Rockport Is Sold Again, Gregg Ribatt Takes Reins as CEO

Charlesbank Capital Partners has officially acquired the assets of The Rockport Group — and industry veteran Gregg Ribatt has been tapped lead the brand as CEO.

The sale of the company’s assets was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on July 18.

The deal includes Rockport’s North American wholesale and e-commerce operations, all of the brand’s international operations and retail stores and the Aravon and Dunham brands. According to a statement from Charlesbank, Rockport “has emerged with its balance sheet largely deleveraged and with significant capital available for acquisitions and future growth.”

Rockport penny moc fall '18
Rockport women’s penny moc for fall ’18.
CREDIT: George Chinsee

As he looks to move the business forward, Ribatt will tap into his extensive experience. He has led companies such as Crocs, Collective Brands Performance & Lifestyle Group (Sperry-Top Sider, Saucony, Keds and Stride Rite) and Stuart Weitzman.

“This is an exciting day for Rockport,” the exec said in a release. “After significant hard work from the Rockport team, we emerge as a better company with a solid capital base, ready to capitalize on the potential for growth in both men’s and women’s footwear and to build on Rockport’s excellent brand awareness, diverse product line and strong legacy. I am fully confident that, together, we are on the path to a stronger future.”

“Gregg has terrific leadership experience in the industry, and we are delighted to be partnering with him and the Rockport team to continue strengthening this business,” added Josh Beer, a Charlesbank managing director.

The sale announcement comes just days after a court approved-settlement was reached involving Adidas, Rockport’s former owner. The athletic giant had said it was owed about $54 million by bankrupt Rockport. According to the settlement reached, Adidas will collect $8 million.

As previously reported, Adidas — which owned Rockport until 2015 — first objected to Rockport’s proposed bankruptcy sale to CB Marathon Opco, LLC, an affiliate of Charlesbank Capital Partners, LLC, alleging the transaction would shortchange the brand’s former owner by millions of dollars.

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