Galls Merges with Quartermaster

Galls, a b-to-b merchant of public safety equipment, has merged with Quartermaster, a specialty distributor of public safety products. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Galls was acquired by private equity firm CI Capital Partners in September 2011, as a platform investment in the public safety products market.

Quartermaster had been owned by Parallel Investment Partners since 2005, “so they have been in the investment for six years,” says Chris Kampe, managing director of investment firm Tully & Holland. “Typically, the hold period is five years so it was high time for Parallel to exit its investment. Galls was really the quintessential strategic buyer for Quartermaster because of the overlap in products carried and markets served.”

Gall’s serves about 1 million customers, while Quartermaster has 100,000 active customers.

Quartermaster and Gall’s were direct competitors in the police and public safety markets for uniforms and accessories, “Quartermaster also serves military, so Galls will gain access to this new market,” Kampe says. “My sense is that Galls has been more focused on uniforms. Quartermaster, I believe, is much stronger online.”

Jim Duncan, current CEO of Quartermaster, will become the president/CEO of the combined company. Quartermaster has a distribution center in Cerritos, CA; Galls has one in Lexington, KY.

Quartermaster is particularly strong in private security, while Galls is particularly strong in police equipment.

Lee Helman, managing director with investment firm Financo, says the merger is a “natural” and “makes great sense strategically. Both companies sell uniforms to law enforcement.”

Founded in 1974, Quartermaster sells its products through an ecommerce platform, seasonal product catalogs, and four retail service center locations.

Founded in 1967, Galls sells uniforms, duty gear, footwear, medical supplies and other products used by law enforcement, fire safety, emergency medical, private security and corrections personnel.

Jim Tierney (jim.tierney@penton.com) is a senior writer for Multichannel Merchant. You can connect with him on Twitter (TierneyMCM) and LinkedIn, or call him at 203-358-4265.

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