BRS Announces Investment in Evolv Sports & Designs, LLC

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BRS Announces Investment in Evolv Sports & Designs, LLC

NEW YORK, NY – August 6, 2014 – Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. (“BRS”), a New York-based private equity firm, announced today that it has completed an investment in Evolv Sports & Designs ("Evolv" or the "Company") through BRS Outdoor Holdings LLC, which also owns Royal Robbins, the travel and outdoor apparel brand. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Evolv’s co-founder, Brian Chung, will continue in his role as President and remain a significant shareholder of the Company following the transaction. 

In addition, the Company will continue its relationship with Chris Sharma, who is recognized as the leading climber in the history of the sport. Sharma will continue to design a Signature Series of Evolv shoes and will become an equity owner of the Company. Chris Sharma said, “The investor group is committed to ensure that all products carrying the Evolv brand are executed with the unique style and technical detail the brand embodies.”

Brian Chung said, “We are very pleased to partner with BRS due to its extensive experience in the outdoor sector and ability to provide valuable strategic guidance. We are also excited to deepen the Company’s relationship with Chris Sharma, who has been an important contributor to the building of the Evolv brand.” He continued, “I am confident that the Company will continue its track record of successful product introductions such as the Cruzer and more Sharma Signature Series shoe models.”

Evolv, based in Buena Park, CA, designs, produces and sells rock climbing, approach and lifestyle footwear, along with related accessories and apparel. The Company is one of the leading brands in the global rock climbing shoe market and produces the #1 selling model in the U.S. Evolv’s products can be found throughout the world at top retailers, climbing gyms and online. Evolv differentiates itself from competitors through perpetual product innovation, quality craftsmanship, and sponsorship of the biggest athletes in the sport of rock climbing.

Stephen Sherrill, co-founder and Managing Director of BRS, said, “We have been very impressed with the accomplishments of Brian Chung, Chris Sharma and the rest of the Evolv team in building an enthusiast and authentic brand. We look forward to supporting the Company’s growth strategy of staying focused on being a core performance climbing shoe company while expanding into other outdoor related product categories.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal advisor to BRS. Moss Adams Capital, LLC acted as the financial advisor and Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves, & Savitch, LLP acted as legal advisor to Evolv.

About Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co.

BRS is a New York based private equity firm with $1.4 billion of committed capital under management in three investment partnerships, focused on investing in middle market consumer goods and services businesses. Since 1996, BRS has purchased over 40 portfolio companies for aggregate consideration of over $6.4 billion. In addition, BRS portfolio companies have completed approximately $1.9 billion of add-on acquisitions. Prior to forming the firm, the founders of BRS were in the private equity business at Citicorp Venture Capital where they closed 25 transactions with aggregate transaction values totaling $5.8 billion.

About Evolv

Evolv Sports was founded in Southern California in 2003. In a short time, Evolv Sports has become a leading force in the climbing footwear market, producing some of the best performing and selling climbing footwear available. Evolv distributes worldwide from its warehouse in Buena Park, CA and maintains manufacturing facilities in the US and Asia. In addition to climbing footwear, Evolv also markets climbing accessories and high friction rubber for outsoles under the TRAX® USA label. Evolv sponsors some of the most prolific and talented climbers in the sport and produces signature shoes developed by climbing icons Chris Sharma, Peter Croft and Steph Davis.

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