Nation’s oldest and largest manufacturer of writing instruments poised for expansion
LOS ANGELES (November 16, 2017) Transom Capital Group today announced it has acquired the assets of A.T. Cross Company (“Cross”), a leading manufacturer of fine writing instruments and related accessories. The new company, which owns and operates the Cross® and Sheaffer® brands, will be led by the incumbent management team, ensuring continuity with product development, distribution and the supply chain, but with new capital to enable growth across Cross’s excellent heritage brands.
“The Cross transaction fits well with the investment strategy of Transom Capital and will allow us to partner with management in executing our ARMOR℠ value creation process,” said Russ Roenick, Managing Partner of Transom Capital. “The iconic Cross and Sheaffer brands have tremendous history and recognition in the U.S. and globally, and are positioned well with specialty distributors, mass retailers, and ecommerce players, bringing with them an outstanding legacy of fine writing products that have been passed down through generations. We look forward to growing these two exceptional brands around the world.”
With operations across the globe, Cross markets and distributes a wide range of fine writing instruments worldwide. Its product lines include pens, refills, and other accessories such as glasses and stationery products. The transaction will enable Cross to invest in innovative product development and expand into adjacent categories and markets.
“This transaction represents an inflection point in our strategy to grow the Cross and Sheaffer brands,” said Cross CEO Robert Baird. “Our brand and product strategies are greatly enhanced going forward with access to growth capital. Transom is an exciting partner as they have experience in branded consumer products and a great track record of growing premium brands. They share a commitment to our core values of product quality and customer focus, and we are looking forward to working together to bring Cross and Sheaffer to the next level.”
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Latham & Watkins acted as M&A counsel and Greenberg Traurig acted as debt counsel for Transom Capital in the transaction.
About Transom Capital Group
Transom Capital Group is a Los Angeles-based private equity firm with an operational focus to private equity investing in the lower-middle-market. The Transom Capital team has a proven track record of investing in, restructuring, monitoring and growing lower-middle-market businesses for the long-term. Key to this success is its unique hands-on approach to partnership and proprietary ARMOR℠ value creation process (Acquisition, Restructuring, Monitoring & Operations, and Return) that provide operational involvement and support to each portfolio company without overwhelming the management team. Transom Capital invests in businesses across multiple industries where its unique team of professionals can bring the experience, energy, and expertise required to maximize the value-added to each company. Transom Capital is headquartered in Los Angeles, California with an additional office in Seattle.
About A.T. Cross Company
A.T. Cross Company is the largest and oldest manufacturer of fine writing instruments in the United States. The company was founded in 1846 in Providence, RI. Today, Cross markets and sells fine writing instruments, journals, stationary products, desk accessories and reading glasses. Cross distributes products under both the Cross and Sheaffer brands. The reputation of Cross is such that it has been the official supplier of pens to the White House since the 1970s. The company’s corporate headquarters is in Providence, Rhode Island and global subsidiary locations include China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, the United Kingdom and Mexico. All manufacturing is conducted in China at the Cross China location apart from the 18k and 21k gold writing instruments and the presidential writing instruments, which are manufactured in Warwick, RI at the Dean warehouse.