Baker Shoe

Toronto-based Lynx Equity has acquired wholesaler North American Shoe Co., the second footwear distributor in its portfolio. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

North American Shoe, based in East Providence, Rhode Island, distributes men’s, women’s and children’s footwear and accessories in North America, with its sales efforts focused on fashion retail and sporting goods stores, and online channels. The company also collaborates with its vendors on footwear designs for some retail customers.

With North American Shoe, Lynx Equity, now has 43 companies in its portfolio, including Baker Shoe Co. of Toronto, an importer and distributor of shoes and accessories along with fashion distributors Fine Line Imports, Sienna Sky and JewelPop. San Diego-based private equity firm Succession Capital, a subsidiary of Lynx, holds the nine U.S.-based Lynx companies, including North American Shoe.

Succession Capital uses a buy-and-hold strategy with its acquisitions, targeting small- to medium-sized businesses, companies with Ebitda between $570,000 and $2 million, with owners looking to retire. That was the case with North American Shoe, with Succession acquiring the company from retiring owner Phil Sock. Sock will stay on board for a three-year transition period.

Lynx president Brad Nathan says that North American Shoe, founded in 1918, was attractive because of its financial stability, upward-trending revenue and consistent margins. Lynx has annual revenues of more than $228 million.

Recent shoe M&A activity has included, in March, DSW Inc. (NYSE: DSW) footwear and accessories retailer closing on its purchase of Ebuys Inc. as it tries to expand into online and international markets, as well as off-price sourcing. In 2015, PE firm CCMP Capital Advisors LLC announced it was acquiring slip-resistant shoe retailer Shoes For Crews from AEA Investors . Also in 2015, Marquee Brands LLC, backed by Neuberger Berman Private Equity, acquired Ben Sherman, maker of men’s shoes and clothing, from Oxford Industries Inc. (NYSE: OXM), and the Bruno Magli luxury shoe brand. Also, in May, Adidas AG confirmed it planned to follow through on its proposed divestiture of its golf shoes and clothing lines that it was exploring in 2015.

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