Gryphon Investors (“Gryphon”), a San Francisco-based private equity firm, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Boot Barn Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: BOOT) to sell its portfolio company Sheplers, Inc. (“Sheplers” or “the Company”).
Sheplers, which Gryphon acquired in 2007, was founded in 1899 and is the authentic omni-channel leader in the western wear sector with a loyal, enthusiast consumer base. The Company has 25 retail locations across the western United States as well as an industry-leading e-commerce business.
Working with Gryphon, the Company brought in veteran omni-channel executive Bob Myers as CEO in early 2010. Myers, COO Mark Hampton, and the rest of the senior management team, with the help of Gryphon’s financial and operational resources, opened 13 new stores, implemented a new website, developed a virtual inventory concept and focused on building a state-of-the-art e-commerce business that is driving the Company’s growth.
“We are delighted to have executed on our original vision of building a truly premier Western lifestyle and enthusiast brand, one which has incorporated the power of e-commerce to expand beyond its traditional catalog and bricks and mortar roots into a unique omni-channel specialty retailer. Gryphon achieved our goal of completing a sale that positions Sheplers for continued success, while also generating attractive returns for our limited partners and coinvestors,” said David Andrews, Gryphon’s CEO and Managing Partner.
Gryphon Operating Partner Dennis O’Brien added, “Gryphon’s successful investment in Sheplers underscores our commitment to building leading businesses in partnership with distinguished executives such as Bob Myers and Mark Hampton. We have greatly enjoyed working with the entire senior management team and we thank them for their leadership.”
Mr. Myers added, “Gryphon has been an exceptionally supportive partner, delivering invaluable strategic, operational and financial guidance as we have built Sheplers into a powerful domestic and international destination for all things Western. We believe Boot Barn is an excellent owner to take Sheplers to the next stage in its evolution and to an even broader range of customers.”
Lazard Middle Market LLC acted as advisor to Gryphon, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as company counsel on the transaction.
About Gryphon Investors
Based in San Francisco, Gryphon Investors (www.gryphoninvestors.com) is a leading private equity (“PE”) firm focused on profitably growing and competitively enhancing middle-market companies in partnership with experienced management. For numerous consecutive quarters and years, Gryphon has been ranked in Preqin’s prestigious quarterly PE report as one of North America’s top-decile firms based on consistency of strong investment returns. With approximately $1.8 billion of cumulative equity commitments, the firm has an extensive track record of leading equity investments of $35 million to $150 million per portfolio company with sales ranging from approximately $50 million to $500 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form proactive partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, specialized professional resources, and operational expertise.
Founded in 1899 and based in Wichita, Kansas, Sheplers is the world’s most recognized omni-channel retailer of western wear, offering a full line of men’s, women’s and children’s western boots, jeans, apparel, décor gifts and accessories in 25 destination stores concentrated in the Midwest, Southwest and West, as well as a website (www.Sheplers.com), with products sold in over 125 countries.
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