Custom skate biz glides to top

True Temper Sports expands Winnipeg group's personalized-fit technology -- and NHL clients love it By: Martin Cash Posted: 09/19/2017 Original Post:   Only three years ago, Scott Van Horne was making premium, one-of-a-kind, custom-fitted hockey skates out of his basement. As he stepped up in 2015 to 1,700 square feet of space — shared with the skate sharpener/hockey pro shop Cutting Edge in 2015 — it still wasn’t clear just how much demand there would be for his $1,000 skates. WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESSVan Horne’s skates are used by the likes of NHLers Ryan Johansen, Mitch Marner and the Jets’ Mathieu Perreault. But it didn’t take long for Van Horne and his sales and marketing partner, Garth Smith, to realize they were definitely going to need more space. Memphis-based True Temper Sports Inc. bought Van Horne’s company, VH Footwear, late last year for an undisclosed sum and quickly built the company a brand-new Winnipeg production space almost 10 times the size. True Temper Sports officials from Memphis and Ottawa will be on hand today at the official grand opening of the new plant — and in a break from tradition (perhaps an indication of elevated enthusiasm), representatives of Lincolnshire Management, the New York private equity firm that owns True Temper, also will be at the opening. Unlike so many other instances where a smart young Winnipeg company gets acquired by a larger company from the United States, shut down and moved away, True Temper is doubling down and investing in Winnipeg. "This is a different story," Van Horne, 40, said. "That is not what is going to happen with our company." Since the purchase — which was preceded by Van Horne’s development of digital scanning technology as opposed to hand-traced foot outlines he had been working with — the Winnipeg production staff has grown to 37 from 22. True Temper Sports CEO Jeremy Erspamer said keeping Van Horne, Smith and their team in place in Winnipeg was crucial. "Also," he said, "We’re big believers in made-in-Canada." True Temper — one of the oldest and largest golf club shaft manufacturers — also has been making hockey sticks for many years from a wholly owned plant in China. Up until a few years ago, it was the private-label hockey stick manufacturer for some of the sport’s largest brand names, until it decided to launch its own True Temper brand, along with True Temper hockey gloves and bags. The company knew it had to have a line of skates to be recognized as a real hockey company. Its history of engineering sports equipment made for a great fit with Van Horne’s former company, VH Footwear. "Scott’s genius in design and the ability to customize the boot to each player’s foot... combining that with True Temper and True Hockey’s infrastructure, with more than 700 retailers currently selling True product, made for a perfect marriage," Erspamer said. The CEO also believes that the superior fit and performance of Van Horne’s skates will create a whole new demand dynamic. "This is something that’s never been in the market before," Erspamer said. "We believe it is a real game-changer in the hockey industry. We have very high hopes and expectations for how that product will continue to grow at the pro level and certainly at the general consumer level." There were 117 NHL players lacing up True Hockey skates by Van Horne (his name is stitched into the tongue of each skate) as of the writing of this story, but that number is growing all the time. And it’s not as if the players are subjected to a hard sell or are enticed with thousands of dollars of incentives to wear their skates, as is the case with the other big names brands. Smith talks to players if asked. "We have players on just about every team in the NHL now," he said on the eve of a trip to visit True Temper clients on the California-based NHL teams. "I make customer-service trips and talk to our clients to make sure everything is going well and see if they need any adjustments. Invariably I’ll come away with one, two, three, four more fittings." True Hockey has a stable of so-called "True Pros," including the likes of Mitch Marner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ryan Johansen of the Nashville Predators and Mathieu Perreault of the Jets. They use some, if not all, of True’s hockey gear and are featured on True’s website. "We have not had to pay people to use our skates to this point," said Dave McNally, True Hockey’s Ottawa-based marketing and business development manager, "and we don’t intend to change that strategy." McNally likes to talk about the business in terms of the premium skate market rather than custom skates. "The landscape is changing on how consumers view it and what they are prepared to invest in high-end skates," he said. At the same time, thanks to Van Horne’s innovations, mass customization will set True’s hockey skate business apart from the pack. In addition to the fit and performance, McNally cites the benefit to retailers, who do not have to carry inventory because each skate must be custom-made. Van Horne jokingly pretends not to know how many authorized dealers True has signed up since the acquisition last November. There’s 80 in North America now, compared to 15 last year. The intention is to get to 130 by the end of this year, as well as more than a dozen in Europe. The betting is that, in the future, it won’t be just elite players wearing skates by Scott Van Horne.

