WEBBERVILLE, MI (March 29, 2016) – J. America, Inc. announced today the recapitalization of the company in partnership with Cleveland-based private equity firm, Blue Point Capital Partners. J. America will be the sixth platform investment for Blue Point III, the firm’s third middle-market buyout fund.
With over 4,000 customers throughout the country, J. America has been serving the licensed apparel and promotional products industry for more than twenty years. J. America recently won the historic opportunity to be the exclusive non-sideline supplier to The Ohio State University, as OSU became one of the first major universities to grant an exclusive license. The company was founded by Jeff Fenech, Jeff Radway and Peter Ruhala, who will continue to run the business and own a significant stake in the company.
“J. America has been on a rapid growth path, doubling revenues to over $100 million in the past five years. Blue Point’s strategic focus, e-commerce expertise and access to significant resources both in the U.S. and in Asia will further enhance our ability to provide industry-leading designs in apparel and headwear to our customers,” said Jeff Fenech, co-founder of J. America. “We have great opportunities ahead of us to grow our business and are very excited about working with the Blue Point team to take advantage of them.”
Blue Point (www.bluepointcapital.com) has been partnering with fast-growing, highly profitable companies for over 15 years. Blue Point, with additional offices in Charlotte, Seattle and Shanghai, typically recapitalizes businesses in partnership with management, as is the case with J. America.
“J. America is unique in its ability to grow quickly in both the licensed and wholesale blanks apparel and headwear markets. With a groundbreaking exclusive partnership with Ohio State University and strength in product design and sourcing, J. America is very well-positioned to continue that growth. We want to help bring tools to the company to enable them to double revenues again over the next five years,” said Chip Chaikin, a partner with Blue Point. “We look forward to a successful and rewarding partnership with its talented management team.”
Jeff Radway, co-founder, said, “We’re excited for the next phase of our company’s growth and look forward to continuing to produce innovative products, while partnering with our customers and key brands to yield best-in-class results.”
Pete Ruhala, co-founder, added, “From the company’s origin in college bookstores over 20 years ago it has grown into over $100 million in revenues in all channels – bookstore, mass, specialty retail, department store and e-commerce. We have a product and channel breadth that leads the industry and we look forward to working with Blue Point to continue the growth.”
Founded in 1992, J. America has grown to become one of the largest custom decorated apparel companies in the United States. One of the leading sportswear companies to the collegiate, resort, corporate and high school markets, J. America is also the global apparel licensee for John Deere. The company is a leader in corporate social responsibility and is an active member of the Fair Labor Association.