MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Norwest Equity Partners (NEP), a leading middle market investment firm founded in 1961, has divested its investment interest in Christy Sports to TZP Group. Christy Sports (or the “Company”) is one of the largest snow sports and outdoor furniture specialty retailers and service providers in the Western U.S. The transaction closed on November 25, 2019, and financial terms were not disclosed.
Matt Gold, Christy Sports CEO, stated “The entire Christy Sports team valued and enjoyed our time with NEP. In addition to capital resources, the NEP team provided us strong and steady support with guidance and partnership to realize our growth opportunities. NEP understood our culture and that we are both a profitable business and caring enterprise. They have been true partners in every sense of the word.”
With a mission of exceeding customer expectations through outstanding guest service, deep product expertise, and top-quality merchandise, Christy Sports was founded in 1958 and has grown to more than 60 locations in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Washington. In addition to offering a broad selection of retail merchandise in its stores and through multiple e-commerce sites, Christy Sports is a leading provider of ski and snowboard services including rental, custom boot fitting, and tuning and repair. During the winter off-season, the Company operates highly professional outdoor businesses including patio furniture and cycling products.
One characteristic that truly differentiates Christy Sports from its competitors is its proven ability to operate with scale and serve as a specialty trendsetter in its key categories with high quality brands. The Company is focused on the latest technology and innovations for equipment and committed to training its employees to be knowledgeable experts who provide best-in-class customer service.
“NEP was a great side-by-side partner to the Company and really leaned in to help us achieve our growth strategy and expand our geographic footprint. I will miss working with the NEP team and look forward to the next chapter with TZP,” stated Patrick O’Winter, former CEO and Chairman of Christy Sports.
During NEP’s investment period, Christy Sports grew from 41 stores to 63 stores, five acquisitions were completed, several locations were green fielded, and the Company improved its overall footprint through store elevations and the introduction of new Signature Stores.
NEP has been investing in growing and profitable middle market companies since 1961 and has deep experience working with consumer-related companies, including Wahoo Fitness, Arteriors, Bowtech, eyebobs, Apothecary Products, Shock Doctor and Rosetta Stone.
Todd Solow, NEP Partner, stated, “Christy has been a great investment for our consumer focused-portfolio. The Company has worked hard to build its reputation over the last 60 years as a trusted, ‘go to’ rental and retail center for snow sports enthusiasts. Christy offers a value proposition that is evidenced by its brand equity and established loyal base of customers who return to Christy time and time again.”
William Blair & Company advised Christy Sports on the transaction; Winston & Strawn LLP provided legal services and PwC provided accounting services to Christy Sports. More information can be found on christysports.com
About Norwest Equity Partners
Founded in 1961, Norwest Equity Partners (NEP) is a leading middle market investment firm with offices in Minneapolis, MN and Palm Beach, FL. NEP invests equity capital in companies that are leaders in their industry with a proven business model which has demonstrated the ability to generate profits. NEP has extensive experience with management buyouts, recapitalizations and growth financings, including working with founder and family-owned companies. Targeted equity investment size range for each transaction is $30 MM-$250+ MM and desired industries for investment opportunities include agriculture, business services, consumer, distribution, industrials, energy, and healthcare. NEP is currently investing NEP X, a $1.6 B fund. More information can be found on www.nep.com.