PE Firms Buy Como Fred David

GB Merchant Partners and Crystal Capital have acquired Como Fred David, a maker of private label and branded women's tops. No pricing terms were disclosed for the deal, which included leveraged financing from CIT Commercial Services.


GB Merchant Partners, the investment management affiliate of Gordon Brothers Group, in partnership with Crystal Capital, announced today that it acquired Como Fred David, a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of private label and branded women's tops.

As part of the transaction, Como's principals, Paul Ostrov, Co-President and Chief Executive Officer, and Andy Kirstein, Co-President and Chief Merchandising Officer, will retain a significant ownership stake in the new company, and will continue to oversee its growth and expansion along with its existing, seasoned management team.

“As we continue to expand our product offerings and strive to be the best source of fashionable apparel to our retail partners, we needed a partner that had a comprehensive understanding of both the retail and financial markets,” stated Paul Ostrov. “GB Merchant Partners is uniquely situated to deliver on both fronts and we look forward to working closely with them to facilitate our next wave of growth.”

Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Como is a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of private label and branded women's apparel, primarily fashionable blouses, shirts and sweaters to leading retailers in the United States and Canada.

“We are very excited about our investment in Como. Paul and Andy have built a great team that places product quality and customer satisfaction at the core of everything they do. This is evident as they continue to build their business in the challenging retail and economic environment,” said Matthew Kahn, Managing Director, GB Merchant Partners.

Kahn added that the team at GB Merchant Partners is looking forward to working with Ostrov and Kirstein and their entire management team to assist the Company in expanding its product offering and pursuing a shared vision for the Company.

The debt financing for the transaction was provided by CIT Commercial Services.

About GB Merchant Partners

GB Merchant Partners, LLC (“GBMP”) is the investment management affiliate of Gordon Brothers Group, with over $500 million of capital under management. The firm focuses on private equity, structured loan and secondary debt investments. Private equity investments are made through GBMP's 1903 Equity Fund, which takes majority and minority equity positions in middle-market retail and consumer products companies. GB Merchant Partners leverages Gordon Brothers Group's consumer products and retail expertise, and prefers to partner with management teams to complete a buyout, fund growth or facilitate a restructuring. Current private equity portfolio companies include: Como Fred David, Clair de Lune, Deb Shops, Grafton Fraser, Things Remembered, Toys R Us, Dollarama, Laura Secord and Amscan. To learn more about GBMP please visit ( ).

About Crystal Capital

Established by a team of experienced financial professionals, Crystal Capital is an investment firm that provides capital for middle market companies across all industries. The founding principals each have over 25 years of experience and have provided in excess of $15 billion in creative capital commitments for buyouts, recapitalizations, refinancings and growth opportunities.