted as counsel to Berkshire Blanket and CSW. Reed Smith LLP advised SUMEC.

About CSW Private Equity:
CSW is a New York-based private equity firm specializing in leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, and growth capital financings for lower middle market companies in the general industrial and consumer products sectors.

About SUMEC:
Founded in 1993, Nanjing, China-based SUMEC Textile Light Industry Co., Ltd. is a subsidiary company of the SUMEC Group Corporation, itself a key member of China National Machinery Industry Corporation (SINOMACH), a world top-500 enterprise. Measured at the end of 2015, SUMEC Textile Light Industry Co. is a top 10 exporter to the U.S. market with export volume exceeding US$700 million. SUMEC is the leading exporter of textiles and garments to the European Union.

About TM Capital:
TM Capital Corp. is a partner-owned investment banking firm based in New York, Boston and Atlanta, which has completed over 300 transactions with a combined value in excess of $17.5 billion. Since 1989, we have advised clients navigating a full range of critical transactions, including complex mergers, acquisitions, debt and equity financings, minority and majority recapitalizations, restructurings, and advisory services including takeover defense, fairness and solvency opinions and valuations. We have built deep industry expertise in key sectors and our team regularly publishes research highlighting current and emerging trends in targeted industries and markets. TM Capital is a member firm of M&A International Inc., the world’s leading alliance of mid-market investment banks with over 650 M&A professionals in 40 countries. Members have closed over 1,400 transactions totaling more than $75 billion in value over the past five years.