August 4, 2022
Pittsburgh, PA – August 4, 2022: Tail End Capital Partners completed a GP-led secondary investment into a Continuation Vehicle that purchased equity interests in New Era Cap, LLC. New Era is a 102-year old company that has established itself as the largest global authentic headwear and lifestyle brand in licensed sports. New Era’s iconic brand serves as the official headwear license partner for Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the National Basketball Association as well as 170+ other licensed partnerships around a variety of headwear, apparel and accessory products. New Era designs, markets and distributes over 200 million pieces of headwear and apparel annually and has experienced several years of record organic revenue growth.
ACON Investments, as the only institutional investor in New Era, led the approximate $700 million investment. ACON, based in Washington D.C., is an international private equity firm that has managed $6.9 billion in assets since inception over a 26-year period and makes investments in the U.S., Latin America and Europe.
New Era will continue to be led by Chris Koch, its fourth-generation CEO, whose great grandfather, Ehrhardt Koch, founded New Era in 1920 in Buffalo, New York.
Ken Brotman, Founding Partner of ACON Investments, commented, "New Era represents a unique and proprietary opportunity in which ACON served as an early partner for the Company and the first institutional equity capital for this 102-year old iconic brand. We are humbled to be the Company's trusted partner and have great respect for New Era’s long and rich history and what Chris Koch and the management team have built. It has been one of our best performing portfolio investments in ACON Equity Partners IV, and we are excited to continue our partnership with Chris and the team to drive further growth and expansion around the globe."
As part of the transaction, Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the National Basketball Association will become minority owners in New Era. Jim Grundtisch, Chief Revenue Officer of New Era remarked, "Having our three largest league partners aligned with us through a strategic equity position further solidifies our already strong partnerships. We are committed to continuing on the robust global growth trajectory we have set for our brand and for our key global partners well into the future."
“Tail End is excited to participate in this transaction with a high-quality GP like ACON to support New Era’s continued growth” said Paul Cohn, Managing Partner of Tail End.