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Alphabroder Acquires Ash City

(1/9/2014)

As first reported in a Breaking News Alert earlier today, alphabroder (asi/34063) has acquired fellow apparel supplier Ash City Worldwide (asi/37127). Financial terms of the transaction were not released, but the deal unites two of the 10 largest suppliers in the ad specialty market. Alphabroder, the newly re-named company that had been Broder Bros., told Counselor that the deal is complementary in that it unites alphabroder’s vast distribution capabilities with Ash City’s diverse product line.

“This transformational acquisition creates an industry leader that delivers a comprehensive selection of promotional apparel with an unmatched distribution network and customer support,” said Norman Hullinger, CEO of alphabroder. “For over 35 years, Ash City has demonstrated a commitment to excellence through its innovative products, strong customer service and expanding product portfolio.”

In addition to helping to expand its product line, alphabroder views the deal as speeding up its international expansion plans. “The addition of Ash City is our first step toward international expansion and further secures our position as the North American industry leader and innovator in the promotional apparel space,” said Dan Pantano, president of alphabroder.

As part of the deal, Doug Hayes, president and CEO of Ash City, will become president of alphabroder, Canada, and Rob Meier will also remain as CFO of alphabroder, Canada. “Together, the combination of these two businesses is the natural evolution for our company and the industry,” said Hayes. “We look forward to better serving each of our customer bases as a result of the strengths inherent in combining our operational capabilities, product portfolios and geographic footprints. I look forward to joining the entire alphabroder team as we expand our market share and product penetration in both the United States and Canada.”

Following the transaction, Ash City’s founder, Garry Hurvitz, is leaving the company. “I have spent over 35 years building Ash City into a leading corporate apparel supplier in North America,” Hurvitz said. “I am excited to move on to the next stage in my career, and take particular comfort in knowing that alphabroder will be providing our best-in-class product to a vastly expanded customer base throughout North America.”

This is alphabroder’s second deal since equity firm Littlejohn & Co. recapitalized the company in 2012 and assumed control of its board of directors. The company acquired Imprints Wholesale (asi/62486) late in 2012. Including the addition of Ash City, alphabroder now has more than $1 billion in annual sales. “This strategic acquisition is another important step in alphabroder’s continued evolution over the past 18 months,” said David Simon, managing director of Littlejohn & Co. “We look forward to additional opportunities to support alphabroder’s future growth as it seeks to build its portfolio.”



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