Founded in 1987, by Eli Levite, Johnny Was (“JW”) is a fast-growing, high-end women’s apparel company. JW is embraced by free-spirited and confident women who are drawn to the company’s unique signature aesthetic: a juxtaposition between vintage and modern, reserved and unrestrained, traditional and innovative. Johnny Was consists of a collection of brands including Johnny Was Collection, JWLA, 3J Workshop, Biya, Pete & Greta, and 4 Love and Liberty.
Having experienced rapid growth in recent years, the Levite family (majority shareholders) were evaluating various strategic alternatives to take the company to the next level while simultaneously realizing a liquidity event. The shareholders strongly believed a partner with deep knowledge of running large consumer branded companies would be in the best position to help them capitalize on the company’s various growth opportunities.
We were engaged to prepare JW for a transaction that maximizes value with a partner that recognizes the potential of the JW brands. JW ultimately entered exclusive negotiations with Endeavour Capital (“Endeavour”), a private equity firm that invests in Western U.S.-based middle market companies. Endeavour saw a collection of brands with strong customer loyalty and tremendous potential to accelerate the company’s direct-to-consumer business strategy.
We negotiated a transaction that addressed the objectives of multiple shareholders, including retention of a material ownership stake in the business.