New York Hockey Journal- Top Shelf

August 2017 By Leo Scaglione Jr. Top shelf From True’s custom VH to Bauer’s 3D Skate Lab to CCM’s FlexFrame technology, skate craftsmen are catering to high-end players like never before, and the trickle-down effect is marvelous By Leo Scaglione Jr. National Hockey League players demand the best. They expect to perform at an elite level, individually and as a team. They hold their equipment to the same standard, too, particularly their skates, which is why ice skate companies keep raising the bar with their customization processes and sales experiences. "There’s a lot of emphasis on the high end of the skate market right now and trying to create more value," True Hockey senior marketing and business development manager Dave McNally said. True is especially studying this segment since it has one player skate offering, which is 100 percent custom and sells at the premium price point. "We acquired VH footwear last year, which was primarily a custom-skate business," McNally explained. "We’ll continue to be a custom-skate business for at least the next year. You can’t buy our skates off the shelf; you must go to the store and get your foot scanned. The skate is built to your foot, which is why our way is unique." The foot-scanning software operates on an iPad and provides a 3D scan showing the measurements and mold of the foot. True is in the midst of a rollout at retail and aims to be finished by the end of this month. There will be 130 custom-fit centers throughout the United States and Canada in partnership with True’s current retailers. It’s a limited distribution, though, since True has over 650 retail partners. The end goal is to provide players with the best-fitting skates possible. "The consumer will go into the store, have their feet scanned, their order processed, and the data and the order will be sent to our factory in Winnipeg," Mc-Nally said. "The skates will be built to that data and then shipped back to the store, so that the consumer can come back and pick up the skates and have them heat molded. Heat molding is an important part of the process, so it’s imperative that the consumer comes back and has that done." This autumn, True will have appointment-booking software available online, which will allow consumers to book a fitting with their local dealer. "We want to make the process as efficient as we can," McNally more Source:

New England Hockey Journal- Attack Mode

August 2017 By Leo Scaglione Jr. NEHJ GOALIE GUIDE: Attack Mode Goalie skate manufacturers are getting aggressive with two-piece construction, toecap innovations and more upgrades Skates are a goaltender’s foundation. Whether a goalie is standing, racing behind the net to retrieve a puck, or pushing from one side of the crease to the other, skates are a critical component of the process. They’re also continuing to evolve. In fact, one of the latest developments over the past two years has been the removal of the cowling, an operation spearheaded by True Hockey. "The biggest trend right now is the departure from a traditional goalie boot and cowling to what is being referred to as a two-piece construction goalie skate," True Hockey senior marketing and business development manager Dave McNally said. "It’s a goalie skate with a player’s holder on it. We were the first to come out with that product, and it’s given us a real stronghold at the National Hockey League level, with well over half of the NHL goalies wearing our products at this point." Bauer brand manager Spencer Freer added that the elimination of the cowling, which was replaced with a goalie-specific Vertexx Edge holder at his company, has led to other advancements, specifically with the toecap. "We started to do some testing and it showed that the traditional style toecap and cowling weren’t all that protective," he said. "When we started looking at making a thicker toecap, that’s when we started to see a difference." When Freer realized that the removal of the cowling didn’t sacrifice any protection to the netminder’s feet, he also noticed that goalies had a better attack angle, which is how close a goalie’s skate can get to the ice before the blade lifts off the ice, which causes a fail out. "When a goalie pushes across and needs to stop, or he needs to push back the other way, he wants to use minimal effort to be able to get back," Freer explained. "Having your foot as close to the ice as possible means having a better attack angle." Added McNally: "If you’re trying to move across the crease, or you’re trying to get to a puck, you’re constantly pushing off. A better attack angle is a position where you don’t have to adjust your knee upward to be able to do that, which means you can do it with more speed and more efficiency. We like to say it’s more acute power transfer." With improving attack angle in mind, True sells a one-piece boot, "which is literally exactly as it sounds," McNally asserted. "It’s a one-piece molded boot, where the holder and the boot itself are all one piece, not constructed separately," he continued. "That’s a patented product that gives us another unique option for goalies. It plays a little bit different because there’s not as much flexibility in the boot compared to the two-piece construction, and because of the minimal flexibility, it allows goalies to attack with more speed and more efficiency across." more Source:

