Growth capital fund backs leading California-based lifestyle retailer and fashion brand to fuel rapid expansion of online and wholesale business.
LOS ANGELES, APRIL 2013 – Breakwater Management, LLC (“Breakwater”) is pleased to announce the recent closing of a growth-capital investment in LSC Apparel, LLC and Ling-Su Chinn, Inc., doing business as Planet Blue, out of its Breakwater Structured Growth Opportunities Fund. Based in Los Angeles, Breakwater is a private investment firm that specializes in direct investments in leading lower middle market businesses that demonstrate attractive opportunities for growth.
Founded in 1995 by Ling-Su Chinn, Planet Blue is a designer and distributor of contemporary casual fashion apparel, jewelry, and accessories, under its own brand names Blue Life and Blu Moon, along with complementary third-party brands. With e-commerce expected to be the primary driver for upcoming growth, Planet Blue forecasts rapid sales increases based on strong customer demand online that is currently not being converted to sales due to a lack of working capital for inventory supply.
“This growth-capital financing from Breakwater will boost our e-commerce sales and prime branded wholesale lines,” said founder Ling-Su Chinn. “We are in the process of opening stores in Japan and ramping up production of branded apparel sold through Saks Fifth Avenue and other brick-and-mortar and web retailers. We are delighted to be in partnership with the team at Breakwater, and despite strong interest from various private equity groups, we selected Breakwater given its intimate understanding of our brand potential and the personal relationship values of the firm. We opted for a hybrid debt-and-equity arrangement with Breakwater, which has allowed us to retain greater ownership of the business.”
“Planet Blue has developed a strong and loyal following and its e-commerce site is poised for expansion, with triple-digit growth forecast,” said Saif Mansour, founder and Managing Partner at Breakwater. “Breakwater has the flexibility to structure investments in a way that is sensitive to existing ownership dilution. We look for businesses that need a cost-effective solution to grow, but whose owners prefer not to sell control of their company. This gives us the opportunity to provide critical capital to support growth prior to an exit event, while preserving substantial ownership for the current shareholders.”
Breakwater is a strong believer in the value of brand investing. The firm recently invested in apparel and accessories maker Bleach Group, Inc. and spa and fitness specialist Exhale Enterprises.
Breakwater Management is a private investment firm that specializes in direct investments in lower middle market growth businesses. The firm serves as General Partner of Breakwater Credit Opportunities Fund, LP, a $100 million open-ended private investment partnership organized in August 2008 under Delaware law. The Fund’s investment objective is to generate both current income and capital appreciation through secured debt investments accompanied with equity participation rights, primarily in growth-oriented companies across a variety of industries.
If you would like to know more about Breakwater, visit www.breakwaterfunds.com or call (424) 777-4000.