Private equity firm Kelso & Co is reportedly exploring the possibility of selling Augusta Sportswear Brands, a catalog seller of team sports uniforms and apparel in the U.S. The potential deal could value Augusta at approximately $700 million to $800 million, taking into account its debt. To facilitate the sale, Kelso is said to be working with investment bank Robert W. Baird & Co to conduct an auction process for the company.

Although there have been reports that Augusta generated around $80 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) over a 12-month period, these figures come from anonymous sources who are not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Both Augusta and Baird have not yet responded to requests for comment, while Kelso has chosen not to comment on the reports.

In addition to Augusta, the company also owns a number of other brands, including Holloway, Russell Athletic, High Five, CCM, and Pacific Headwear. Founded in 1977 by Brian Marks, Augusta originally started as Canvas Products of Georgia, specializing in the production of laundry and duffel bags. In 2012, Kelso acquired Augusta from private equity firm Quad-C Management Inc, though the exact purchase amount was not disclosed.

Moody’s Investors Service Inc, a credit ratings agency, downgraded Augusta’s credit rating from high risk to very high risk in March. This downgrade was a result of the company’s existing $347 million loan and $40 million revolving facility, which Moody’s considered to be a burden that limited Augusta’s liquidity.

The potential sale of Augusta Sportswear Brands by Kelso demonstrates the continued interest in the apparel industry by private equity firms. With the rise of e-commerce and the popularity of team sports, companies like Augusta have experienced a significant demand for their products. This has created an opportunity for private equity firms to invest and potentially achieve a substantial return on their investment in Augusta. However, the outcome of the auction process and the final sale price will ultimately depend on market conditions and the level of interest from potential buyers.

Useful Links:
Kelso & Co
Augusta Sportswear Brands