True Hockey Skates

With more than 25 years of experience in handcrafting performance-driven skates, Scott Van Horne delivers power, fit, and protection in the TRUE Pro Custom Skate. Precision crafted for your feet - not the shelf, these pro-grade skates offer a high performance, pain-free skating experience unmatched by any other.  Twitter Feed and Videos

Lincolnshire Management sells National Pen for about $218 mln

January 5, 2017 By Iris Dorbian Lincolnshire Management has sold National Pen to Cimpress N.V. for about $218 million. Lazard Middle Market provided financial advice to Lincolnshire Management Inc and National Pen on the transaction. Based in San Diego, National Pen is a maker of custom writing instruments. PRESS RELEASE NEW YORK, January 5, 2017 – Lincolnshire Management, Inc. announced the sale of National Pen to Cimpress N.V. (Nasdaq: CMPR). The transaction closed on December 30, 2016. Under the terms of the agreement, Cimpress acquired 100 percent of the outstanding equity interests of National Pen for a purchase price of approximately $218 million (USD) subject to customary adjustments for net debt and working capital. Founded in 1966, National Pen is the leading manufacturer and marketer of custom writing instruments to more than one million small and medium sized businesses globally. The company is headquartered in San Diego, California with additional locations in the United States, Mexico, Ireland, and France. Mike Lyons, President of Lincolnshire,stated “This was a very successful investment for Lincolnshire Equity Fund IV. We worked closely with management to drive growth from new and existing customers, by expanding the company’s product offerings and multi‐channel direct marketing capabilities. National Pen is well positioned for sustained, long‐term growth and is a quality addition to Cimpress.” T.J. Maloney, Chairman and CEO of Lincolnshire stated “The hard work of Mike Lyons and Ben Bartlett really paid off in the successful outcome of National Pen ‐ a deal that generated a significant return for our Limited Partners in four short years.”.... Read More Source:

Desch Plantpak (Desch HC) winner of the Best Managed Company award

January 2017 By Deloitte Desch Plantpak (Desch HC) in The Netherlands was winner of the Best Managed Company award. Every year Deloitte search for the best managed companies among medium and large businesses; companies are judged based on the Business Maturity Model that was developed with the University of Utrecht. Deloitte in The Netherlands has been running the program for almost 10 years, while it’s only the first time that Desch Plantpak participated, and immediately made it to be one of the winners. Jan Willem Wieringa, Managing Director of Desch Plantpak commented: “We are very proud to have qualified as Best Managed Company; it confirms that we are on the right track! We will continue to develop sustainable products for the professional horticulture.” LMI has invested in Desch since 2006 and in 2010 acquired Epla which was integrated. Desch Plantpak is a leading manufacturer of thermoformed plastic containers, trays and injection molded containers for the greenhouse industry in Europe. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company operates from four manufacturing sites that serve growers and distributors across continental Europe, the UK, and beyond. As an early convert to the use of recycled and bio-based polymers, the company is a pioneer in efficient, sustainable manufacturing. The Best Managed Companies 2016-2017 are known. The BMC various studies are 63 companies emerged as Best Managed Company. The best managed companies in the Dutch small and large companies can call themselves a year's 'Best Managed Company'. Deloitte organized the program this year for the ninth consecutive year. Browse through the list BMC. Source:

