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Rugged Shark makes strategic sense for SG Footwear
Nov '09
Gordon Brothers Brands, a leader in the acquisition, licensing and sale of retail and consumer products brands, announced 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(TM) system expels water allowing the footbed to dry quickly and the Shark Grip(TM) 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."

Gordon Brothers Brands

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