Norm Daniels, President and CEO of G.I. Joes Sports & Auto Stores, has announced the completion of a $11.5 million investment agreement with a private equity firm, Nogales Investors, of Los Angeles, CA. G.I. Joes will use the bulk of the funding to open new stores, and to acquire new locations in the Northwest. The remainder will be used to redeem preferred stock from a group of original investors.
“We are very pleased to obtain a partner such as Nogales Investors, that has an established investment strategy that matches up so well with our three to five year growth plan.” Daniels said. “G.I. Joes is one of the largest independent sports and auto retailers in the United States; the added financial strength from this agreement allows for more rapid growth, and helps defend our leadership position from any new competition in the markets we serve.”
Nogales Investors is a private equity firm that manages capital for some of the largest institutional investors in the world. Nogales prefers to invest in small to medium sized businesses with growth opportunities and experienced, highly qualified management. Luis Nogales, Managing Partner of the firm, said, “G.I. Joes is a great company with an outstanding history and customer base in the Northwest. We are happy to become affiliated with the company to facilitate its continued growth.”
The new agreement complements G.I. Joes existing revolving credit agreement with Wells Fargo Retail Finance of Boston, MA that is in place through 2008. Wells Fargo Retail Finance, a unit of Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), is a leading asset-based lender devoted exclusively to the retail industry. Wells Fargo Retail Finance provides working capital revolvers, as well as acquisition and turnaround financing.
“We are delighted to be a part of G.I. Joes continued success, and this transaction illustrates how everyone collectively agrees that G.I. Joes possesses a standout concept and niche in the retail industry.” said Timothy Tobin, Senior Vice President and Director of Portfolio Management for Wells Fargo Retail Finance.
New G.I. Joe stores in 2004 include Mt. Vernon, WA, and the relocation of an existing store in Portland, OR to a new retail center at SE 82nd and Johnson Creek Boulevard.
G.I. Joes is a full-line sports and automotive retailer with 2003 sales of over $185 million. Sales for the current fiscal year are expected to exceed $200 million.