Private Equity Firm to Acquire S&S Activewear

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) invests alongside current owners and management to acquire S&S

SS Activewear

S&S Activewear (S&S) and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) announce a new partnership in which CD&R-managed funds invests alongside current owners and management to acquire S&S, a North American distributor of imprintable apparel and accessories. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021. S&S president Jim Shannon will assume the role of chief executive officer, and CD&R operating partner John Compton, former president of Pepsico, will become chairman of the board.

“This transaction is an important milestone for S&S and a validation of our continued success; as successful as we have been over the last two decades, we believe our growth story is just beginning,” says Shannon. “CD&R has a deep understanding of our business, from sourcing, freight, and distribution center scaling to technology and sales and marketing.”

“We are delighted to partner with a talented, entrepreneurial S&S team that shares our core values in a business we know and understand,” says Ken Giuriceo, CD&R partner. “We look forward to working together to achieve our vision for continued strong growth that creates exciting opportunities for employees, vendors, and customers, as well as the local communities where they operate.”

With approximately four million square feet of warehouse space and more than 2,000 employees, S&S specializes in distributing blank sportswear, corporate apparel, and accessories, including T-shirts, sweatshirts, headwear, athletics, and outerwear from various brands. The company serves a broad range of customers, including screen printers and embroiderers, promotional product distributors, e-decorators, and team dealers.

Barclays, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., BMO Capital Markets Corp., and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC acted as financial advisors. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP acted as legal advisor to CD&R in connection with the transaction. Baird served as the exclusive financial advisor, and McDermott Will & Emery LLP acted as legal advisor to S&S.

Allee Bruce

Alexandria Bruce

Alexandria Bruce is the former managing editor of GRAPHICS PRO magazine.

View all articles by Alexandria Bruce  

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