July 8, 2021
Cascadia Capital, an investment bank serving middle market clients globally, is pleased to announce its client Air Waves, a market-leading design and technology driven print-on demand (“POD”) apparel company serving e-commerce customers, has been acquired by Hybrid Apparel, a portfolio company of Altamont Capital Partners. Cascadia acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Air Waves in the transaction.
Air Waves was founded in 1981 as a traditional contract screen printer. CEO Kyle Kantner acquired Air Waves in 2009 and transformed the business into a tech-enabled e-commerce leader with full-service, integrated print-on-demand and drop-shipping, leading design capabilities, and advanced technology integrations. In addition to its native retailer integrations, Air Waves also offers a Shopify App (Air Waves: Print on Demand) that provides a full-service apparel solution for content creators and social media influencers to commercialize their own brands with end-to-end production support from Air Waves.
Hybrid Apparel is a full-service design, development, sourcing, production and apparel distribution company, with expertise in customer delivery and service across a wide range of apparel categories and geographies. As the industry leader in brand and licensing management, Hybrid supports the best global and national brands as well as global licensed properties across media and entertainment, music, gaming, food & beverage, auto, lifestyle and more. Hybrid is a proud vendor to many of the largest apparel retailers in the United Sates.
The partnership between Hybrid Apparel and Air Waves marks the beginning of a very exciting chapter for both companies, as it creates one of the largest omnichannel wholesalers of licensed, branded and private label apparel. The combined company provides best-in-class support to major national apparel chains across all channels, supporting both in-store and inventory-light e-commerce merchandising.
“Air Waves is a best-in-class digital print on demand and e-commerce technology provider and has developed a market leading set of supply chain solutions and capabilities. We are beyond excited to bring POD to all our customers,” said Hybrid Apparel’s CEO Bill Hutchison. “When you combine best-in-class creative and content with exceptional technology and infrastructure capabilities, you unlock a lot more opportunity for our collective retail, license and lifestyle brand partners. We look forward to continuing to build our industry leading global platform with Air Waves.”
“We have seen tremendous growth at Air Waves in recent years as online demand has soared and customers have recognized the value of our efficient on-demand digital solution. I’m really proud of our team who has helped build Air Waves into the scalable digital platform that it is today. We are ready for the next chapter of accelerated growth with our new partner, Hybrid,” said Mr. Kantner. ”Cascadia was invaluable in putting together a creative transaction that meets the needs of all stakeholders and positions the combined businesses perfectly in a rapidly changing market.”
”The apparel market shifted permanently during the COVID-19 pandemic as ecommerce penetration accelerated dramatically,” said James Cartales, Cascadia Senior Vice President, commenting on the transaction. “As consumer purchasing behaviors stabilize at the ‘new normal,’ apparel retailers need suppliers that can effectively service all of their channels in a cohesive manner that maximizes revenue potential both in-store and online. The combined Hybrid/Air Waves business is uniquely-positioned as a best-of-breed apparel company that fits this mold and raises the bar for the whole industry.”
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