Sentinel Capital buys clothing distributor Cabi, as personal shopping emerges

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Sentinel Capital Partners, a lower middle-market private equity firm, has acquired women’s apparel distributor Cabi Holding Co. LLC. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Cabi, founded in 2002, sells designer clothing materials at an “accessible” price point to a broad female demographic. The target sells its products through a network of nearly 3,500 independent stylists that host in-home private shows. Cabi leverages its distribution network and the emerging trend for personal shopping experiences for women.

“As consumer behavior shifts away from traditional retail environments, we feel that cabi is revolutionizing the shopping experience for women,” states cabi CEO Lynne Coté.

Sentinel, based in New York, has been busy with acquisitions lately. The firm has purchased: home show operator Marketplace Events; marketing training company Corporate Visions; auto parts maker Driven Performance Brands; restaurant operator Fazoli’s Group; and relocation service provider Total Military Management. Sentinel Capital backs businesses with up to $65 million in Ebitda across the aerospace and defense, business services, consumer, distribution, food and restaurants, healthcare and industrial sectors.
Businesses that leverage personal shopping and deliver customized services have become emerging targets in the middle market. Women’s clothing and footwear businesses are also no stranger to the sector. Recent deals include: Steve Madden Ltd’s (Nasdaq: SHOO) completed purchase or private label footwear manufacturer Schwartz & Benjamin Inc.; women’s apparel retailer Bebe Stores Inc.’s (Nasdaq: BEBE) joint venture with Bluestar Alliance LLC to develop a wholesale licensing business based on the Bebe brand; Coach Inc.’s (NYSE: COH) acquisition of Stuart Weitzman for nearly $574 million; and DSW Inc.’s (NYSE: DSW) deal for Ebuys Inc. to expand online and into international markets.

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