Platinum Equity announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a controlling interest in Fifth Sun from its founder And Gonzales. The acquisition is made through the Platinum Equity portfolio company Mad Engine.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021. The financial terms were not disclosed.

Fifth Sun is a designer, distributor and technology company of print-on-demand manufacturing and supply chain systems for licensed, generic and private label graphic apparel. Mad Engine, acquired by Platinum Equity in December 2020, is a full-service apparel and accessories company that designs, manufactures and markets licensed, private label and branded products.

“As the apparel and accessories e-commerce channel continues to grow, the demand for digital solutions such as direct-to-garment and print-on-demand increases,” said Jacob Kotzubei, Platinum Equity Partner. “Bringing these two companies together will not only better serve the changing needs of licensors and customers, but will also help both companies diversify and capitalize on opportunities in this important emerging market.”

Danish Gajiani, CEO of Mad Engine, said the companies are a great fit and the combination will be transformative.

Gonzales, who founded Fifth Sun in 1994, will have a significant stake in the combined company and will continue to serve as a senior strategy advisor.

Fifth Sun also announced the expansion to a new digital manufacturing and fulfillment center in Hebron, KY to meet demand from its e-commerce customers and license partners. Overall, Fifth Sun expects to double its print-on-demand capacity for clothing in 2021 to 18.5 million individual items per year. Additional capacities are to be added by 2022. The company also plans to launch print-on-demand beverages and other products in 2021.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Alston & Bird LLP are serving as legal advisors to Platinum Equity on the acquisition of Fifth Sun. Lincoln International is acting as financial advisor to Platinum Equity on the transaction.

CriticalPoint Partners is acting as financial advisor and Buchalter providing legal advice to Fifth Sun. Deutsche Bank, Wells Fargo Capital Finance and Credit Suisse are financing the transaction.

Photo courtesy Mad Engine