Airwalk Acquired By Sunrise Capital Partners

Airwalk announced in June that it has been purchased by Sunrise Capital Partners, LP, an investment fund affiliated with Houlihan, Lokey, Howard & Zukin. Airwalk hopes the acquisition, which also provides it with additional growth capital, will better position the company to reach its full potential as a global youth-lifestyle brand.

“With a respectful eye to the past, we are very excited about this transaction because it will enable us to build on Airwalk’s strong heritage as a youth-lifestyle brand,” said Airwalk CEO Peter Goehrig in a prepared statement. “In the coming months, we will focus on improving our infrastructure and systems to ensure better customer service and delivery performance. Our goal is not to be the biggest, but to be the best in all aspects of our business, and to continue providing our retail partners with fresh product designs and innovative marketing programs designed to meet the needs of the challenging youth-lifestyle marketplace.”

David A. Preiser, managing partner of Sunrise Capital Partners, LP said, “Airwalk fits perfectly into our strategy to acquire middle-market companies with solid underlying fundamentals and growth prospects that can be strengthened by the commitment of capital and operational resources. We are eager to work with Peter Goehrig and his management team to enhance Airwalk’s position as a premier youth-lifestyle brand.”

In addition to bolstering the company’s infrastructure and improving service to its retail partners, Goehrig’s team plans to implement new interactive marketing initiatives, product introductions, and retail-based consumer programs, such as additional Channel Avideo releases and expanded online shopping opportunities through the company’s interactive Web site, Airwalk’s longer-term strategic plans include further penetration in the women’s and international footwear markets, the continued exploration of brand-enhancing licensing opportunities, and a renewed focus on the company’s snowboarding operations.

Since its inception in 1986, Airwalk has established itself as a significant supplier of casual shoes for young people. The company is also a supplier of mountain-biking, BMX, and skateboarding footwear, as well as a full line of snowboarding equipment.

Sunrise Capital Partners, LP is a private investment fund with over 250-million dollars of committed capital focusing on the acquisition of controlling interests in middle-market companies. Houlihan, Lokey, Howard & Zukin is a provider of investment-banking services to middle-market companies, and specializes in the placement of debt and equity capital to finance strategic acquisitions, industry roll-ups, growth-management buyouts, and leveraged transactions.