Christy Sports, LLC announced that it has received a significant strategic investment from TZP Capital Partners III, L.P.

TZP, a private equity firm based in New York City, acquired Norwest Equity Partners’ equity stake in the winter sports retailer. Norwest made its initial investment in Christy Sports in October 2015.

Christy’s experienced senior management team will continue to be led by CEO Matt Gold along with Dan Fox, Hugh O’Winter and Thomas O’Winter. Management and the O’Winter family, led by former CEO and chairman, Patrick O’Winter, will retain meaningful equity ownership in the business and Patrick O’Winter will remain on the company’s board of directors. Equity investor Norwest Equity Partners will exit the business. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are very excited to partner with TZP Group to perpetuate Christy Sports’ 60 years of success into the future,” said Matt Gold, CEO of Christy Sports. “We feel great about the cultural fit with TZP Group and believe TZP’s proven capabilities elevating consumer-facing brands and their digital activities will complement Christy’s strong service and retail fundamentals to reach our potential.”

With a mission of exceeding customer expectations through outstanding guest service, deep product expertise, and top-quality merchandise, Christy Sports was founded in 1958 and has grown to more than 60 locations in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Washington. In addition to offering a broad selection of retail merchandise in its stores and through multiple e-commerce sites, Christy Sports is a leading provider of ski and snowboard services including rental, custom boot fitting, and tuning and repair. During the winter off-season, Christy operates highly professional outdoor businesses including patio furniture and cycling products.

One characteristic that truly differentiates Christy Sports from its competitors is its proven ability to operate with scale and serve as a specialty trendsetter in its key categories with high-quality brands. Christy is focused on the latest technology and innovations for equipment and committed to training its employees to be knowledgeable experts who provide best-in-class customer service.

“We are grateful to have the opportunity to build upon the enduring success of Christy Sports,” said Dan Galpern, a Partner at TZP Group. “We look forward to working with Matt and the entire Christy team to accelerate their growth and enhance their already world class customer experience.”

“It has been an honor and a privilege for me to work with such an amazing group of employees, shareholders and family members, building together an iconic brand in the snow sports business,” said Patrick O’Winter. “It has been quite a ride! Our family is thrilled to continue to be part of that adventure and welcome TZP as our partner for the journey.”

TZP Group, a private equity firm with $1.6 billion raised since inception across its family of funds, seeks to invest primarily in closely-held, private companies where the owners desire to retain a significant stake and partner with an investor with complementary operating and financial skills to accelerate company growth, increase profitability, and maximize the value of their retained stake.

In a separate statement from Norwest Equity Partners (NEP), NEP noted that during its four-year investment period, Christy Sports grew from 41 stores to 63 stores, five acquisitions were completed, several locations were green fielded, and the company improved its overall footprint through store elevations and the introduction of new Signature Stores.

Gold said, “The entire Christy Sports team valued and enjoyed our time with NEP. In addition to capital resources, the NEP team provided us strong and steady support with guidance and partnership to realize our growth opportunities. NEP understood our culture and that we are both a profitable business and caring enterprise. They have been true partners in every sense of the word.”

“NEP was a great side-by-side partner to the company and really leaned in to help us achieve our growth strategy and expand our geographic footprint. I will miss working with the NEP team and look forward to the next chapter with TZP,” stated O’Winter.

Todd Solow, NEP Partner, stated, “Christy has been a great investment for our consumer focused-portfolio. The Company has worked hard to build its reputation over the last 60 years as a trusted, ‘go to’ rental and retail center for snow sports enthusiasts. Christy offers a value proposition that is evidenced by its brand equity and established loyal base of customers who return to Christy time and time again.”

William Blair & Company advised Christy Sports on the transaction; Winston & Strawn LLP provided legal services and PwC provided accounting services to Christy Sports. More information can be found on

“NEP was a great side-by-side partner to the company and really leaned in to help us achieve our growth strategy and expand our geographic footprint. I will miss working with the NEP team and look forward to the next chapter with TZP,” stated O’Winter.

NEP has been investing in growing and profitable middle market companies since 1961 and has deep experience working with consumer-related companies, including Wahoo Fitness, Arteriors, Bowtech, eyebobs, Apothecary Products, Shock Doctor and Rosetta Stone.

Photo courtesy Christy Sports