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North Castle invests in Ibex Outdoor Clothing

Private equity firm North Castle Partners and financial services firm CMS Companies have invested in Ibex Outdoor Clothing, a designer, marketer, manufacturer and distributor of a premium branded wool and wool-based technical apparel and accessories.  

The terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Ibex’s products are inspired by outdoor enthusiasts and cater to a wide range of outdoor pursuits and active lifestyles.

"We are proud to partner with the management of this iconic brand and help them more widely distribute their high quality, high performance merino wool products," says Chip Baird, North Castle’s managing partner. 

"When we went on a search for capital to help us grow the business, we put the people before the cash," explained John Fernsell, founder and chief executive of Ibex. "We made it very clear to our investment banker that the actual money was third on the list after compatibility and experience.  We are happy to partner with North Castle Partners because of their understanding of our industry, the belief in our products and their commitment to values which will allow us to grow the Ibex business without compromise. As we mapped out our mutual growth plan for Ibex, I realised how much the company will benefit from the North Castle network, and I look forward to bringing that depth of experience into our management team."

In 2007, North Castle made its first investment in the outdoor recreation industry when it acquired a controlling interest in Performance, the largest independent bicycle dealer and direct marketer of bicycles and cycling accessories in the US. 

North Castle also has controlling interests in Octane Fitness, Cascade Helmets and World Health, and has realised investments in Equinox Fitness and EAS. 

BellMark Partners advised Ibex on the transaction.  Morrison Cohen provided legal counsel to North Castle.

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