Illinois-based “S&S Activewear”

Activewear, S&S Activewear

Bolingbrook, Illinois-based S&S Activewear has entered into a definitive agreement with competitor TSC Apparel. This marks S&S’s fourth acquisition of TSC Apparel since 2010.

S&S has made substantial investments over the last decade in North American technology and capacity. This acquisition confirms S&S’s leadership position in the blank apparel distribution industry with approximately 4,000,000 square feet of warehouse space, and over 2,000 employees.

Jim Shannon, CEO of S&S, stated that they saw a strong affinity between TSC, S&S, and that both of them had a positive company culture and a focus on retail-brands, as well as the building of relationships with employees and vendors.

TSC was founded in 1976 S&S Activewear

TSC was founded in 1976 and has since grown to be a major national distributor of blank apparel, accessories and T-shirts. It serves over 30,000 customers. TSC’s current management team has created a loyal customer base that values quality and reliability.

Dave Klotter CEO of TSC Apparel said, “We see it as an exciting next chapter in our company.” S&S will continue to benefit from our success by adopting a similar customer-centric approach.

S&S products are now able to reach 99% of the U.S. in two days, and 44 states in one day. TSC and the supplier can combine forces to provide a greater inventory and broader product range to the market.

Frank Myers, chief operational officer and chief financial officer of S&S, said, “We’re excited to inherit such an established company.” Two organizations are coming together to create a world-class customer experience.

  • Debevoise advises Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on its acquisition of S&S Activewear
  • Debevoise & Plimpton LLP will be advising Clayton Dubilier & Rice (“CD&R”) on its acquisition of S&S Activewear (“S&S”) The company’s press release contains more details.
  • S&S is a major wholesaler in the United States and Canada for imprintable apparel

Paul Bird, M&A partner at Debevoise, leads the team. He also has associates Carolina De Barros and Spencer Gilbert, Priscila park and Brad Polivka. Katarina Molnarova is counsel, and Alexandra Grossman is a tax partner. Marta Poplawski is a benefits partner. Jonathan Lewis is a benefit partner. Andrea Acosta is a tax partner. Tax partners Peter Furci, Erin Cleary, associate Samuel Krawiecz, and Melody Godbolt are both of intellectual property partner Henry Lebowitz, and Melody Godbolt, and Melody Godbolt, and Melody Godbolt, and Melody Godbolt, and Melody Godbolt are associated Melody Godbolt.

Private Equity Firm Acquires S&S Activewear

S&S Activewear announced a partnership with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. CD&R-managed funds along with current owners and managers will invest in S&S Activewear, a top North American distributor for imprinted apparel and accessories. The terms of this transaction are not known.

S&S Activewear has over 4 million square feet of warehouse and more than 2000 employees. They specialize in the distribution of blank sportswear, corporate apparel, and accessories. This includes t-shirts and fleece, as well as athletics and outerwear from more than 100 top brands like Gildan, Bella+Canvas and Champion. More than 80,000 products are in stock and the company serves a wide range of customers including screen printers, embroiderers and promotional product distributors as well as team dealers.

S&S Activewear was founded in 1988. It has evolved under its current management and owners from a midwestern fleece and t-shirt distributor to a market leader with over $1.5 billion in annual sales. S&S Activewear is known for its speed and high quality service. They have made substantial investments in technology and national distribution capacity. Three acquisitions have been made by the company, including the purchase of Technosport in 2020, the largest Canadian wholesale apparel distributor. S&S Activewear products are now able to reach 99% of the U.S. population in two days and 44 states in one day.

The transaction is expected close in the first quarter 2021. At that point, S&S Activewear President Jim Shannon, former president at Pepsico will take over as CEO. CD&R Operating Partners John Compton will become chairman.

Shannon stated that S&S Activewear

Shannon stated that “This transaction is an important milestone in S&S, and a validation our continued success–as succesful as we have been over two decades, but we believe our growth story just begins,” “CD&R has an in-depth understanding of our business from sourcing, freight and distribution center scaling, to technology, sales & marketing.”

Ken Giuriceo (CD&R partner) said, “We are thrilled to partner with an entrepreneurial, talented S&S team that shares core values in a company we understand and know.” We look forward to working together in achieving our vision of strong growth that creates exciting possibilities for employees, vendors, customers, and the local communities where we operate.

In connection with this transaction, Barclays, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. (BMO Capital Markets Corp.), Credit Suisse Securities USA LLC (USA) LLC and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP acted for CD&R as legal advisors. Baird was the sole financial advisor, and McDermott Will & Emery LLP was the legal advisor to S&S.

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