Coming off of its September 2010 $600 million-plus fundraise, Merit Capital Partners continued to put capital use, completing in July its acquisition of Knights Apparel. Based in South Carolina, Knights is a maker and designer of licensed sports apparel for NBA, NHL and MLB teams. The deal represents the fourth transaction for Merit Capital Partners off their latest fundraise.
On July 18, 2011, Merit Capital Partners completed the acquisition of Knights Apparel, Inc. in partnership with Knights’ management. Knights becomes the fourth portfolio company in Merit’s Fund V, which has $612.5 million of capital and was launched in September 2010.
Headquartered in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Knights is a leading designer and supplier of licensed sports apparel. Knights’ customers are primarily big box retailers, including mass merchandisers, sporting goods stores, and bookstores. The Company is an exclusive licensee for colleges and universities, as well as various professional leagues and teams including the National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, and Major League Baseball.
Consistent with Merit’s desire to partner with existing management, the Knights acquisition was completed with the Company’s founder and CEO, as well as other key executives, an integral part of the shareholder group.