Implus Announces Investment by Berkshire Partners

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(Durham, North Carolina and Boston, Massachusetts) – Implus Corporation, a leading provider of consumer products in the accessories marketplace, today announced that Boston-based investment firm, Berkshire Partners LLC, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a majority position in the company, alongside management, from Trilantic North America. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, Implus is an innovative provider of numerous brands across the footwear, fitness and recreational accessories categories. The company, led by CEO, Seth Richards, and President, Todd Vore, offers retailers a comprehensive selection of differentiated athletic, fitness and outdoor merchandise. Its portfolio of proprietary brands includes Sof Sole, Airplus, Perfect, TriggerPoint and Yaktrax. Implus’ product offerings include insoles, shoe care products, performance socks, home fitness and wellness products and a variety of seasonal accessories. With its robust network of retail partners, the company proudly distributes to over 75,000 retail outlets across North America and in over 70 countries worldwide.

Implus’ business model, which combines a wide assortment of merchandise with unrivaled customer service, helps retailers to navigate resource and time constraints by using state of the art logistics, merchandising and marketing capabilities. Services include customized fulfillment strategies that meet individual retailers’ specific requirements, point-of-sale monitoring, “just-in-time” inventory replenishment and store-level product assortments that account for regional and seasonal variation in needs and preferences.

“We are excited to begin our partnership with Berkshire Partners,” said CEO, Seth Richards. “We appreciate Trilantic's support during a transformative part of our company's growth and believe this new development will ensure our ability to continue providing retailers with an innovative selection of high quality products and the superior customer service for which we strive every day.”

Commenting on the transaction, President, Todd Vore, said, “We are pleased to have found a partner that shares our vision for the future of Implus. We are eager to continue building our track record of excellence and expanding our product offering and network of retail distribution.”

“Implus is the leader in the segments in which it operates and is clearly a valued vendor to its retailers,” said Dave Bordeau, Managing Director of Berkshire Partners. “We believe the breadth of opportunity for organic and acquisition-driven growth is compelling. We look forward to working with Seth and Todd and the rest of the Implus team to support the next phase of the company’s development.”

"We would like to thank Seth, Todd and the rest of the team at Implus for their dedication in building the company throughout the duration of our partnership,” said Jamie Manges, Partner at Trilantic North America. “We look forward to their next chapter of success as they embark on their new relationship with Berkshire Partners.”

The transaction closed on April 30. Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated acted as the company’s financial advisor in the transaction and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to the company and Trilantic North America. Ropes & Gray LLP served as legal counsel to Berkshire Partners.

About Implus Corporation

Headquartered in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, Implus has evolved to become an innovative provider of footwear, outdoor and fitness accessories to its retail partners. Implus’ family of brands includes Sof Sole, Yaktrax, apara, Airplus, Sneaker Balls, Sof Comfort, Little Hotties, Perfect, TriggerPoint and ICETrekkers. From insoles, socks and shoe care to seasonal accessories and fitness solutions, Implus proudly distributes its brands to thousands of retail locations across the United States and worldwide. For more information, visit www.implus.com.

About Berkshire Partners

Berkshire Partners, the Boston-based investment firm, has invested in over 100 middle market companies since 1986 through eight private equity funds with aggregate capital commitments of $11 billion. Berkshire has developed specific industry experience in several areas including consumer products and retail, business services, industrial manufacturing, transportation and communications. Berkshire has a strong history of partnering with management teams to grow the companies in which it invests with the goal of consistently achieving superior investment returns. The firm is currently investing from Berkshire Fund VIII, a $4.5 billion fund raised in 2011. Berkshire seeks to invest $50 million to $500 million of equity capital in each portfolio company. For additional information, visit www.berkshirepartners.com.

About Trilantic North America

Trilantic North America is a private equity firm focused on control and significant minority investments in North America. Trilantic North America’s primary investment focus is in the business services, consumer, energy and financial services sectors. As of December 31, 2014, Trilantic North America manages four private equity funds with aggregate capital commitments of $5.6 billion. For more information, visit www.trilantic.com.

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