Palladin completed the investment in partnership with the current owners and senior management team of Leapfrong, including Kurt Sward (CEO), Rick Ellison (president and chief operating officer), Jill Pearson (vice president of sales and marketing), Glen Gilmore (director of design), Austen He (director of sourcing) and Steve Pinelli (director of engineering). The partnership will provide Leapfrog with additional resources to build infrastructure to support growth. Management and operations of the company will not change.
Leapfrog is a designer and provider of beverageware, including portable water bottles and coffee mugs, food storage containers, bakeware and other products.
Palladin’s portfolio team, led by Mark Schwartz (CEO) and Anders Petersen (managing director), together with the team’s operating partners, will work with Leapfrog to provide marketing, financial, systems and organizational development to help management with the next stage of growth.
“Our strong team has been together for over 10 years, building what today is a premier design and development company bringing well engineered and well valued products to consumers worldwide. We are looking forward to working closely with the Palladin team in our next stage of growth,” Sward said.
“We pride ourselves on developing the right products for consumers at the right price and ensuring that we also provide unparalleled customer support for our critically important and appreciated retail partners. With Palladin’s assistance, we expect to strengthen our infrastructure further in order to expand our leading market position,” Ellison said.
“We are excited to partner with Kurt and the entire Leapfrog team, with whom we’ve built a strong relationship. They have developed a great culture based on innovation, quality, customer service and, most important, respect for employees, retail partners and consumers alike. We are confident that, working together, we can expand Leapfrog’s ability to not only meet but exceed customers’ expectations,” Schwartz said.
“We have been extremely impressed with Leapfrog’s expertise in design, engineering, marketing and manufacturing. The company has been expanding rapidly, and we are really excited to work with this strong team and be another value-added resource for them to continue their fast growth,” Petersen said.
Advisors to Palladin included Morgan, Lewis & Bockius for legal services, RSM US for accounting and tax, Krauter & Company for insurance and Retail Technology Group for systems. Leapfrog was advised by Livingstone Partners and Nixon Peabody.