-- Investment Aims to Launch Brand into Next Growth Phase
BOSTON and EDISON, New Jersey, June 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Palladin Consumer Retail Partners, LLC ("Palladin" or "PCRP") (pcrp.com) announced today the acquisition of AEROSOLES ("AEROSOLES" or the "Company") (aerosoles.com), the leading footwear innovator featuring exclusive comfort technologies that offer women a wide range of stylish shoes, boots and sandals for all occasions. AEROSOLES is sold in 30 different countries, 4,000 doors globally and, in the United States, in major retailers, online at aerosoles.com and 120 retail and outlet locations. AEROSOLES brands include AEROSOLES, A2, AEROLOGY and What's What.
AEROSOLES, based in Edison, NJ, was formed in 1987 to fill a void in the marketplace by creating attractive footwear enhanced with proprietary comfort technologies. The Company will continue to be led by its Chief Executive, Jules Schneider, who is retaining a major ownership position. Palladin, led by Mark Schwartz, CEO, and Caryn Lerner, Operating Partner, will surround the management team with proven operating experience and will help AEROSOLES strengthen its go-to-market strategy. Working together, AEROSOLES and Palladin already have commenced new initiatives in branding, store design, merchandising, product development and e/m-commerce.
Jules Schneider, CEO of AEROSOLES, said, "The Palladin team brings a wealth of experience in footwear and growing consumer brands and being able to work with them marks a critical next step in our growth strategy. Their expertise, support and leadership will provide creative insights and operational improvements that will be instrumental in capitalizing on the strength of the AEROSOLES brands as we bring the Company to the next level."
Mark Schwartz, CEO of Palladin, added, "We are excited to partner with Jules and the entire AEROSOLES team. They have built a strong Company and strong brands marked by loyalty and trust because of their focus on product innovation, technology, design and quality. We are confident that, with additional capital, expertise, and initiatives, we will be able to significantly expand AEROSOLES' positioning and distribution in domestic and international markets, including accelerating the growth of its retail network."
Caryn Lerner, Operating Partner of Palladin commented, "We look forward to using our contacts and expertise to partner with AEROSOLES through what promises to be an exciting period of growth and development. We intend to build on the Company's tremendous resources, especially in product design and development, to enhance the customer experience in every distribution channel – retail, wholesale, and e/m-commerce. Our creative and design teams already are working with the Company and we expect to introduce new concepts to the market as the year progresses."
Palladin Consumer Retail Partners, previously known as Palladin Capital Group, is a private equity firm with extensive experience investing in and building leading retail and consumer brands. Founded in 1998, the firm prides itself on working closely with management teams to create value through strategic and operational initiatives. Its principals have previously held CEO and other senior executive roles at several wholesale, retail, and related companies including Arnotts (Ireland), Gordon Brothers, Nine West, Jones, Holt Renfrew, Escada, QVC Networks and Bloomingdales. Palladin is investing out of its current fund which was closed in April 2012. Current and former investments include InMotion Entertainment, Nic + Zoe, J. McLaughlin, KT Tape, Things Remembered, Restoration Hardware, Spencer Gifts, Andrew Marc, and Party America.
Palladin provided the equity capital in the transaction. Latham & Watkins acted as legal advisor to Palladin. Consensus Advisors and Golenbock Eiseman Assor Bell & Peskoe provided financial and legal advice to the Company. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and THL Credit, Inc. provided debt financing for the transaction.