Press release, December 20, 2005
Berkshire Partners Invests in Aritzia LP
Vancouver, BC, December 20, 2005 -- Aritzia LP, a leading retailer in women's apparel in Canada, has announced a partnership with Boston-based private equity firm Berkshire Partners LLC. Berkshire's significant investment will enable Aritzia to continue its expansion strategy both in the Canadian market and abroad.
Though the value of the transaction is undisclosed, Aritzia released today that the Company will generate over $100 million in sales in 2006 following several years of consistent double-digit growth.
All Support (Head) Office operations will remain in Vancouver under the successful leadership of Brian Hill, CEO, and the existing management team. Berkshire Partners and Brian Hill will share control of the Board of Directors and will look to recruit two to four additional directors with strong backgrounds in fashion, US and Canadian real estate and corporate strategy.
"Berkshire Partners has extensive retail and consumer expertise and will provide valuable financial and strategic guidance as we expand into new markets. Our management team knows how to run the Aritzia business; Berkshire Partners will help take us to the next level," notes Brian Hill. "The opportunities resulting from this partnership, and the growth it will generate, will extend to our existing and new employees, customers, and business partners in the retail industry here in Canada and abroad."
Founded in 1984, Aritzia is a vertical retailer whose steady expansion over the last 20 years has established its position as a recognized leader in the fashion retail industry. Aritzia has 18 stores in key urban centers across Canada, with a focus on fashion, music and design that results in boutique retail environments that resonate with young, style-forward women.
"We connect our clientele to the energy of the culture. Our primary focus is fashion but we consider all elements: the music we play, the design of our stores, the artists we feature. Culture is ever-changing, as are we." said Brian Hill.
"Brian Hill has built a recognized industry leader in an extremely demanding industry," stated Kevin Callaghan, Managing Director at Berkshire Partners. "We believe that Aritzia's superior market position is driven by the Company's customer focus, cutting-edge vision, and creative management team. We look forward to supporting the Company in its next phase of growth."
Capital West Partners, a Canadian-based investment banking firm, represented Aritzia in the equity transaction.
Aritzia is a vertically integrated women's apparel retailer based out of Vancouver, British Columbia. Founded in 1984 by Brian Hill, Aritzia is an off-shoot of Hill's of Kerrisdale, a long-established Vancouver department store owned and operated by the Hill family. Aritzia's 18 existing boutiques exist in premier mall and high street locations in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Ottawa. A unique assortment of merchandise, primarily clothing and accessories, provide style, quality and value. Aritzia's service oriented staff focus on relationship development with their clientele: young, style-forward, culturally aware women. Additional information may be found at www.aritzia.com.
About Berkshire Partners LLC
Berkshire Partners has invested in mid-sized private companies for the past twenty years through six investment funds with aggregate capital commitments of approximately $3.5 billion. The firm's investment strategy is to seek companies that have strong growth prospects and to partner with talented management teams who are interested in being owners of the companies they operate. Berkshire has developed specific industry experience in several areas including retailing and related services, consumer products, transportation, communications, various manufacturing sectors, and business services. The firm's transactions have taken various forms including leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, industry consolidations, and growth equity investments. Berkshire has been an investor in over 80 operating companies with more than $13.0 billion of acquisition value and combined revenues in excess of $17.0 billion. Additional information may be found at www.berkshirepartners.com.
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