Daily News: March 18, 2014

Bregal Expands Consumer Healthcare Portfolio with Shock Doctor Buy

Bregal Partners, a middle market private equity firm, announced it acquired Shock Doctor. Investment bank William Blair & Company represented Norwest Equity Partners, while law firm Dechert represented Bregal Partners. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Shock Doctor is the No. 1 brand for athletes around the world who demand superior protection and performance. Widely recognized for innovative design and superior technology, Shock Doctor’s products are trusted by athletes, from youth to amateur to professional, in a growing number of sports. In addition to its full line of patented, technologically advanced mouthguards, Shock Doctor offers a comprehensive line of protective and performance products for hockey, football, baseball, basketball, soccer, martial arts and boxing, and lacrosse, amongst other sports. Current product categories include core protective, performance sports therapy, Cutters sports gloves, and insoles.

Bregal Partners’ co-founder and managing partner, Robert Bergmann, noted that Shock Doctor was an ideal platform to participate in the growth occurring at the intersection of consumer products and healthcare, a space that Bregal has been pursuing for some time.

“We see a great opportunity for Shock Doctor to continue to revolutionize the $9 billion global market for performance and protective equipment with new, innovative, and disruptive products. Beyond entering new categories, the company should also benefit from overall market growth and an ability to acquire other industry participants.”

There are also favorable industry tailwinds. “Research shows that sports specialization is leading to higher injury incidence and thus greater focus on injury prevention,” Bergmann said. Specialization refers to the increasing trend for youth athletes to focus narrowly on one or two sports. High-profile injuries and media attention have driven awareness of sports injuries, especially concussions and head injuries. “Shock Doctor will benefit from this heightened awareness that has made parents and athletes increasingly willing to purchase products to avoid or minimize injuries.”

Armand stated, “The entire team at Shock Doctor is thrilled to be teaming with Bregal Partners as we enter our next phase of growth. They bring a unique blend of consumer and healthcare investment experience that will undoubtedly help us hit the ground running. Having personally worked with the team at Bregal in the past, I know for a fact that we could not have found a better partner.”

Shock Doctor had been a portfolio company of Norwest Equity Partners, a middle market equity investment firm, since 2008.

Shock Doctor is a provider of protective and performance sports equipment.

Bregal Partners is a private investment firm that invests alongside management teams to build industry leading companies in the middle market.