Sheplers sold to investor group

Sep 01, 2007 9:30 PM  By

Private equity player Gryphon Investors, working with Growth Ventures Group, has acquired $125 million-plus western wear merchant Sheplers. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The sellers were Jabara Ventures Group and Sheplers management. Wachovia Securities served as financial advisor to Sheplers shareholders, and Kirkland & Ellis acted as legal advisor to Gryphon Investors.

Sheplers sells men’s, women’s and children’s western boots, jeans, apparel, decor, gifts, and accessories through 19 retail stores, a catalog, and a Website.

As part of the deal, Sheplers CEO Mike Anop will retire and will be succeeded by Mark Syrstad, formerly president/CEO of Crafts Retail Holdings Corp.

The investors see an opportunity to maximize Sheplers’ multichannel reach.

For example, Sheplers is already collecting customer order information at its 19 stores, but “they could be doing a better job of using that information to drive promotional campaigns back to the customer,” says co-investor Love Goel, president of Growth Ventures Group.

“We’re excited by the opportunity to work with the Sheplers team to grow the business organically, through new store openings and store acquisitions.”

Gryphon Investors is looking to make add-on acquisitions of national specialty retail businesses in the next six to 12 months.

“Multichannel is where consumers are spending their money,” explains Gryphon partner Kurt Kaull. “And with a multichannel distribution platform, that’s where we believe the growth is.”