Norwest Equity Partners Sells Stake in Outdoor Equipment Retailer Christy Sports
Minneapolis-based investment firm Norwest Equity Partners (NEP) announced Monday that it has divested its interest in sports and outdoor furniture specialty retailer Christy Sports. NEP sold Christy to New York investment firm TZP Group.
The sale comes four years after NEP purchased a majority stake in Lakewood, Colorado-based Christy Sports. Up to that point, Christy had been a family-based ownership structure since its founding, The Denver Post reported in 2015. Christy—which provides ski and snowboard services including rentals, custom boot fitting, and repair, along with patio furniture during the off-season—was founded in 1958 and merged with Steamboat Springs-based Sports Stalker in 1995.
Todd Solow, an NEP partner, said the company first took an interest in Christy because it had an impressive percentage of sales in the rental ski and equipment market.
“They had top-tier locations at major ski resorts in Colorado and Utah, so we thought that offered a level of strategic difference versus other retailers,” he said.
After four years under NEP, Christy Sports has grown from 41 stores to 63, made five acquisitions, and grown its overall footprint and geographic reach, including expansions into Washington and Mexico.
Christy Sports’ growth trajectory led NEP to divest, Solow said
“We hit our five-year goal. We wanted to double revenue, and we were able to do that in four years,” he said. “Plus, with the economy and mergers and acquisitions environment being generally pretty welcoming, we decided it was a good time.”
Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. The transaction closed Nov. 25. Solow said the sale is not expected to affect Christy Sports’ operations or employee base.