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Simms CEO welcomes long-term investment partner

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Simms Fishing Products CEO K.C. Walsh: has welcomed investment in the company from private equity firm Castanea Partners.

On the eve of the ICAST trade show, Simms Fishing Products, the manufacturer of waders, outerwear and technical apparel, announced that it has received long-term investment from private equity firm Castanea Partners.

Details of the financial agreement have not been revealed, but the Massachusetts company says that it typically invests up to $150m of equity capital in small to middle market companies.

Castanea has approximately $1billion under management and is currently investing from a $600million fund. It specialises in providing equity capital to companies in industry sectors where it has leadership, advisory and investing experience, and is principally focused on investing in branded consumer products and services.

It targets brands with multi-channel distribution in sectors including speciality apparel and fashion, footwear, sporting goods, outdoor and leisure, which indicates a strong fit with Simms core products and expertise.

“When we evaluated our first major outside financial partner, we were looking for an established long-term partner with deep retail and operational expertise as well a proven track record of building successful consumer packaged goods and apparel brands,” said Simms CEO, K.C. Walsh.

“Rob Smith, the founder of Castanea and former CEO of Neiman Marcus, now serves on our board, and understands the importance of speciality retail to the future development of our company. He’s also a serious angler, and will be a great partner to Simms and our industry.”

Tim Burke, a partner at Castanea, said his firm is now working with Walsh and his team to build on its success. “Simms is singularly focused on delivering the most technical fishing gear. It is seen as the authority on fabric, performance, durability and comfort.”

Simms says it has already used some of the investment in hiring Mike Moore, VP of Global Sales, and Al Perkinson, EVP of Marketing. It also seems likely that the additional resource will be used to support the Montana company’s ongoing strategy to diversify into other areas of fishing beyond fly.

In addition, Simms plans to increase its investment in retail marketing and its support of conservation organisations – both initiatives being key to their selection of Castanea as a partner.

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