By  on July 9, 2012

Brentwood Associates, a consumer-focused private equity investment firm in Los Angeles, said on Monday it has purchased a majority stake in Sundance Holdings Group in a deal said to be worth $100 million to $150 million. Sundance Catalog, the company’s main business, is a multichannel direct marketer and specialty retailer with annual sales estimated at $150 million.

Selling shareholders, including ACI Capital and Webster Capital, will retain a minority stake. Matey Erdos, president and chief executive officer of the Salt Lake City-based business, will remain at the helm.

“We’re looking for significant growth,” said Eric Reiter, a partner in Brentwood. “We’re looking to triple or quadruple the volume [to $450 million to $600 million]. The opportunity to grow catalogue sales, e-commerce and retail is huge. When you get the retail machine working, there’s significant growth potential. It has the potential to really scale as a business.”

Sundance Catalog was launched in 1989 by Robert Redford. It grew out of a small general store at the base of Sundance Village, the community Redford founded in 1969 to foster artistic pursuits while preserving the land in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. Much of the merchandise, including women’s apparel and accessories, jewelry and home furnishings, has a handmade or artisan quality. Reiter said Brentwood will add sportswear, basics and items to wear for travel. “It’s that greater share of wallet strategy,” he said.

Sundance Catalog operates stores in Corte Madera, Calif., and Denver. “There’s clearly an opportunity for 15-plus stores over next couple of years,” Reiter said. “Our customer exists across the country. There’s a big incentive to make retail work because multichannel shoppers are the biggest spenders. We’re also going to find new ways to reach our potential customer such as social media. The brand is global,” he said, adding that Sundance could expand internationally.

“We’ve tracked the [Sundance] business for half a decade,” Reiter said. “It stood out from the crowd. It has very high brand awareness.” The catalogue benefits from its connection with Sundance entities such as the Sundance Channel and the Sundance Institute. “They really leverage that. It has very loyal customers.”

Brentwood’s other investments include Exhale Mind Body Spa and Chamilia. “We’ve looked at a lot of companies in women’s apparel in the direct marketing space,” Reiter said. We always ask ourselves, ‘Do they have that level of engagement?’”

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