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November 26. 2012 6:54PM

Peterborough's Eastern Mountain Sports acquired by private equity firm


U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen talks with Eastern Mountain Sports President and CEO Will Manzer at the EMS Peterborough store in July. The company has been acquired by Versa Capital Management, a Philadelphia-based private equity firm. (FILE PHOTO)

PETERBOROUGH - Eastern Mountain Sports has been acquired by Philadelphia-based Versa Capital Management LLC.

Headquartered in Peterborough, outdoor retailer EMS has 69 retail locations in 12 Eastern states and employs about 1,500 people.

"With Versa on board, all EMS associates can remain focused on delivering the very best level of support to our stores and to our customers during this holiday shopping season," said EMS CEO Will Manzer in a news release. He was unavailable for comment Monday.

Versa Capital announced the acquisition on Monday, but declined to disclose additional information including the details of the terms of the purchase.

According to the release, Mark Walsh, a Versa principal and chairman of Bob's Stores, a Northeastern apparel retailer and part of the Versa portfolio, is to serve as chairman of the board of EMS.

"EMS brings a 45-year history of marketing products for serious outdoor enthusiasts; as such, it is a natural fit for our existing expertise in both the retail and outdoor sectors," said Gregory L. Segall, CEO of Versa Capital, in the news release. "With a new capital structure and the other resources that Versa can offer, EMS will have many new opportunities to develop its branded products and better serve its customers."

No major initiatives are to be considered until the company finishes the important holiday season, the companies said. Plans include exploring opportunities for Bob's Stores and EMS to collaborate, and for maintaining all of the current EMS stores.

Versa is a private equity investment firm with $1.2 billion of assets and a portfolio that includes Bob's Stores, Avenue Stores and Black Angus Steakhouses.

mpierce@newstote.com


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