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Fisher Family Acquires Stake in Ariat

John Fisher will serve on the board at the equestrian apparel and accessories firm.

Gap’s founding family has acquired a stake in equestrian apparel and accessories firm Ariat International Inc.

This story first appeared in the June 8, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Fisher family, along with Ariat’s management team, has purchased the firm for an undisclosed amount from private equity firms LNK Partners and Brentwood Associates.

Beth Cross, chief executive officer and cofounder of Union City, Calif.-based Ariat, said, “We are [pleased] to be expanding our partnership with the Fisher family, who share our passion for the company and the Ariat brand. Their deep experience as business leaders will provide a strong strategic foundation for the company’s long-term growth opportunities.”

John Fisher will serve on the Ariat board. He said the family had been partners with the management team at Ariat for almost 20 years.

The company reportedly does $300 million in annual revenue and counts Georgina Bloomberg, the daughter of New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as a fan of the firm’s riding boots and breeches.

LNK Partners and Brentwood acquired their investment stake in Ariat in November 2006. LNK had said at the time it invested $61 million to acquire its minority stake.

LNK’s portfolio includes PVH Corp.’s acquisition of Tommy Hilfiger, Au Bon Pain and Natural Food Holdings. LNK partners include: David Landau, who, when he was at Apax, had invested in Spyder Active Sports and helped PVH acquire Calvin Klein; Bruce Klatsky, former chairman and ceo of PVH, and Phil Marineau, former president and ceo of Levi Strauss & Co.

Peter J. Solomon advised Ariat on the sale.