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January 09, 2024

ASB x FSG Merger News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PLATINUM EQUITY ACQUIRES AUGUSTA SPORTSWEAR BRANDS AND FOUNDER SPORT GROUP

Youth sports performance apparel businesses joining forces to create expanded portfolio of brand, product and service offerings.

LOS ANGELES (January 9, 2024) – Platinum Equity announced today the acquisitions of Augusta Sportwear Brands (“ASB”) and Founder Sport Group (“FSG”). Both companies are suppliers of team uniforms, and off-field performance wear and fan apparel for the youth and recreational sports markets.

Financial terms of the private transactions were not disclosed.

“Youth sports play an important role in society and participation has been shown to provide important psychological and social health benefits,” said Platinum Equity Co-President Louis Samson. “The core market for youth sports apparel and accessories has grown steadily over the past decade, but the ecosystem is highly fragmented and, in many ways, inefficient. We saw the potential to combine two established companies very rapidly and orchestrate a transaction that we believe leverages our unique integration and operational capabilities with the goal of improving those industry dynamics and ultimately bringing to life a better customer experience.

“This complex transaction is another example of how Platinum’s creativity and out-of-the-box approach to M&A helps us find opportunities to create value even in choppy or dislocated markets,” added Samson.

Apparel suppliers like ASB and FSG primarily sell to regional and local team dealers and decorators who work directly with youth sports leagues, schools and corporations.

ASB’s current portfolio comprises a comprehensive line of complementary and versatile brands, including: Augusta Sportswear, Holloway, High Five, Pacific Headwear, Russell Athletic and CCM. FSG goes to market with a diverse portfolio of brands including: Under Armour, Badger, Alleson, C2, ProSphere, Garb Athletics and Flash.

The integrated portfolio of brands will allow the combined company to serve the full range of on-field and off-field or fanwear needs of youth sports teams, clubs, schools and leagues.

“We believe bringing ASB and FSG together will create meaningful benefits for the company’s customers, end consumers, and the youth sports apparel industry as a whole,” said Platinum Equity Managing Director Jason Price. “Joining forces will create an expanded portfolio of brand and product offerings across the full sports and lifestyle apparel industry. It will make more brands available to more consumers in more communities.”

Both companies have made significant investments in sublimation printing, an ink-on-fabric technology that provides better image quality and customization, with quick turnarounds to meet customer needs.

“We believe that over time, integrating the two companies has the potential to further reduce customer turnaround times, create a more efficient supply chain, and accelerate the impact of sublimation and other technologies throughout the ecosystem,” added Price. “We have a lot of experience with apparel businesses and are excited about the opportunities ahead.”

In 2020, Platinum Equity acquired Mad Engine, a premier omnichannel provider of licensed, branded and private-label apparel and accessories. In 2022, the firm acquired international apparel company Hop Lun. Jostens, a trusted partner in the academic and achievement channel serving the K-12 educational, college and sports segments, is also a current Platinum Equity portfolio company.

Business is expected to continue as usual for both companies as they work together with Platinum Equity on transition and integration plans.

Latham & Watkins provided legal counsel to Platinum Equity on the acquisitions of ASB and FSG.

About Platinum Equity

Founded in 1995 by Tom Gores, Platinum Equity is a global investment firm with approximately $47 billion of assets under management and a portfolio of approximately 50 operating companies that serve customers around the world. Platinum Equity specializes in mergers, acquisitions and operations – a trademarked strategy it calls M&A&O® – acquiring and operating companies in a broad range of business markets, including manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics, equipment rental, metals services, media and entertainment, technology, telecommunications and other industries. Over the past 28 years Platinum Equity has completed more than 450 acquisitions.

About Augusta Sportswear Brands

Augusta Sportswear Brands is a leading designer, manufacturer, and marketer of high-performance uniforms, training apparel, and fanwear for teams, coaches, athletes, and fans. Made up of five brands, Augusta Sportswear, Holloway, Russell Athletic, Pacific Headwear, and High Five, all driven by a simple mission to inspire a physically fit lifestyle, creating more healthy families and connected communities everywhere they operate.

About Founder Sport Group

Founder Sport Group (www.foundersport.com) features category-leading stock and customizable sportswear brands that include Badger Sport, Alleson Athletic, Garb Athletic, and Prosphere. From the field to the stands, and at every practice along the way, Founder Sport Group

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