Private equity firms Investcorp and Freeman Spogli & Co. are buying Isotoner Corp. for an undisclosed amount from PE firms MidOcean Partners and Bruckmann Rosser Sherrill & Co. Cincinnati-based Isotoner manufactures functional accessories, including umbrellas, gloves and rainwear, under the Totes and Isotoner brands. Totes and Isotoner merged in 1997 to form the combined company.
The new owners plan to grow Isotoner through new products and further international expansion, Kevin Nickelberry, Investcorp managing director, says in a statement. The company currently sells products in North America, Europe and Asia.
Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has about $11.3 billion in assets under management. The firm's recent investments include Paper Source Inc., a Chicago-based gifts and stationary retailer, purchased in September for undisclosed terms, and Tyrrells Potato Crisps, bought in August for about $152 million. In 2011, the PE firm bought Sur la Table, which sells kitchenware and home goods. Investcorp also owns SourceMedia, the publisher of Mergers & Acquisitions.
Los Angeles-based Freeman Spogli focuses on consumer-related companies. The firm has invested more than $3.1 billion in 49 companies since its inception in 1983. Freeman Spogli's portfolio companies include Boot Barn, Floor & Décor and Petco.
Bingham McCutchen and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher acted as legal advisers to buyers Investcorp and Freeman Spogli, while Kirkland & Ellis LLP advised sellers MidOcean and Bruckmann.
Other recent consumer goods deals include Acon Investments LLC's purchase of Igloo Products Corp., the maker of Igloo coolers; and Lifetime Brands Inc.'s (Nasdaq: LCUT) acquisition of Thomas Plant (Birmingham) Ltd., which supplies kitchen products under the Kitchen Craft brand.