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EOM Stories

The Mountain Corporation Acquired By Gladstone Investment Corporation

Overview

The Mountain Corporation is a leading provider of premium quality, bold artwear apparel serving a diverse global customer base.  Operating out of three primary locations, the Company pioneered a unique mottled dye technique and proprietary screen printing processes to build an expansive portfolio of exclusive artwear designs. Since its founding in 1981, the company has created, dyed, and printed all garments in the USA using sustainable practices.

Bigelow Assignment

To proactively seek out the best next majority owner for the Company that would satisfy the personal objectives of the founders, provide a significant capital gain event, support management ownership, and continue to invest in the Company’s market and product expansion plans.

Challenges

In a challenging “me too” industry, The Mountain had successfully differentiated itself and created a nationwide following of loyal customers. A young, skilled and energetic management team was eager to take the Company to the next level, into new products, new markets and new channels of distribution. At the same time, the founding shareholders were nearing retirement, looking to remove themselves from the day-to-day operation of the business, and increasingly reluctant to make the new investments required to take advantage of the Company’s position in the market.

Could Bigelow find the right investor that would support a highly entrepreneurial culture of young motivated employees with ambitious desires to grow?

“It has been said, that for each job there are 3 different styles of accomplishment…. Laborer, who uses only their physical body. Craftsman, who uses their body and mind. Artist, who uses their body, mind, and heart. Faced with the sale of my business, having anything less than Capital Event Artists, to guide me through that event, would have been catastrophic. Thank you Bigelow team for being who you are, and I am honored to have been fortunate enough for you to have been my guides through that challenging time. The magic you conjured is now my financial freedom.” Michael Gallen, Co-Founder The Mountain Corporation
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“We introduced Bigelow to our client with the belief that a new investor would likely be needed to bring this business to its next logical level. The Bigelow team took the time to understand the nature of the business and, more importantly, to understand and explore the two owners’ real objectives. They worked with the client, their accountants and us for a couple of years to position the company in order to maximize value and better meet and exceed the owners’ objectives.” Steven Cohen, Esq., Company Counsel Devine, Millimet & Branch, P.A.

Outcome

Bigelow worked with The Mountain over a number of years, helping the Company transition its leadership, refine its strategy and sales channels, and better understand and present its financial performance. With the help of a third party market study, Bigelow and management were able to qualify the various market opportunities available, and prioritize and refine the management team’s strategic plan to grow the business. Through its proprietary engagement architecture, Bigelow identified several investors who were willing to support this plan. Based on its extensive experience investing in consumer products companies, the founders selected Gladstone Investment Corporation to partner with management and acquire The Mountain.