Highland Consumer Fund Acquires a Major Interest in J.McLaughlin

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Brooklyn-based clothing store featuring American preppy sportwear has 52 retail locations across the Eastern United States.


Group led by JH Partners and the Highland Consumer Fund is acquiring a majority interest in J.McLaughlin.

Brooklyn, New York -- November 21, 2011 -- J.McLaughlin announced today that a private equity sponsor group led by JH Partners and the Highland Consumer Fund, is acquiring a majority interest in the company. The existing management team, which includes co-founders and brothers Jay McLaughlin and Kevin McLaughlin, as well as Steven Siegler, CEO, will continue in its current role and will retain a minority interest in the business moving forward.

Headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, J.McLaughlin is an American brand that represents a sought-after preppy lifestyle. J.McLaughlin sells only its own designs and has a unique aesthetic which combines traditional styling and impeccable craftsmanship with flair and an element of surprise. The company currently has 52 stores in 18 states across the Eastern half of the United States.

“We are delighted to make this investment in J.McLaughlin. Its unique approach to retailing, differentiated merchandise offering, neighborhood stores and high-touch customer service appeal to consumers in a way we have not seen before,” said Jeff Hansen, a Partner at JH Partners who will join J.McLaughlin’s Board of Directors.

“Led by an exceptional management team, the company has a record of rapid growth and we see significant opportunity for continued expansion,” added Tom Stemberg, a Managing General Partner of the Highland Consumer Fund and founder and former CEO of Staples.

“J.McLaughlin’s niche is American prep, rooted in a strong understanding of the history of American sportswear,” said Kevin McLaughlin. “We are committed to maintaining the brand’s connection to its customers and to providing the compelling merchandise and one-of-a-kind in-store experiences J.McLaughlin is best known for,” said Jay McLaughlin.

“Our new partners have a proven track record building brands and will be instrumental as we continue to expand our retail footprint and E-commerce presence,” added Steven Siegler. “JH Partners appreciates our heritage and shares our vision to expand our brand to consumers across the United States and internationally,” added Kevin McLaughlin. JH Partners and the Highland Consumer Fund are reputed for their successful investments in growth companies and for helping management teams build iconic brands. JH Partners’ historic investments in international brands include Bare Escentuals, Frette, La Perla and Jurlique. The Highland Consumer Fund team has investments in such companies as City Sports, Lululemon and Pinkberry. Peter J. Solomon Company, L. P. acted as exclusive financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to J.McLaughlin. Frederikson & Byron provided legal counsel to JH Partners, Highland Consumer Fund and Palladin Capital.

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