We are centered in the consumer products space. We maintain relationships with sources of capital for businesses at every stage of their life cycle, including private equity, venture capital, hedge funds, angels, banks, commercial lenders, and strategics. This network extends to wholesalers, retailers, marketplaces, industry executives, and subject matter experts. As a result, we know the right people for every type of transaction and situation.
Our focus on the modern consumer economy yields a comprehensive understanding of succeeding in today’s environment, navigating digital channels, and adapting and improving business models. It has also earned us credibility in the industry among financial sponsors and strategic parties for our holistic perspective, our practical approach, and our ability to guide transactions and businesses through a financial or strategic process. Our counsel reaches far beyond the transactional. While we excel at facilitating deals, we understand the whole business, recognize the respective challenges and opportunities, and craft strategies and solutions accordingly.
Consensus combines deep experience in the consumer space with an optimal network. The firm is ideally positioned to advise companies considering capital transactions and alternatives.
Our work in mergers and acquisitions focuses on maximizing value and alternatives. As part of every process, we review and analyze the strategy and financial performance of the business, and prepare marketing materials describing the opportunity to prospective investors. We develop and review with the company on an ongoing basis a comprehensive list of prospective investors, and conduct the overall marketing process. This includes initiating and maintaining contact with prospective investors, generating interest in the opportunity, participating in meetings and management presentations, overseeing due diligence, and soliciting and negotiating proposals.
Nine West Holdings (formerly known as the Jones Apparel Group) was a diversified holding company with multiple businesses in the apparel, footwear and jewelry industries.
The company desired to exit the footwear business and focus on its successful apparel and jewelry operations, and reduce its debt load following its 2014 leveraged buyout.
Consensus led the sale of three of the company’s footwear businesses from 2016 to 2018. First, the company sold Easy Spirit to Marc Fisher Footwear in December 2016. Next, the company sold Mootsies Tootsies to the Will-Rich Shoe company in 2017. Finally, Consensus guided the company on the sale of Bandolino and its namesake Nine West business to Authentic Brands Group in 2018. These sales netted the company in excess of $420.0 million.
Toys ‘R Us, Inc. was one of the most iconic toy retailers of all time with global sales in excess of $11.0 billion in 2017. Toys ‘R Us filed bankruptcy in August 2017 and, in March 2018, liquidated all of its Toys ‘R Us and Babies ‘R Us stores and e-commerce businesses in the U.S. and several foreign markets including the U.K., Australia, and Central Europe.
In April 2018, following its liquidation, the company sought Consensus’s assistance selling or otherwise optimizing its expansive intellectual property portfolio.
Consensus concurrently (i) ran a broad sale marketing process for all of the company’s intellectual property and (ii) explored potential alliances that could help re-launch the Toys ‘R Us and Babies ‘R Us brands in the U.S. and foreign markets. In October 2018, a group of existing Toys ‘R Us investors led by Angelo Gordon and Solus Capital Management acquired the intellectual property from the Toys ‘R Us bankruptcy estate. Subsequently, Consensus has helped the investor group form an IP holding company, retain a brand management firm and enter into discussions with parties who will help re-launch the brands globally.
The cornerstone of our work with emerging consumer brands is raising capital for growth. Our approach is tailored to the special needs of businesses that are evolving quickly. We appreciate that the challenges of newer, fast-growing businesses are different than those facing companies with a long history. As a result, we have anchored ourselves at the epicenter of the emerging brand space, with a vast network of investors and lenders that support rising brands. We understand that for emerging brands the right partner can be as important as attractive terms. The right partner can often help build and scale the business faster and more efficiently. To that end, we seek to maximize outcomes qualitatively and quantitatively with long-term value and interests in mind.
Concept AgriTek is a leading, independent crop protection and solutions company. The business was founded with a singular mission: to deliver innovative concepts to the farm, utilizing innovative technologies. By focusing on the core of agriculture: agronomy, biology and chemistry, Concept has emerged as a leader in crop protection by maximizing their customers’ yields and return on investment. Concept’s Founder and CEO Trey Curtis, owned 100% of the business.
Concept AgriTek retained Consensus as its exclusive financial advisor to assist in finding the right partner to position the company for continued, rapid growth. Consensus explored partnerships with minority and control investors, which included both strategic and financial investors.
Consensus ran a competitive sale process that generated unprecedented interest from minority and control investors. Consensus helped Concept AgriTek review a number of opportunities whereby Lineage Capital, and its minority recapitalization structure, was deemed to be the best partner to fulfill Mr. Curtis’ goals and objectives.
FitVine makes and sells better-for-you wines characterized by lower sugar, carbohydrates, nitrates, and sulfates than most traditional wines.
Having developed a distribution network covering all 50 states and earning shelf space from major wine specialty and grocery stores throughout the country, FitVine desired to raise value-added growth capital to help maintain its momentum and build the infrastructure needed to fuel its growth.
Consensus guided the company through a $30.0 million growth capital raise from The BERKS Group, a family office based in Kansas City, Missouri with substantial financial resources and extensive experience in media, marketing and the better-for-you food market.
High-Quality Nutrition LLC, operating as Kettlebell Kitchen, offers dietician-developed heat-and-eat meals to people with health, fitness and/or weight loss goals. Most of Kettlebell Kitchen’s meals are delivered to its customers’ gyms, significantly reducing delivery costs to the company and its customers.
Having successfully proven its model in multiple markets, the company sought growth capital to expand to multiple new markets throughout the country.
Consensus managed a growth capital raise that resulted in an infusion of cash into the company and liquidity to shareholders of $26.7 million
We help investors, lenders, boards of directors, and acquirers conduct due diligence, assess investment and acquisition opportunities, and provide valuation and fairness opinion services. Our analytical and valuation services team has diverse experience including accounting, financial, legal and operations backgrounds - all within the consumer and retail industries. We offer extensive due diligence services, analyzing for our clients all aspects of the target company. We provide valuation services, including fairness opinions in public transactions, that incorporate our extensive transactional experience in determining the true value of a consumer-facing business. We provide benchmarking services, enabling our clients to compare themselves or their targets to peer businesses in a number of analytical categories. We prepare financial models for clients that include extensive sensitization of key variables so that all likely scenarios can be fully assessed.
Centric Brands was formerly known as Differential Brands Group, a publicly-traded apparel, footwear, and accessories company. Its owned brands include Hudson, Robert Graham, and SWIMS.
Differential Brands desired to transformatively expand its portfolio and operating capabilities. The company entered into an agreement to acquire the majority of Global Brands Group’s North American business for $1.2 billion. The acquired business owns Kids Headquarters, among other brands, and licenses such brands as Calvin Klein, Under Armour, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Kate Spade and entertainment properties including Disney, Marvel, and Nickelodeon.
Consensus was retained by Differential Brands to advise the company’s board of directors on the fairness of the purchase price from a financial point of view. Subsequently, Consensus issued a fairness opinion to the board. The transaction was consummated, and the company changed its name to Centric Brands to reflect its position as a leading lifestyle brands collective platform. With combined revenues of $2.3 billion, Centric has best-in-class operating capabilities supporting its brands across kids’ wear, women’s and men’s apparel and accessories serving consumers through diversified retail and digital channels.
Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc. is a domestic subsidiary of Mitsui Group, one of the largest conglomerates in Japan and one of the largest corporate groups in the world.
Mitsui sought to invest in Indochino, a fast-growing North American brand selling made-to-measure suits and apparel over the internet and through a growing number of physical locations.
Consensus provided extensive commercial due diligence including benchmarking and other analytics on Indochino’s business in support of Mitsui’s 2018 growth capital investment.