Igloo Products Corp., the well-known maker of ice chests and beverage coolers, has been acquired by private equity firm J.H. Whitney & Co.
No purchase price was disclosed. Igloo operates 1.4 million square feet of manufacturing space in Katy, Texas, where it is based. The 1,200-employee firm has its own blow molding and injection molding operations, making containers, handles, liners and insulation for its products.
Igloo was founded in 1946 and has been owned by investment firm Westar Capital of Costa Mesa, Calif., since 2001. Company officials declined to provide an estimate of annual sales.
Igloo management, including President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Morley, will remain in place. Gary Kiedaisch a 35-year veteran of the outdoor products industry will join Igloo as chairman of the form's board of directors.
``Our consumers and retail partners will see an accelerated focus on and expansion of innovative new products with the support provided by our new owners,'' Morley said in an Oct. 13 news release.
J.H. Whitney also established in 1946 is one of the oldest U.S. private equity firms. The main activity of the New Canaan, Conn.-based firm is to provide equity capital for small and middle market companies. J.H. Whitney currently owns 21 portfolio companies, including nutritional supplement maker Herbalife and The North Face, a producer of outdoor apparel.
``J.H. Whitney is committed to investing in product development, expanding into new categories and growing the Igloo brand worldwide,'' said Paul Vigano, an executive with the firm.