Lincolnshire’s True Temper Sports acquires VH Footwear

November 23, 2016 By Kirk Falconer U.S. sports products company True Temper Sports Inc has acquired VH Footwear Inc, a Winnipeg manufacturer of custom hockey skates that is led by Founder and CEO Scott Van Horne. No financial terms were disclosed. True Temper said the acquisition is strategic and will provide a growth platform for its TRUE hockey business. As part of the deal, True Temper said it will continue to produce VH skates in Canada. Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, True Temper, a maker of hockey, golf and lacrosse products, was acquired by U.S. private equity firm Lincolnshire Management in 2012. PRESS RELEASE True Temper Sports Acquires VH Footwear Nov 22, 2016 Memphis, TN – True Temper Sports, a leading developer and manufacturer of Hockey, Golf and Lacrosse products announced today the acquisition of Winnipeg, Manitoba based hockey skate manufacturer, VH Footwear Inc. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition will add exciting, innovative technology to the company’s advanced R&D portfolio and expand TRUE Hockey’s reach into the important skate category.... Read More Source: Additional Articles: TRUE TEMPER SPORTS ACQUIRES VH FOOTWEAR  - TRUE Hockey -  

L-3 buys commercial flight training provider Aerosim

October 5, 2016 By Iris Dorbian L-3 Communications has acquired Burnsville, Minnesota-based Aerosim, a provider of commercial flight training. No financial terms were disclosed. Aerosim was backed by Lincolnshire Management. PRESS RELEASE NEW YORK –(BUSINESS WIRE) L-3 Communications (NYSE:LLL) announced today the acquisition of Aerosim, including Aerosim Technologies, Inc. (“Aerosim Technologies”) located in Burnsville, Minnesota, and Aerosim Flight Academy, Inc. (“Aerosim Academy”) located in Sanford, Florida. The acquisition was completed on September 30, 2016 and terms were not disclosed. Following the acquisition, Aerosim will be integrated into the L-3 Commercial Training Solutions (L-3 CTS) division of the company’s Electronic Systems business segment and will be renamed L-3 Aerosim-CTC. Aerosim is projected to generate approximately $50 million in sales for the year ending December 31, 2017 and to be accretive to L-3’s earnings. Aerosim is a globally recognized leader in commercial training with capabilities that are complementary to those offered by L-3 CTS. Aerosim Technologies provides innovative portable and flexible pilot and maintenance technician training products, enhancing efficiency with lower-cost solutions. Aerosim Academy, a flight school for prospective airline pilots, trains both U.S. and international cadets. “The addition of Aerosim is a good fit with L-3’s expanding business of providing customized solutions that address the global shortage of pilot training resources and the increasing demand for qualified pilots,” said Michael T. Strianese, L-3’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Aerosim adds value to our portfolio and further exemplifies our disciplined growth strategy in key markets.”.... read more Source:   Additional Articles : L-3 Acquires Aerosim From Lincolnshire Management - Wall Street Journal - L-3 Acquires Aerosim - Business Wire - L-3 Acquires Aerosim - Yahoo Finance -

Z Capital Partners Announces Sale of MSDP Group to Lincolnshire Management

Sep 23, 2015, from Z Capital Group NEW YORK, Sept. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Z Capital Group ("Z Capital"), today announced that its private equity management arm, Z Capital Partners, L.L.C. ("Z Capital Partners"), has closed the sale of MSDP Group LLC and its subsidiaries ("MSDP"), a global leader in automotive aftermarket performance and tuning technology, to Holley Performance Products, a portfolio company of Lincolnshire Equity Fund IV ("Lincolnshire"). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed Since investing in MSDP in 2013, Z Capital Partners has transformed the company by recruiting an industry-leading management team, enhancing product innovation and brand marketing, optimizing the supply chain network and distribution capabilities, and pursuing strategic acquisitions. Notably, through the acquisition of ACCEL Performance Group in December, 2014, Z Capital Partners established MSDP as the leader in performance fuel and ignition systems....Read More Source: Additional Articles: Lincolnshire Portfolio Company Acquires MSDP from Z Capital - PitchBook - Holley Acquires MSD In Blockbuster Industry Deal - Engine Labs -  

