CriticalPoint Capital LLC, the Los Angeles-based private investment firm, announced on Thursday that it has completed the acquisition of JackRabbit and its respective stores from The Finish Line Inc.
In partnership with management, CriticalPoint will support JackRabbit’s continued organic growth strategy, as well as provide the company with additional capital to pursue future acquisitions, which is expected to result in market share gains in the years ahead.
“This acquisition gives CriticalPoint the opportunity to capitalize upon the rapid change in customer consumption behavior while partnering with one of the top players in the run specialty space,” said Bill Kirkendall, CEO of JackRabbit, in an e-mail interview with SGB. “Jackrabbit’s strong management team, deep industry knowledge and operational proficiency will lead to continued growth. CriticalPoint is excited to be a part of JackRabbit’s brand expansion and development at both the store level and through the e-commerce platform.”
Kirkendall said the new owners have no intention to sell any of its current properties although some stores may be closed as it “consistently” reviews its store portfolio. He added, “We are continuously analyzing our store base to optimize our performance.”
He added the company will remain in its current Denver location “and our strong leadership team and associates will stay intact.”
At the end of 2016, there were 65 JackRabbit and JackRabbit-affiliated stores in 18 states with approximately 800 employees. Besides JackRabbit, the banners also include The Running Company, Run On!, Blue Mile, Boulder Running Company, Roncker’s Running Spot, Running Fit, VA Runner, Capital RunWalk, Richmond RoadRunner, Garry Gribble’s Running Sports, Run Colorado, Raleigh Running Outfitters, Striders and Indiana Running Company.
“Our strategy is to consolidate all stores under the JackRabbit banner and grow organically and through acquisitions,” said Kirkendall. “We will further develop the JackRabbit branding strategy, which is rooted in running, to establish it as a household name for the active lifestyle consumer.”
One area that will receive particularly focus is online. Said Kirkendall, “We saw tremendous growth on JackRabbit.com last year – up 200 percent year over year – and expect strong growth to continue over the next few years. We are focused on both new customer acquisition and retention by providing a unique product selection, seamless digital shopping experience, expanded loyalty program perks, and a strong tie to our in-store experience.”
A regulatory filing by The Finish Line had indicated that the sale, first announced January 27, was completed on February 24. As reported, CriticalPoint Capital paid nothing for the business but is taking on some debt.
In a statement, Matt Young, founder and CEO of CriticalPoint Capital, said, “This acquisition gives us an opportunity to capitalize upon the rapid change in consumer consumption behavior while partnering with one of the top players in the run specialty space. JackRabbit’s strong management team, deep industry knowledge and operational proficiency will lead to continued growth. We are excited to be part of JackRabbit’s brand expansion and development at both the store level and through the e-commerce platform.”
Founded in 2012, CriticalPoint Capital is a private investment firm based in Manhattan Beach, CA. The firm is focused on acquiring companies with long-term value creation opportunities and with management teams that can benefit from patient capital and a thoughtful approach to growth. CPC’s preferred investments are corporate divestitures, companies in a state of transition, and special situations.
Photo courtesy JackRabbit