Monday, August 23, 2021

Mechanix Wear®, a portfolio company of middle-market private equity firm Gryphon Investors and a leading designer and manufacturer of high- performance work gloves, announced on August 17, 2021 that it had acquired Chicago Protective Apparel ("CPA" or the “Company”), a 108-year-old, family-owned manufacturer of personal protective equipment (PPE). Williams, Bax & Saltzman acted as legal advisor to CPA in the transaction. The deal team was led by Howard M. Cohen and included Andrew D. Arons and Patrick M. Coonan.

Founded in 1913 and headquartered in Skokie, IL, CPA manufactures and offers an extensive line of over 20,000 products for arc flash, foundry, and welding applications. The Company's previous owners, Scott Sherman and Myrna Sherman, have retired after 30 years of service. Vice President John Merikoski will remain with the Company as Director of Production, along with other members of the management team.

Mechanix Wear CEO Michael Hale stated, “CPA's culture of quality and focus on innovation synchronize with Mechanix Wear's mission of bringing the latest design and material innovation to gloves for working hands. Moving forward, we will integrate and expand on CPA's product portfolio by looking beyond conventional ideas to innovate the most advanced PPE possible.”

Ryan Fagan, Managing Director in the Consumer Group at Gryphon, said, "We've been happy to partner with Michael and his team, and see the impressive growth they have continued to achieve as Mechanix Wear celebrates its 30th year of Hand Built Trust. We are excited to welcome CPA into our partnership."

Mr. Merikoski commented, "We thank Scott and Myrna for building a trusted company that has attracted a loyal following and enjoyed enormous success. We are now in a great position to grow, and we are delighted to team up with such an iconic brand as Mechanix Wear. With their support, and with Gryphon's capital and operational resources behind us, we expect to invest in continued innovation and customer satisfaction both domestically and abroad."

Kirkland & Ellis served as legal advisor to Gryphon and Mechanix Wear.