Etonic Holdings, LLC, an Acquisition Group led by the Weisfeld Group and Anthony L&S Footwear, Acquires Iconic Etonic Worldwide Brand from Lotto Sport Italia

20 September 2012

Meridian Capital LLC and Cross Border S.r.l., founding partners of Global M&A, are pleased to announce Lotto Sport Italia’s successful sale of the Etonic Worldwide brand to Etonic Holdings, LLC, a venture partnered by the Weisfeld Group and Anthony L&S Footwear. Meridian and Cross Border served as Lotto’s exclusive financial and strategic advisor on the transaction, with Lapointe Rosenstein Marchand Melançon LLP (LRMM) serving as legal counsel.

Founded in 1876 and re-branded as Etonic in 1976, the Company has an established brand heritage in the golf, running, and bowling footwear categories. Long recognized as a leader in product performance and innovation, Etonic achieved its broadest distribution in the mid-1990’s, reaching over $100M in revenue and sponsoring several of the biggest names in sports. Known by industry consumers for its “First One There” motto, Etonic developed the first golf shoe with GORE-TEX® and also introduced Dynamic Reaction Plate sole technology to the running market. Under Lotto Sport Italia ownership beginning in 2006, Etonic continued to develop new ways to help athletes feel and perform better, most recently launching breakthrough Stabilizer™ and PowerFlex™ technologies.

“We are proud of the time spent developing the Etonic business. We gained significant experience in new market segments and developed strong ties in North America. When we decided to pursue the divestment, we looked for dynamic and knowledgeable advisors to help facilitate an orderly exit process. Meridian Capital, Cross Border, and LRMM were excellent partners, proving to be very well prepared, flexible, experienced and always available to address the challenges of a cross border transaction” said Andrea Tomat, Chief Executive Officer of Lotto.

The acquiring entity, Etonic Holdings, LLC, has purchased the Etonic brand and intellectual property. Through an increased focus on product design and licensing relationships, the new owners plan to leverage existing manufacturing capabilities and retail relationships to expand distribution, enhance the international sales footprint and enter additional product categories.

Bruce Weisfeld, President of the Weisfeld Group, commented, “We are extremely excited about our acquisition of the worldwide rights to the Etonic Brand. Etonic is truly an authentic American athletic company with products ranging from golf and running to bowling. We plan to restore and reinvigorate Etonic and return the brand to its rightful place among the best athletic companies in the world. Since 1876 Etonic has led the sporting goods industry with many firsts including the first golf specific shoe and the first “Gore-Tex” waterproof golf shoe. Etonic is also responsible for having developed a line of running shoes that actually prevented injury. We plan on continuing the Etonic tradition of “firsts” by bringing to market many new developments in each category in the months and years to come. We are confident that this strategy, combined with increased market awareness through endorsements, sponsorships and marketing, will re-establish Etonic as a leading American heritage sporting goods supplier.”

About Etonic Holdings, LLC

Etonic Holdings, LLC, is a collaboration of the Weisfeld Group and Anthony L&S Footwear, representing over fifty (50) years of combined experience in building brands in the apparel and footwear sector. The Weisfeld Group, a preeminent leader in building brands within the apparel industry, currently manages, licenses and owns principal stakes in a stable of worldwide brands including METROPARK, COOGI, Under Two Flags, FUBU, Crown Holder, FB Legacy, DRUNKNMUNKY, Heatherette and Willie Esco. As one of America’s premier footwear companies, Anthony L&S sources, markets, and distributes a broad range of footwear including men’s, women’s, and children’s sneakers and boots. They currently manage a portfolio of more than 10 owned, licensed and exclusively distributed premium footwear brands including G Star, Levi’s, U.S. Polo Assn., Mountain Gear, Adio, Phat Farm and FUBU.

About Lotto Sport Italia Spa

Founded in 1973, Lotto is one of the most recognized athletic brands in the world. Known for its iconic Italian design elements and leadership in product innovation, Lotto’s core product lines include soccer footwear, tennis footwear, and athletic apparel. Today, the company distributes its products in over 110 different countries, through independent sporting goods specialty retailers, specialized athletic retail chain-stores and large stores with specialized sports departments.