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Igloo Products sold to private equity firm

By: Frank Esposito

April 4, 2014

Iconic plastic products maker Igloo Products Corp. has been sold to private equity form ACON Investments of Washington.

No sale price was listed in an April 2 news release from investment bank Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc., which assisted Igloo on the sale. Katy, Texas-based Igloo had been owned since 2008 by private equity firm J.H. Whitney Capital Partners of New Canaan, Conn.

Whitney will retain a small stake in Igloo.

Igloo is best known for its line of coolers. The firm says it’s the top cooler brand in sales and the top brand in consumer recognition. Company officials estimate that Igloo it makes 20 million products in Katy each year.

In a March 31 news release, ACON founding partner Ken Brotman said that his firm “is excited to have the Igloo brand and its accomplished leadership team join ACON’s portfolio of companies.” He added that Igloo “has demonstrated solid performance through its long-tenured relationships with its customers and has built a strong foundation for continued success and expansion through its core products.”

In the same release, Igloo Chairman and CEO Gary Kiedaisch said that Whitney “has been an excellent partner for Igloo’s initial growth strategy, helping us achieve exceptional organic growth over the past five years.”

He added that the Igloo management team “is looking forward to working with ACON to further grow and leverage the extensive platform the company has established.”

ACON “brings fresh capital and resources to Igloo, and their diversified portfolio and expertise provides Igloo with the ability to penetrate new markets and categories through product extensions and acquisitions,” Kiedaisch said.

In January, Igloo management said that the firm had hired 250 more workers in late 2013 and that it was in the process of opening a new warehouse and distribution center in Texas. The opening of a 420,000-square-foot distribution center and warehouse in Katy will bring Igloo's base there up to 1.8 million square feet of production, development and shipping space. The site also will be able to accommodate future expansion.