Jacob Ash has been sold to Bridge Street Capital
A Grand Rapids venture capital firm’s first investment fit like a glove. Bridge Street Capital Partners has purchased Jacob Ash Co. of McKees Rock, Pa., a company that specializes in importing gloves for work, hunting, snow sports and other uses. Its products also include hats, rainwear and scarves.
The 70-year-old glove company was owned by the third generation of its founding family. The company’s products are often the store brands found on the shelves at major sporting goods chains, Wal-Mart, online stores, mass merchandisers and truck stops.
Bridge Street officials declined to release sales or profitability figures for Jacob Ash. Jacob Ash was in line with the venture capital firm’s strategy of acquiring companies that are profitable, with good management, whose owners are looking for an exit strategy, said John Meilner, managing partner for Bridge Street.
“The purchase will be good for everyone involved,” said Frank Smith, president of Jacob Ash. “It’s a huge win for everybody — the Ash family, the employees and Bridge Street Capital hit a home run on its first acquisition,” said Smith, who now holds a small stake in Jacob Ash. Smith said the company hopes to broaden its product portfolio to make it less seasonal.
“Jacob Ash’s management, along with all existing employees, will continue to operate the business on a day-to-day basis,” Meilner said. Bridge Street’s lead investors include former Perrigo Co. executive Michael Jandernoa and Monarch Hydraulics executive George Jackoboice Jr.
Bridge Street Capital made its public bow earlier this year, announcing it had secured $30 million in capital to fund purchases of companies in the Midwest. The firm targets companies with annual sales of $5 million to $50 million.
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