ACON Investments, L.L.C. announced today that its portfolio company, Igloo Products Corp. has completed the purchase of Cool Gear International, LLC and that Mark Parrish has been hired as Igloo’s new president. The combined company will not only be a market leader in the storage of food and beverages, but will also enjoy one of the most robust portfolios of intellectual property in the space.
Parrish is replacing Gary Kiedaisch, who is stepping down from day-to-day management. Kiedaisch will remain an investor in the company and may assist the company on special projects at the direction of the board.
Cool Gear is a leading provider of innovative solutions in the food storage and personal hydration bottle categories and is respected for its high quality products and rapid pace of innovation. The combined company will be a market leader in the storage of food and beverages.
Igloo acquired Cool Gear from RAF Industries, which along with Cool Gear’s founders-Donna and Hank Roth-will remain shareholders in the combined company. The terms of the Cool Gear transaction were not disclosed, but the acquisition represents a significant transaction for Igloo and comes just nine months after an affiliate of ACON acquired Igloo.
In connection with the consummation of the Cool Gear acquisition, Igloo’s board of directors has decided to further invest in the company’s leadership, bringing Parrish on board as president of Igloo and adding Donna and Hank Roth and Parrish to the Board.
“It speaks volumes about the combined company’s opportunity that we have been able to attract an executive as skilled as Mark Parrish and that Donna, Hank and Mark have agreed to join our board,” said ACON Managing Partner Aron Schwartz. “Mark has an accomplished record of leading organizational transformations of U.S.-based manufacturers. His contributions have yielded tremendous results with other well-known consumer brands like Harley-Davidson and Simmons, as well as, other industry leaders including Ply Gem Windows, Interface, Inc. and Deceuninck North America-each world-class manufacturers known for their rapid product innovation.”
Parrish said he sincerely appreciates the trust and confidence placed in me by the Igloo Board.
“Much like Harley-Davidson and Simmons, Igloo is an iconic brand that is an essential part of America’s proud manufacturing legacy,” Parrish said. “I look forward to the challenge of leveraging Igloo’s market leading position, committed associates and state of the art Katy, Texas factory to launch exciting new products and continue delivering the superior customer service our channel partners have come to expect.”
Igloo’s EVP of Sales Tony Carfagno said Cool Gear has an extraordinary portfolio of products that is exceeded only by what Cool Gear has in the pipeline.
“The entire Igloo management team is thrilled to begin working with Donna, Hank and their team to further grow and leverage the impressive business they have built,” Carfagno said. “Many of their products are complementary offerings to the cooler category, and we eagerly anticipate realizing the full potential of those adjacencies.”
Igloo brings fresh capital, broader distribution and other resources that will help Cool Gear continue to penetrate new markets and categories with product extensions and additional innovations, according to Cool Gear President and co-founder Donna Roth.
“Both Igloo and Cool Gear possess tremendous potential. By working together, we can build upon each company’s foundation and leverage each other’s strengths. We thank our prior partners at RAF Industries for their support these last several years. Our partnership with Igloo signifies the beginning of a thrilling new phase for Cool Gear,” said Hank Roth, co-founder of Cool Gear.
When ACON acquired Igloo it said said it intended to build the company into a larger, more dynamic and diversified consumer products company through organic growth and acquisitions of market leading companies.
“This transaction provides demonstrable opportunities to broaden the product offerings in every channel in which we participate, expand the combined distribution network and develop more innovative solutions for the end consumer,” said Brotman. “The Igloo and Cool Gear brands are not only synonymous with the categories they serve, but also offer true performance advantages.”