Goodwin Procter attorneys recently advised clients New Balance and Berkshire Partners LLC in connection with their announced agreement to purchase The Rockport Company from the adidas Group. According to agreement, New Balance affiliate Drydock Footwear will join with The Rockport Company to form The Rockport Group. Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015, were not disclosed.
New Balance, headquartered in Boston, Mass, builds global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. New Balance is the only major company to make or assemble more than 4 million pairs of athletic footwear per year in the United States, which represents a limited portion of its U.S. sales. Where the domestic value is at least 70%, New Balance labels its shoes Made in the USA. New Balance owns five factories in New England and one in Flimby, U.K. The company employs more than 4,000 associates around the globe, and in 2013 reported worldwide sales of $2.73 billion.
Berkshire Partners, a Boston-based investment firm, has invested in over 110 middle market companies since 1986 through eight private equity funds with aggregate capital commitments of over $11 billion. Berkshire has specific industry experience in several areas including consumer products and retail, business services, industrials, communications and transportation. The firm is currently investing from Berkshire Fund VIII, a $4.5 billion fund raised in 2011. The firm seeks to invest $50 million to $500 million of equity capital in each portfolio company.
The Rockport Company, LLC is a footwear brand in the United States that offers stylish, comfortable footwear for men and women worldwide. The Rockport Company was established in the United States in 1971 and is headquartered in Canton, MA. It currently distributes footwear to more than 50 markets worldwide.
For additional information, please read the New Balance and Berkshire Partners joint press release.