Enthusiast Brand Expands Beyond Gloves Into Additional PPE Categories
August 17, 2021 – Mechanix Wear®, a leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance work gloves, announced today it has acquired Chicago Protective Apparel (“CPA” or the “Company”), a 108 year-old, family-owned manufacturer of personal protective equipment (PPE). Mechanix Wear is a portfolio company of middle-market private equity firm Gryphon Investors. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 1913 and headquartered in Skokie, IL, CPA manufactures and offers an extensive line of over 20,000 products for arc flash, foundry, and welding applications. The Company’s previous owners, Scott and Myrna Sherman, are retiring after 30 years of service. Vice President John Merikoski will remain with the Company as Director of Production, along with other members of the management team.
Mechanix Wear CEO Michael Hale said, “Our two-year partnership with Gryphon has accelerated our growth and positioned us to expand beyond our core line of work gloves. CPA’s culture of quality and focus on innovation synchronize with Mechanix Wear’s mission of bringing the latest design and material innovation to gloves for working hands. Moving forward, we will integrate and expand on CPA’s product portfolio by looking beyond conventional ideas to innovate the most advanced PPE possible. We are excited to collaborate with John and his team.”
Ryan Fagan, Managing Director in the Consumer Group at Gryphon, said, “We’ve been happy to partner with Michael and his team, and see the impressive growth they have continued to achieve as Mechanix Wear celebrates its 30th year of Hand Built Trust. We are excited to welcome CPA into our partnership.”
Mr. Merikoski commented, “We thank Scott and Myrna for building a trusted company that has attracted a loyal following and enjoyed enormous success. We are now in a great position to grow, and we are delighted to team up with such an iconic brand as Mechanix Wear. With their support, and with Gryphon’s capital and operational resources behind us, we expect to invest in continued innovation and customer satisfaction both domestically and abroad.”
EC M&A served as financial advisor to Gryphon. Kirkland & Ellis acted as legal advisor to Gryphon, and Williams, Bax & Saltzman acted as legal advisor to CPA.