Platinum Equity has acquired a controlling stake in Mad Engine, an apparel company. No financial terms were disclosed. Lincoln International was the investment banking representative for Mad Engine. Wells Fargo Capital Finance is supporting the transaction and will remain the company’s lending partner. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP served as Platinum Equity’s legal counsel on the acquisition of Mad Engine while Buchalter represented Mad Engine.
LOS ANGELES and SAN DIEGO, Jan. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Platinum Equity announced today that it has acquired a controlling stake in leading apparel company Mad Engine from affiliates of the company’s current ownership group, which has owned the business since 2011. The existing shareholders and management have retained a meaningful equity interest and will continue to serve in leadership roles.
Mad Engine is a full-service, global apparel and accessories company that creates, designs, produces and distributes a full range of licensed, private label and branded products.
“From its roots as a small, narrowly focused company in San Diego, Mad Engine has grown into one of the world’s leading providers of apparel and a trusted partner to many of the world’s most iconic brands,” said Platinum Equity Partner Jacob Kotzubei. “The company is a well-established, scalable platform operating in a highly fragmented industry, which creates a perfect opportunity to continue investing in and growing the business. We have great respect for everything Mad Engine has accomplished and our team is excited to help maximize the company’s potential.”
Founded in 1987, Mad Engine today manages a large and diverse portfolio of licenses with major corporations, brands, and entertainment businesses, including Disney, Warner Brothers, Epic Games, IMG, Nickelodeon, Netflix, Coca-Cola, and hundreds of others. Mad Engine’s products are sold through leading retailer partners including Walmart, Target, Old Navy, Kohl’s and JC Penney, in addition to specialty retailers, e-commerce channels and other outlets.
“We are thrilled to be joining forces with Platinum and are confident that they are the perfect partner for us,” said Mad Engine CEO Danish Gajiani. “Their fervent desire to grow the business is very exciting for all of us at Mad Engine.”
“Platinum has a lot of experience working with businesses like ours and will provide us strategic, financial and operational support, enabling us to pursue an ambitious new phase of growth and expansion,” added Mad Engine President and Chief Operating Officer Faizan Bakali. “This partnership with Platinum gives us tremendous strength as we continue to serve our retailers, licensor partners and, ultimately, the end consumer.”
Mad Engine has multiple sales, design, and operational facilities and a talented team of designers, artists, merchandisers and product developers. The company’s business has expanded beyond men’s and boy’s t-shirts to include fashion tops and bottoms, denim, dresses, outerwear, pajamas, underwear, hats and beanies, backpacks, purses, watches, and sunglasses across a wide spectrum of categories and geographies.
The Mad Engine deal represents the seventh platform investment by Platinum Equity’s Small Cap team, including five completed during 2020.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP served as Platinum Equity’s legal counsel on the acquisition of Mad Engine. Buchalter represented Mad Engine.
Lincoln International acted as the exclusive investment banking representative for Mad Engine.
Wells Fargo Capital Finance is supporting the transaction and will remain the company’s lending partner.
About Platinum Equity
Founded in 1995 by Tom Gores, Platinum Equity is a global investment firm with approximately $23 billion of assets under management and a portfolio of approximately 40 operating companies that serve customers around the world. The firm is currently investing from Platinum Equity Capital Partners V, a $10 billion global buyout fund, and Platinum Equity Small Cap Fund, a $1.5 billion buyout fund focused on investment opportunities in the lower middle market. Platinum Equity specializes in mergers, acquisitions and operations – a trademarked strategy it calls M&A&O® – acquiring and operating companies in a broad range of business markets, including manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics, equipment rental, metals services, media and entertainment, technology, telecommunications and other industries. Over the past 25 years Platinum Equity has completed more than 300 acquisitions.
About Mad Engine
Founded in 1987, Mad Engine has grown to become a leading global wholesaler of licensed, branded and private label apparel and accessories. Top licenses include Marvel, Star Wars, Disney, Fortnite, Netflix and Nickelodeon. Company-owned brands include Lifted Research Group (LRG), Neff Headwear and Mighty Fine. Mad Engine’s footprint spans multiple continents, with unique locations dedicated to customer service, manufacturing, quality assurance and distribution. This process better enables the company to fully meet the needs of every customer – from independent boutiques to mass market retailers – ensuring the best customer experience possible.