New Era Cap Completes Oversubscribed Refinancing, Fueling Speculation of IPO Plans

For over a century, New Era Cap has remained one of the most recognizable names in hat manufacturing.

While best known as the official hat licensing partner for Major League Baseball and the National Football League, the prestige of the Buffalo-based company, New York, has also been fueled by luxe collaborations with the likes of Yves Saint Laurent and Fear of God.

Led by Christopher H. Koch, the family-owned company’s fourth-generation CEO, New Era has just completed an oversubscribed refinancing managed by Bank of America Corp. and co-led by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., and Truist Financial Corp. Total debt package is $775 millionwhich includes a US$525 million term loan and a US$250 million revolver.

“The commitments we received on our debt package exceeded by more than 40%,” Kevin Wilson, New Era’s chief financial officer, said in a telephone interview. “That’s why we’re pleased that people trusted New Era and liked what they saw in a financial profile to invest in us.”

The issuance of the loan is the latest sign that banks are willing to lend to select companies poised for growth, as mergers have slowed significantly this year.

Koch, following in the footsteps of his father David Koch, has been with the company for over 40 years working in various roles before assuming the top job in 2002. New Era’s refinancing now offers greater liquidity flexibility, he said.

Having grown the company to generate more than $1 billion in revenue by 2022, there is speculation that New Era could soon file for an initial public offering. Koch declined to comment on specific IPO plans, stressing that no decision has been made.

“I have a lot of fuel in the tank”, Koch said when asked about the future of the company. “I see myself leading a publicly traded company,” he added.

MLB, the NFL and the National Basketball Association became minority owners of New Era as part of a deal last year with existing sponsor ACON Investments, according to a statement at the time.

New Era Cap designs, markets and distributes more than 200 million garments and headwear annually, that statement shows.

2023-09-07 23:29:03
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