Brentwood's MacNeill Pride Group this week acquired GCI Outdoor, a Connecticut-based camping gear company.
No terms of the acquisition have been disclosed by either party. Twin Brook Capital Partners spearheaded debt financing for the transaction between GCI and MPG.
MPG is the diversified, international holding company for myriad outdoor and sporting goods producers. The deal adds to MPG’s wide-ranging arsenal of cleats, golf tees, coolers and more to now also include camp kitchens, bags and GCI’s signature series of portable camping chairs, waterside chairs, foldable rocking chairs and recliners.
“This transaction is a testament to our unrelenting focus on innovation and product design that has clearly resonated with the outdoor recreation community over the past 25 years,” said Co-Founders and Co-Presidents Dan Grace and Jeff Polke. “When combined with ORCA and MPG’s other outstanding brands, the future of GCI has never been brighter. We could not be more pleased that GCI is joining the MPG family and we look forward to seeing GCI continue to flourish.”
GCI also brings several exclusive patents to the table for the designs of its niche-leading products. GCI joins Centre Partners’ growing portfolio, which first formed MPG by way of Massachusetts-based MacNeill Engineering's merger with Brentwood golf accessory maker PrideSports in 2017. MacNeill then added its Champ brand of spikes to PrideSports’ golf cleats, tees and other products.
The resultant MPG’s most recent acquisition of Nashville-based Outdoor Recreation Company of America further armed the growing holder with premium coolers, drinkware and other products. ORCA had just seen a year in which its personnel grew from 10 to 100 people to execute in-house manufacturing while expanding its licensing portfolio.
The MacNeill Engineering merger with PrideSports had already yielded an army of 425 employees, and executives claimed MPG then became the biggest producer and distributor of replaceable sport and industrial cleats in the world whether for golf, football, soccer or baseball.
“The addition of GCI’s products makes MPG an immediate force in the outdoor recreation market,” according to Center Partners Managing Director Daniel Brinkenhoff. “Combined with our recent acquisition of ORCA, MPG will now offer two powerful, complementary brands with deep customer loyalty across important demographic groups. GCI has a clear track record of customer-focused innovation and product development that will play a significant base and take advantage of growth in its end markets.”
Based in New York, Center Partners Management began the consolidation that precipitated these deals back in 2015 when it acquired PrideSports. In 2016, the private equity firm acquired a small Denver manufacturer of branded tees and accessories. By 2017, PrideSports’ Maine factory was churning out over 300 million wooden tees annually to say nothing of production from its Wisconsin plant, warehousing operations in Hong Kong or corporate offices in Arizona and England.
MacNeill similarly already had offices in England and Hong Kong in addition to Thailand and the Korean peninsula.