OSAGE, Iowa — November 15, 2016 — LongWater Opportunities, an operationally-focused private equity firm headquartered in Dallas, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Fox River Mills Inc., a 116-year-old sock manufacturer, from the Lessard family, who have owned and managed the business since 1975.
Fox River is a producer of high quality, knitted technical socks and handwear for the outdoor, athletic, and casual markets. Founded in 1900, Fox River is the longest, continuously-running hosiery brand in the U.S. and proudly manufactures all of its products in its 240,000 square foot, world-class facility in Osage, Iowa. Fox River manufactures socks and handwear products marketed under the Fox River brand name and maintains private label programs for many major brands and retailers worldwide. Fox River is also known for several trademarks, including Wick Dry®, Scentry™, and the Original Rockford Red Heel® Monkey sock — used to make the iconic children’s toy, the sock monkey.
Fox River President and Co-Owner John Lessard noted: “We knew it was important to find a partner that believed in U.S. manufacturing and investing in the people and the community. We believe we’ve found that in LongWater. We’re excited about the future of Fox River Mills.”
Additionally, Brenda Dryer, the executive director for the Mitchell County (Iowa) Economic Development Commission, commented: “We have had an outstanding working relationship with the Lessard family. We look forward to the opportunity to work with LongWater Opportunities, and stand ready to be of assistance during this time of transition.”
Fox River, the fourth investment in LongWater’s second equity fund, will be a division of Standard Merchandising Co., a Camden, N.J.-based domestic manufacturer of socks and hosiery products acquired by LongWater in December 2015. Jordan Bastable, a partner at LongWater, said: “Fox River is an incredible American brand that has been forged over a century and has been steadfast in its commitment to quality and technical performance. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to provide operational support and ensure the brand is around for another 100+ years.”
Laura Johnson, CEO, Standard Merchandising Co., added, “Fox River Mills has the unique blend of heritage and innovation as hallmarks of the brand. We value the rich history and deep expertise of the Fox River team and look forward to developing careers and commerce in Osage and the surrounding communities.”
Posted November 28, 2016
Source: Fox River Mills, Inc.