Simms Fishing Products, headquartered in Bozeman, MT, has secured a minority investment from Castanea Partners. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
K.C. Walsh, its current owner and president, will continue in his current position. Walsh acquired the business in 1993.
Simms was founded in 1980 by visionary angler John Simms, who saw a need to develop better waders and accessories than what was then available on the market., Simms became one of the first companies worldwide to introduce neoprene waders, which provided enhanced warmth and waterproofing gear for serious anglers.
In 1993, Walsh, a passionate angler and entrepreneur, acquired the company and relocated it to Bozeman. Under Walsh’s leadership, Simms introduced breathable waders in a groundbreaking partnership with W.L. Gore & Associates.
In 2012 Simms cemented its Bozeman roots with a new 60,000-square-foot facility housing corporate headquarters, warehouses, and its production facility. The facility solidified Simms position as the sole fishing wader manufacturer in the USA. The company’s products are used by over 6,000 Simms-sponsored fishing professionals globally.
Castanea Partners is a middle-market, consumer-focused private equity firm with a focus on small and mid-sized consumer product and services brands, including companies in lifestyle apparel and accessories, beauty and personal care, food and beverage, and outdoor and leisure. Its current investments include: The Bruery, Yasso, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, First Aid Beauty, Proenza Schouler, Thymes, 4moms, Essentia Water, Aurora Brands, drybar, Fitness Anywhere, Donald J Pliner and Ippolita.
The investment boutique, based in Newton, MA, typically invests between $15 to $150 million of equity in businesses. Castanea has approximately $1 billion under management and is currently investing from a $600 million fourth fund.
“Simms is singularly focused on delivering the most technically sound products to ensure that anglers of all types enjoy their best days on the water,” said Tim Burke, a partner at Castanea, in a statement. “They are seen as an authority on fabric, performance, durability, and comfort. Simms’ brand is synonymous with quality. We look forward to working with K.C. and his team to build upon their success and to continue providing world-class products and services to their loyal and passionate group of customers.”
“When we decided to look for a partner to help us thoughtfully expand the Simms brand to the next level, we valued operational expertise as highly as financial capability,” added Walsh. “Castanea offered exactly what we were looking for in this respect, as their team has deep retail and operational expertise and a strong track record of building successful consumer packaged goods and apparel brands. Castanea also understands and respects the importance of our retail partners to the future development of our company. They will be a great partner to Simms and our industry.”
Baird Investment Banking represented Simms in the transaction.
Photo courtesy Simms