Gordon Brothers Brands Sells the "Rugged Shark" Brand

Press Release

BOSTON, MA – Gordon Brothers Brands, a leader in the acquisition, licensing and sale of retail and consumer products brands, announced today the sale of the Rugged Shark brand to SG Footwear of Hackensack, New Jersey.

“We have worked hard to preserve and nurture the rich tradition of Rugged Shark,” stated Stephen Miller, President of Gordon Brothers Brands. “As an established brand among boating, fishing and water sports enthusiasts, it has the potential to expand into many other categories. We look forward to watching SG Footwear take the brand to the next level.”

Rugged Shark, which built its name on bringing comfort to boating shoes, was the first manufacturer to receive the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance. The Shark Aquaire™ system expels water allowing the footbed to dry quickly and the Shark Grip™ is a non-marking, non-slip bottom with rubber traction grids. In addition, various insole technologies are used with breathable, anti-bacterial and moisture absorbing features.

With signature celebrity programs, proprietary functional technology and leading styles, Rugged Shark is uniquely positioned for success in the fishing and marine industry which generates in excess of $90 billion in annual sales, as well as sporting goods and other outdoor retailers. SG Footwear’s short term goals include expansion into department stores and footwear specialty retailers with a focus on lifestyle positioning of the brand. 

“We are excited about the acquisition of Rugged Shark, which adds tremendous equity to our stable of brands with expansion into new channels of distribution,” stated Bernard Leifer, President and CEO of SG Footwear. "As the premier authentic fishing and marine footwear brand, Rugged Shark makes strategic sense for SG Footwear which is well positioned to leverage the brand’s heritage and future potential.”

Established in 1896, SG Footwear markets a full range of footwear products and is a leader in licensed character and branded footwear. The company dominates a number of key footwear categories and consumer demographics across North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Natick, MA-based NorthStar Management Partners facilitated the sale between Gordon Brothers Brands and SG Footwear. NorthStar helps both distressed and healthy companies with a range of services focused on improving performance, redeploying assets and building overall corporate value including the marketing, acquisition and development of consumer brands and other forms of intellectual property.

“We were honored to assist in transitioning the Rugged Shark brand from Gordon Brothers Brands to SG Footwear,” said Michael Fine, Director of Retail and Consumer Products Group at NorthStar Management Partners. “It proved to be a smooth and seamless transaction.”

About Gordon Brothers Brands
Gordon Brothers Brands, LLC is a member of the Gordon Brothers Group family of companies. Gordon Brothers Brands purchases, sells, and licenses brands and other intellectual property. Current portfolio brands and companies include Polaroid®, The Sharper Image®, Linens ‘N Things® and Bombay®, among others.  Founded in 1903, Gordon Brothers Group (www.gordonbrothers.com) is a global advisory, restructuring and investment firm specializing in retail and consumer products, industrial and real estate sectors. Gordon Brothers Group maximizes value for both healthy and distressed companies by purchasing or selling all categories of assets, appraising assets, providing debt financing, making private equity investments and operating businesses for extended periods. Gordon Brothers Group conducts over $50 billion worth of annual transactions and appraisals.

About NorthStar Management Partners, LLC
NorthStar Management Partners, LLC (www.northstarmp.com) provides corporate revitalization, insolvency, and specialized corporate finance solutions to middle-market and family owned companies experiencing financial, operational or strategic challenges.

About SG Footwear, Inc.
SG Footwear, Inc. (www.sgfootwear.com) is one of the world's largest designers, producers and marketers of athletic, fashion casuals and seasonal footwear, and soft sole slippers which are sold in leading mass, mid-tier and specialty retail chain stores.  In addition to footwear, SG operates SGI Apparel Group, (www.sgiapparel.com) a leader in children’s apparel and the exclusive licensee for Harley-Davidson, Beatles, and Bakugan.