Grafton Apparel Ltd., which operates 127 retail stores and 3 ecommerce websites across the Tip Top, George Richards Big and Tall and Mr. Big & Tall banners, has entered a sale agreement with an affiliate of Stern Partners Inc., a Canadian private investment company controlled by Ronald N. Stern.
“Across Tip Top and our Big & Tall stores, Grafton Apparel offers unparalleled quality, value, and style that has delivered record results,” said Lance Itkoff, President and CEO of Grafton, in a statement.
“We are the definitive go-to solution for men’s workplace and event apparel as well as the only nationwide chain catering exclusively to the Big & Tall customer. Stern Partners brings us the benefit of strategic Canadian investors who understand the retail landscape and we look forward to leveraging their insight and resources to help us deliver even better value to our customers and enhanced growth for Grafton.”
Grafton said it will continue to independently operate and grow its retail and ecommerce businesses – Tip Top, George Richards and Mr. Big & Tall – in the Canadian market.
The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to be finalized over the coming weeks. National Bank Financial acted as exclusive financial advisor and Davies Ward Phillips Vineberg acted as legal advisor to the Company on the transaction. Norton Rose Fulbright acted as legal advisor to the Purchaser.
Stern Partners is a Canadian investment firm with more than 30 years of experience investing in a diverse range of operating companies, including extensive long-term interests in the apparel industry.
“The growth of the retail apparel market in Canada has been an area of interest for us. Grafton’s commitment to delivering quality and value to consumers, backed by a strong team, has created a growth trajectory that we want to support,” said Daniel Cairns of Stern Partners, in a statement. “We are excited to partner with the strong team at Grafton as we turn the page into this next chapter together.”
Stern Partners’ investments currently include over 20 standalone businesses that collectively employ more than 7,000 employees.