East Coast private equity fund and Harvey & Co. team up with CEO to recapitalize Toronto-based retailer Grafton-Fraser
Harvey & Company initiated and participated in the recapitalization of Toronto, Ontario-based Grafton-Fraser Inc. in partnership with an East Coast private equity fund and the Company’s Chairman & CEO. Grafton-Fraser is a leading specialty retailer of menswear, tailored clothing and big and tall men’s apparel, operating over 170 stores throughout Canada under the Tip Top Tailor, Stonehouse, Grafton & Co., George Richards, Mr. Big & Tall and Kingsport trade names.
GB Merchant Partners Invests in Grafton-Fraser
June 27, 2007
Toronto, Ontario – GB Merchant Partners, the private equity affiliate of Gordon Brothers Group, announced the closing of an investment in Grafton-Fraser, Inc., a leading Canadian menswear retailer.
As part of the transaction, Glenn Stonehouse, Grafton-Fraser’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and controlling shareholder for the past 13 years, retained a significant ownership stake in the company and will continue to oversee its growth and expansion along with the company’s experienced management team.
“We look forward to partnering with GB Merchant Partners to continue the growth and expansion of Grafton-Fraser and its retail stores,” stated Glenn Stonehouse. “Their retail industry and investment expertise will be indispensable in facilitating our next wave of growth in the coming years.”
Over the past ten years, Grafton-Fraser has experienced significant growth including the acquisition of the Tip Top Tailor chain from Dylex in 2000. Throughout Grafton-Fraser’s history, its stores have emphasized a strong consumer value proposition based on a broad selection of fashionable items at affordable price points and high-quality customer service.
“Grafton-Fraser represents an ideal investment for our new 1903 Equity Fund as the company has a well established market position and a differentiated value proposition,” said James Dworkin, Managing Director, GB Merchant Partners. “We look forward to working with Glenn and his management team to assist the company in expanding its store base and accelerating several other compelling growth initiatives.”
About GB Merchant Partners and Gordon Brothers Group
GB Merchant Partners, LLC is the private equity affiliate of Gordon Brothers Group. GB Merchant Partners invests in companies through its 1903 Equity Fund, L.P., leveraging Gordon Brothers’ Consumer products and retail expertise. GB Merchant Partners’ Current portfolio companies include Things Remembered, a specialty retailer of personalized gifts with over 600 stores; Andrew Marc, a designer and marketer of branded outerwear; Spencer Gifts, a specialty retailer of novelty items, gifts and costumes with over 700 stores; and Laura Secord, a leading Canadian retailer and wholesaler of chocolate, ice cream and confectionary products. Past investments include Party America, the second largest party goods retailer in the U.S.; Restoration Hardware, a branded specialty retailer of home furnishings and decorative merchandise; The Bargain! Shop, a Canadian discount retailer of general merchandise; and Party City Corp., the largest party goods chain in the U.S.
Founded in 1903, Gordon Brothers is an advisory, restructuring and investment firm specializing in the retail, consumer products, real estate and industrial sectors. In addition to undertaking private equity investments, Gordon Brothers provides asset valuations and appraisals, dispositions, real estate consulting, lending and advisory services.
About Grafton-Fraser, Inc.
Headquartered in Toronto, Grafton-Fraser is a leading specialty retailer of menswear, tailored clothing and big and tall men’s apparel, operating 170 stores throughout Canada under the Tip Top Tailor, Stonehouse, Grafton & Co., George Richards, Mr. Big & Tall and Kingsport trade names. Grafton-Fraser’s original roots date back to the nineteenth century.