By  on July 12, 2005

NEW YORK — Gordon Brothers has acquired one of its competitors, The Ozer Group.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Boston, Mass.-based Gordon Brothers, doing business for more than 100 years, is a global advisory firm, which also helps firms dispose of a range of assets as well as provide debt financing and facilitation of transactions on the mergers and acquisitions front. Ozer Group is a 10-year-old firm known in retail and wholesale circles for its expertise in appraisals and dispositions of assets.

As part of the acquisition, Ozer will close its offices in Needham, Mass., and its professionals will relocate to GB's Boston headquarters. Several senior Ozer executives have worked at GB before, including Stephen G. Miller and William S. Weinstein. Miller and Weinstein, who founded Ozer, will become principals of GB.

"We want to build on our already strong position at a time when more and more clients are realizing that appraisals, dispositions and the management of operations are not commodity services," said Michael Frieze, chairman of Gordon Brothers Group, in a statement.

Mark Schwartz, GB's chief executive officer, said the acquisition will give GB a broader platform through additional resources to expand its business, both in scope and the industries its clients are in.

"Ozer is a firm that we've known for quite some time. The founding principles are from GB, and we've been competing with them for the last nine years ... We started talking about it a year ago, exploring the possibility [of an acquisition], and we finally pulled it off. We are bringing a great team to complement our own," Schwartz said.

GB is active in the retail and apparel sectors, particularly through its investment arm, GB Palladin. In addition to the usual asset dispositions on the retail side, from inventory to real estate, the firm has made investments in Restoration Hardware, Spencer Gifts and Laura Secord, Canada's premier chocolate brand and retailer. Last year, through GB Palladin, it completed a recapitalization of Andrew Marc.

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