Shoes for Crews Switches Sponsors

AEA Investors announced that it has acquired a stake in Shoes for Crews, a provider of, from Advent International and the Smith family. No financial terms were disclosed. peHUB had previously reported on the deal.


Shoes For Crews, LLC, the global leader in slip-resistant footwear for the restaurant and hospitality industries, announced today that it has received a growth investment from AEA Investors, a leading private equity firm. AEA has purchased its ownership interest in the company from the majority shareholders, the Smith family, and Advent International, the global private equity firm that has been a minority investor in Shoes For Crews since 2004.

Shoes For Crews Founders Chairman Stan Smith and Chief Executive Officer Matt Smith and the rest of the company’s leadership team will remain with Shoes For Crews and retain a significant ownership interest in the company.

Founded in 1984, Shoes For Crews has developed a unique rubber compound to produce slip-resistant footwear, significantly reducing slip-and-fall accidents. The company currently supplies slip-resistant footwear to over 120,000 workplaces world-wide…including nine of the top 10 and 83 of the top 100 largest restaurant chains in the U.S. Customers include McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, Taco Bell, The Cheesecake Factory, and MGM Mirage. Shoes For Crews supplies its products to restaurants, hotels/casinos, supermarkets, healthcare facilities, cruise lines, and industrial companies.

“The investment from AEA is a testament to our accomplishments with Advent and to our future strategy,” said Shoes For Crews Chief Executive Officer Matt Smith. “With the support we have received from Advent over the past six years, we have grown our business significantly. We are pleased to have AEA on board and we look forward to this new chapter,” said Shoes For Crews Founder and Chairman Stan Smith.

Advent led a $120 million minority recapitalization of Shoes For Crews in July 2004. Since that time, the company’s leadership team and employees have focused on growing Shoes For Crews’ operations and supply chain, securing new clients and markets, improving gross margins, and increasing revenue.

“Stan Smith and Matt Smith have done a remarkable job establishing Shoes For Crews as the premier provider of non-slip footwear,” said Andrew Crawford, Advent Principal. “They have a truly unique product that promotes safety and helps companies reduce risk, and they have a plan in place that will drive the company forward for many years to come. The Advent team and I are proud to have had the opportunity to work with the Shoes For Crews team during a time of significant growth and achievement,” said Steven Collins, Advent Managing Director.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Jefferies advised Shoes For Crews and Advent on this transaction, while Weil, Gotshal & Manges served as legal counsel. Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, Ernst & Young, and Marsh advised AEA on the transaction.

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About Shoes For Crews

Shoes For Crews, LLC is the leading designer and marketer of slip-resistant footwear worldwide. Headquartered in West Palm Beach, Fla., Shoes For Crews began producing slip-resistant footwear in 1984. Through its superior technology, the company quickly became the industry leader. Shoes For Crews strives to create a safer workplace in all industries where floor hazards are a reality. The Shoes For Crews team’s focus is to deliver the ultimate in slip-resistant technology as well as classic and fashion styling, through a complete line of footwear designed to improve the “quality of life” of the working person by combining slip-resistance, comfort and durability into all the company’s products. For more information, visit

About Advent International

Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the world’s leading global buyout firms, with offices in 17 countries on four continents. A driving force in international private equity for 25 years, Advent has built an unparalleled global platform of over 150 investment professionals across Western and Central Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on international buyouts, strategic repositioning opportunities and growth buyouts in five core sectors, working actively with management teams to drive revenue growth and earnings improvements in portfolio companies. Since inception, Advent has raised $26 billion in private equity capital and, through its buyout programs, has completed over 250 transactions valued at approximately $50 billion in 35 countries. For more information, visit