Talking Top Quartile with T.J. Maloney of Lincolnshire Management

June 29, 2015 By Steve Gelsi The vintage 2004 Lincolnshire Equity Fund III notched an internal rate of return of 34.7 percent for the Teachers’ Retirement System of the City of New York as of Dec. 31, 2013, the date used in an annual analysis of public pension fund data by Buyouts. The IRR beat the top-quartile threshold of 22.2 percent and the median of 12.9 percent for that vintage. Lincolnshire Management Chairman and CEO T.J. Maloney spoke to Buyouts for the following Q&A. Was fundraising for Fund III easier or harder than you expected? It was really difficult for us. We had some unrealized investments in Fund II and you’re raising a fund ... Read More Source:

And the best private equity firm is…

Jan 13, 2011  By: Dan Primack Private equity firms get ranked in all sorts of ways. The amount of capital under management. The number of deals done in a given year. The number of companies taken public or, conversely, the number of portfolio company bankruptcies. But, in the end, only one ranking really matters: Who has the best performance? And it seems that there is an answer, despite the private equity industry's typical reluctance to discuss its returns. Oliver Gottschlag, a professor of management strategy at HEC in Paris, recently teamed up with Dow Jones to determine the best-performing private equity firm of the past 10 years. They only included firms that had raised at least two funds during the period, with aggregate capital exceeding $500 million. In addition, they only included firms for which they could obtain performance data -- most of which came from industry research firm Preqin, which solicits such information from public-sector investors (pension funds, etc.) and some of its own private clients. All in, that gave Gottschlag 98 firms that raised 273 funds during the period, representing $411 billion in total equity. And the winner was... Leonard Green & Partners, the Los Angeles-based firm currently in the hunt for such companies as J. Crew (JCG), BJ's Wholesale Club (BJ) and The Palms Casino Resort. Gottschlag does not disclose Leonard Green's specific performance data -- likely due to a non-disclosure agreement with Preqin -- but does give it an aggregate performance score of 3.33. For context, the 10th firm on the list, AXA Private Equity, received a score of 1.08. Here is Gottschlag's explanation of the scores: The aggregate performance score is neither an IRR-type annual return measure nor a money multiple. It can only be interpreted relative to the average aggregate performance score of all firms we analyzed: An aggregate performance score of 1 means that a given PE Firm has an aggregate performance that is one "standard deviation" above the average performance, which would position it typically at the 85th percentile, i.e. 85% of all firms would have a lower aggregate performance. Also, an aggregate performance score of 2 means that performance is twice as high as for an aggregate performance score of 1. A PE Firm with the average performance has (by design) an aggregate performance score of 0. Here is the full top 20 (yes, there does seem to be some European bias, save for Leonard Green nabbing the top spot): Leonard Green & Partners (3.33) Astorg Partners (3.0) Waterland Private Equity (2.27) Hellman & Friedman (2.11) Lincolnshire Management (2.02) Nordic Capital (1.68) BC Partners (1.25) Permira (1.17) TowerBrook Capital Partners (1.16) AXA Private Equity (1.08) Friedman Fleischer & Lowe (1.07) Sterling Group (1.0) Barclays Private Equity (0.86) Onex Corp. (0.85) Gilde Buy Out Partners (0.85) LGV (0.85) Altor Equity Partners (0.81) Blum Capital Partners (0.79) Berkshire Partners (0.77) Charlesbank Capital Partners (0.76) Source: