The auction for Shoes for Crews, a non-slip shoe company being sold by Advent International, has garnered at least 10 first round bids from private equity suitors, a source familiar with the deal said. The bids were in excess of $250 million, which represents an Ebitda multiple of high 7x to low 8x.
The auction is further proof that middle market private equity firms have aggressively returned to the dealmaking table. Some firms are approaching investment deadlines on funds raised in 2005, others are hoping to take advantage of re-opening credit markets after two years of sitting on the sidelines.
Advent took a minority stake in the West Palm Beach, Fla.-based company in 2004, via a recapitalization that included $30 million in equity, $32 million in senior debt and $60 million from company co-founders Stanley and Matthew Smith. The recap valued Shoes for Crews at $120 million.
Shoes for Crews’ co-founders retained a 60% stake during the 2004 recap but this time around plan to exit their holdings alongside Advent. The lack of a management team is one risk seen by potential suitors.
Advent has retained Bank of America and Jefferies to lead the sale process. The firm declined to comment.