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Mechanix Wear Acquires PPE Maker Chicago Protective Apparel

Mechanix Wear, a maker and marketer of high-performance work gloves, said it has acquired Chicago Protective Apparel (CPA), a 108 year-old manufacturer of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Mechanix Wear is a portfolio company of middle-market private equity firm Gryphon Investors. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Skokie, Ill., CPA manufactures and offers an extensive line of more than 20,000 products for arc flash, foundry and welding applications. The company’s previous owners, Scott and Myrna Sherman, are retiring after 30 years of service. Vice president John Merikoski will remain with the company as director of production, along with other members of the management team.

“Our two-year partnership with Gryphon has accelerated our growth and positioned us to expand beyond our core line of work gloves,” Mechanix Wear CEO Michael Hale said. “CPA’s culture of quality and focus on innovation synchronize with Mechanix Wear’s mission of bringing the latest design and material innovation to gloves for working hands. Moving forward, we will integrate and expand on CPA’s product portfolio by looking beyond conventional ideas to innovate the most advanced PPE possible.”

Based in San Francisco, Gryphon Investors is a private equity firm that makes equity investments of $50 million to $300 million in portfolio companies with enterprise values ranging from approximately $100 million to $600 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form strong partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, specialized professional resources and operational expertise.

“We are now in a great position to grow and we are delighted to team up with such an iconic brand as Mechanix Wear,” Merikoski said. “With their support, and with Gryphon’s capital and operational resources behind us, we expect to invest in continued innovation and customer satisfaction both domestically and abroad.”

Headquartered in Valencia, Calif., Mechanix Wear sells its products in more than 20,000 retail locations across more than 70 countries and through industrial distributors.