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Morgenthaler & Michael DiMino to form Affinity Specialty Apparel
02
Feb '09
Morgenthaler Partners, a leading middle market private equity firm, announced that it has entered into a partnership with Michael DiMino to form Affinity Specialty Apparel (ASA). ASA, based in Cleveland, Ohio, will focus on acquiring and operating companies with established brands in the uniform and specialty apparel market. Morgenthaler and DiMino have committed $25 million in equity capital to support management's acquisition and growth strategies. DiMino will serve as CEO of ASA.

ASA will focus on acquiring companies that produce high-end uniform, specialty apparel, accessories and safety products for specific industries - including healthcare, construction, education, police, fire and the hospitality industry. Ideal acquisition candidates must produce brands that are differentiated by durability, functionality and consistently appealing styles. ASA will focus on the direct sale market, rather than the rental market.

"We are excited about partnering with Michael DiMino to build a unique company that will aggregate the top brands in the uniform and specialty apparel market and serve the needs of its diverse and discerning customers," said Peter Taft, a partner at Morgenthaler Partners and ASA board member. "This market, estimated at approximately $5 billion, is not overly cyclical and can better withstand a recession than most. Generally speaking, people will continue to purchase uniforms in the education, government and healthcare sectors even during a downturn."

Al Stanley, a partner at Morgenthaler Partners and ASA board member, added, "We could not have found a better executive than Michael to lead ASA. He is a proven entrepreneur and general manager with more than 14 years of experience in the uniform market. Michael has served on the board of another Morgenthaler portfolio company for some time so we know first-hand his ability to shape and execute successful strategies. We look forward to working with Michael to build ASA into a market leader."

DiMino is a former president and COO of Uniforms to You, one of the largest direct sale uniform companies in the US prior to its acquisition by Cintas. He was also the president and CEO of LESCO, a $585 million public company prior to its acquisition by John Deere.

"This is an exciting market opportunity and I enjoy working in this space," said DiMino. "I look forward to working with Morgenthaler and the executive management of companies with leading brands in the uniform and specialty apparel market."

ASA is interested in acquiring platform companies with EBITDA in excess of $5 million, as well as add-on acquisitions.

Morgenthaler Partners

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