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S&S Activewear: acquires TSC Apparel

S&S Activewear (asi/84358), third-largest supplier of promotional products, has agreed to purchase TSC Apparel (asi/90518), a Top 40 supplier. The financial terms of the agreement between private companies have not been released.

Jim Shannon, S&S CEO, stated that there was a “great affinity” between TSC and S&S. “We both built our businesses through positive company cultures, a retail-brand focus and building relationships with employees, vendors and customers.

TSC Apparel, based in Cincinnati OH is the 14th largest supplier to the promo market based upon 2020 North American promo product revenue of $110 millions.

According to S&S executives, TSC’s joining forces will result in a deeper inventory and a wider product range. Executives stated that S&S products can already reach 99% of the U.S. in two days and 44 states within one day. Executives noted that Tultex and M&O, two of the most popular TSC brands, will be available through S&S.

Frank Myers, chief operating and financial officer of S&S, stated that “we’re excited to inherit such an established company.” “We have known for years that it was a good idea to acquire TSC for both our companies and for the entire industry. Two organizations are coming together to create a world-class customer experience.

The TSC brand will be discontinued beginning next year. Instead, operations will continue under the S&S branding. The majority of TSC’s executive team will be leaving in the first half of 2022. Additional details will not be made available until the acquisition is complete.

The market for promotional products has seen an increase in mergers and acquisitions. This deal is yet another example of this trend. This is the fourth acquisition by S&S since 2010. Private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) is the majority owner of the supplier, which had North American promo revenues of $1.4 billion in 2020.

TSC was founded in 1976 and has since grown to be a major national distributor of blank apparel, accessories and T-shirts. It serves more than 30,000 customers.

TSC CEO Dave Klotter stated that the deal with S&S is an “exciting next chapter” for his company. S&S will benefit from our success by adopting a similar customer-centric approach. This will be a huge benefit to our industry.

S&S Activewear, a Midwestern-based supplier, has transformed into a national apparel giant with a Canadian presence. Its total footprint covers approximately 4 million square feet and employs more than 2000 people. Counselor’s 2021 Power 50 List of Promo’s Most Influential People ranked Shannon 12th.

CD&R completes acquisition S&S Activewear

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice completed the previously announced partnership transaction. CD&R-managed cash was invested with current owners and management in order to acquire S&S Activewear, a major North American distributor of imprinted apparel and accessories. The terms of this transaction are not known.

S&S was founded in 1988. It has evolved under its current management and owners to become a market leader with over $1.5 billion in sales. S&S has a strong competitive advantage due to its geographical reach, people, and technology. S&S is the leading one- and two-day distributor in the industry. Its products reach 99% of the U.S. population in less than two days, and 44 states in one day.

John Compton is the CD&R Operating Partner, former President of PepsiCo and has taken over the chairmanship of the S&S Board. Jim Shannon, the S&S President, who has been with the company since 1980, has taken the position of Chief Executive Officer. Original announcement of the transaction was made on January 20, 2021.

S&S Activewear Announces a New Investment to Support Long-Term Development

NEW YORK, January 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — S&S Activewear (“S&S”), Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R”) have announced a new partnership where CD&R-managed funds, along with current owners, will invest in S&S, a major North American distributor for imprinted apparel and accessories. The terms of this transaction are not known.

S&S has approximately 4 million square feet of warehouse space, more than 2000 employees and sells blank sportswear, corporate apparel and accessories. This includes t-shirts and fleece & sweatshirts, athletics, headwear and outerwear from over 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 & embroidery, promotional product distributors and e-decorators.

S&S 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 sales. S&S is known for its speed and high quality service. They have made significant investments in technology and national distribution capacity. Since 2010, the company has made 3 acquisitions, including the acquisition by Technosport in 2020, the largest Canadian wholesale apparel distributor. S&S 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 S&S Activewear

The transaction is expected close in the first quarter 2021. At that point, S&S President Jim Shannon and CD&R Operating Partners John Compton will take over the roles of Chief Executive Officers. Former President of Pepsico will be the Chairman of the Board.

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

“We are thrilled to partner with a talented and entrepreneurial S&S staff that shares our core values within a business we understand,” stated Ken Giuriceo. 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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