Acon Increases Stake In New Era Cap
Private equity firm Acon Investments recently closed a single-asset continuation round worth around $700 million to increase its stake in the New Era headwear brand while bringing in new backers. New investors include Apollo, GCM Grosvenor, Hamilton Lane, and Neuberger Berman.
Acon’s initial investment in January 2021 represented the company’s first and only institutional equity capital.
New Era Cap will continue to be led by Chris Koch, its fourth-generation CEO, whose great grandfather, Ehrhardt Koch, founded the company in 1920 in Buffalo, NY. As part of its growth strategy, New Era plans to further expand its more than 800-store footprint throughout Asia, Mexico, Latin America, and Brazil and grow its core lifestyle brand in apparel and its DTC platform.
“New Era Cap represents a unique and proprietary opportunity in which Acon served as an early partner for the company and the first institutional equity capital for this 102-year-old iconic brand,” says Ken Brotman, founding partner of Acon Investments. “We are humbled to be the company’s trusted partner and have great respect for New Era Cap’s long and rich history and what Chris Koch and the management team have built. It has been one of our best performing portfolio investments in ACON Equity Partners IV.”
As part of the transaction, the MLB, the NFL and the NBA will become minority owners in New Era Cap.
“Having our three largest league partners aligned with us through a strategic equity position further solidifies our already strong partnerships,” explains Jim Grundtisch, New Era Cap chief revenue officer. “We are committed to continuing on the robust global growth trajectory we have set for our brand and for our key global partners well into the future.”