New Balance Affiliate, PE Firm Acquire Rockport

New Balance Affiliate, PE Firm Acquire Rockport

Berkshire Partners LLC, a Boston-based investment firm, together with New Balance Holding Inc., the investment arm of New Balance, completed the acquisition of The Rockport Company from the Adidas Group.

The Rockport Company is a leading designer and marketer of high-quality comfort footwear for men and women.

As part of the transaction, Drydock Footwear LLC, currently a New Balance affiliate and home to the Cobb Hill, Aravon and Dunham brands, will join together with The Rockport Company to form The Rockport Group with Bob Infantino serving as CEO. The Rockport Group, which will remain based in the greater Boston area, will be a new stand-alone company offering quality dress and casual footwear to customers globally across four brands – Rockport, Cobb Hill, Aravon and Dunham.

Rockport, headquartered in Canton, MA, was founded more than 40 years ago, when father and son, Saul and Bruce Katz, hit the roads of New England selling shoes out of their trunk. Their vision, which continues to inspire Rockport products today, was to utilize innovative sports technology to create a unique level of comfort in dress and casual shoes. Rockport products are sold through a multi-channel network of leading wholesale partners, as well as through the company’s retail stores and website.

Drydock was founded in May 2011 when Infantino, an industry veteran with a history of building and leading footwear brands, joined with global athletic leader New Balance to create an independent business committed to delivering innovative, on-trend and comfortable dress and casual shoes across three brands Cobb Hill, Aravon and Dunham.

Goodwin Procter LLP served as legal counsel to Berkshire Partners and New Balance Holding, Inc.