Gainline Capital Partners announced that it has formed Galaxy Universal LLC., which owns and licenses a number of footwear brands.

On December 29, 2020, Galaxy acquired the ESO Active Division (“Galaxy Active”) from E.S. Originals, Inc. in a carve-out transaction. Galaxy Active is a privately-held importer and wholesalers of athletic and outdoor footwear in the U.S. Galaxy Active licenses the brands AND1, Avia, London Fog and Justice, among others.

On April 1, 2020, Galaxy acquired Apex Global Brands, Inc. in an all-cash transaction. Apex brands include Hi-Tec, Magnum, Interceptor, Cherokee, and Tony Hawk, among others. Apex holds license agreements with retailers and manufacturers in over 140 countries and 20,000 retail locations, in addition to digital commerce.

Galaxy’s management team is led by Eddie Esses. Esses shared, “We are excited to execute on our long-term vision of creating a global leader in the active industry. With many growth opportunities ahead, we are thrilled to partner with Gainline, whose strong track record investing in and growing consumer brands will be invaluable to our success.”

Allan Weinstein, managing partner, Gainline, said, “Macro trends in health and wellness have driven the consumer toward a more active lifestyle, creating a robust long-term opportunity for well-established brands in the sports and outdoor industry. With a diverse portfolio of brands across athletic, outdoor and work categories, as well as sophisticated domain expertise in design and manufacturing and longstanding customer relationships, Galaxy is uniquely positioned to capitalize on significant industry tailwinds. We look forward to partnering with Eddie Esses and the Galaxy management team in achieving their growth objectives.”

Harry Clouston, vice president, Gainline, added, “We see tremendous whitespace in the industry, and Galaxy is well-positioned to pursue a rich pipeline of identified organic and acquisition opportunities in the branded athletic and outdoor space.”

Capital Dynamics Private Credit supports the Galaxy platform and served as the lead arranger for the transactions.

Photo courtesy Hi-Tec