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Simms Fishing Products Prepares for Exciting Future By Teaming with Castanea Partners

Posted on July 07 2017

Simms-wordmark-7579cFrom Simms Fishing Products:

Simms Fishing Products announced today that it has received a long-term investment from Castanea Partners. Founded in 1980 by John Simms, and acquired by current President K.C. Walsh in 1993, Simms is the industry leader in performance fishing gear, apparel and footwear. Simms operates the only wader manufacturing facility in the U.S.A., on-site at their headquarters in Bozeman.  The company’s products are distributed through over 1,200 specialty retail stores worldwide, and directly to consumers through www.simmsfishing.com.

“Simms is singularly-focused on delivering the most technical fishing gear to ensure that anglers of all types enjoy their best days on the water,” said Tim Burke, a partner at Castanea. “They are seen as the authority on fabric, performance, durability and comfort. Simms’ brand is synonymous with quality. We are now working with K.C. Walsh and his team to build upon their success and to continue providing world-class products to their loyal and passionate group of customers.”

Simms has already been putting the new investment to good use, including key hires like Mike Moore, VP of Global Sales, and Al Perkinson, EVP of Marketing.  In addition, Simms also plans to increase its investment in retail marketing and its support of conservation organizations — both initiatives were key to their selection of Castanea as a partner.

“When we evaluated our first major outside financial partner, we were looking for an established long-term partner with deep retail and operational expertise as well a proven track record of building successful consumer packaged goods and apparel brands,” shared K.C. Walsh.  “Rob Smith, the founder of Castanea and former CEO of Neiman Marcus, now serves on our board, and understands the importance of specialty retail to the future development of our company.  He’s also a serious angler, and will be a great partner to Simms and our industry.”

In addition to Smith, Tim Burke and Kirk Beardsley have joined the Simms board.  Burke has extensive experience helping build technical and lifestyle apparel businesses during his 19 years of branded consumer product investing.  Beardsley brings extensive experience in retail and ecommerce marketing, and is currently the Executive Vice President of Marketing at Nordstrom.  All three board members are passionate anglers.

When asked about their future plans, Walsh shared, “In the coming years, Simms intends to expand our workforce in Bozeman and invest additional funds on product development, operations and marketing.  All with the desire to connect anglers to their best days on the water.”

About Simms Fishing Products:
Established in 1980, Montana-based Simms is the preeminent manufacturer of waders, footwear, outerwear and technical apparel in fishing. The full line of Simms gear is available at specialty and large format retailers nationwide as well as simmsfishing.com
About Castanea Partners:
Castanea Partners is a middle-market, consumer-focused private equity firm founded by operating executives and private equity professionals. The firm partners with promising, small and mid-sized consumer product and services brands, including companies in fashion apparel, food and beverage, sporting goods and outdoor businesses. More information about Castanea Partners is available at www.castaneapartners.com.

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