Press Release

Mesirow Advises Ray Allen Manufacturing, a portfolio company of Benford Capital Partners and Coppermine Capital, on its Sale to Brighton Partners

• Ray Allen Manufacturing is the leading manufacturer and direct marketer of professional K9 training products
• Mesirow acted as the exclusive financial advisor on this transaction, highlighting the firm’s continued track record in the consumer and eCommerce sectors

CHICAGO, June 11, 2024 – Mesirow, an independent, employee-owned financial services firm, has announced it acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Ray Allen Manufacturing, LLC (“Ray Allen” or the “Company”), a portfolio company of Benford Capital Partners ("Benford Capital" or "BCP") and Coppermine Capital (“Coppermine”), on its sale to Brighton Partners, LLC (“Brighton”).

Founded in 1948 in Colorado Springs, CO, Ray Allen manufactures and markets military-grade K9 training gear. It offers a diversified suite of high-end products including collars, harnesses, muzzles and bite work gear, constructed using the finest and highest rated materials and proven to withstand extreme conditions. The Company maintains key customer relationships across law enforcement, military, homeland security, correctional, professional and drug enforcement fields including some of the leading influencers in the professional K-9 world who serve as brand ambassadors to the prosumer and consumer segments.

“Mesirow's extensive knowledge of eCommerce, along with their strong relationships in the private equity community was pivotal in identifying the perfect partner for the existing management team to uphold and invest in the Company's 75-year legacy,” said JD Snowden, President of Ray Allen.

Eric Markin, Director of Mesirow Investment Banking said, “Ray Allen is truly the pioneer in building the best gear in the professional K9 market. The partnership between Brighton and the management team will continue to support the growth and strategy of the Company.”

Edward Benford, Managing Director at Benford Capital, stated “Ray Allen has been an industry leader for more than 75 years. We are proud to have supported the Company’s growth while preserving its unique culture and heritage. Over the course of our investment, we worked closely with management to diversify the customer base, expand the online direct business, and complete two add-on acquisitions. We look forward to following Ray Allen’s continued success with Brighton Partners.”

Rocky Pontikes, Co-Head of Mesirow Investment Banking said, "We appreciated the opportunity to represent Ray Allen and BCP in this transaction. The Company and Brighton Partners have a shared vision for the future and an ongoing commitment to providing high-quality service and innovative solutions. This strategic partnership will enable Ray Allen to continue delivering best-in-class products to their customers.”

The sale of Ray Allen represents another successful consumer and eCommerce assignment completed by Mesirow Investment Banking. Mesirow Investment Banking has completed over 325 transactions in recent years across its covered verticals. Committed to leveraging extensive sector-specific expertise across industry groups and nurturing deep longstanding relationships, Mesirow has a proven track record of completing highly tailored and successful transactions on behalf of its clients.

About Mesirow 
Mesirow is an independent, employee-owned financial services firm founded in 1937. Headquartered in Chicago, with locations around the world, we serve clients through a personal, custom approach to reaching financial goals and acting as a force for social good. With capabilities spanning Global Investment Management, Capital Markets & Investment Banking, and Advisory Services, we invest in what matters: our clients, our communities and our culture. To learn more, visit mesirow.com and follow us on LinkedIn and subscribe to Spark, our quarterly newsletter.

Mesirow was recently named one of the Best Places to Work in Chicago by Crain’s Chicago Business and one of the Top 100 RIA firms by Barron’s.

About Ray Allen Manufacturing, LLC
Ray Allen Manufacturing, LLC is the leading manufacturer and direct marketer of professional canine training products to the law enforcement, military and working dog niche markets. The Company sells a full suite of Ray Allen branded and third party branded products through its websites, as well as via traditional sales channels and bid processes. For more information, visit www.rayallen.com.

About Benford Capital Partners
Founded in 2004, Benford Capital is a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on buying and building leading lower middle market companies in partnership with founders and management. Since inception, Benford Capital has acquired more than 50 companies and currently owns 15 platform companies. BCP’s industry areas of focus include industrial technology, food and consumer products, agricultural products and services, and B2B e-commerce. BCP is currently investing from its $200 million Fund II and has approximately $350 million of total capital under management. For more information, visit www.benfordcapital.com.  

About Coppermine Capital
Founded in 2002, Coppermine Capital is a Concord, Massachusetts-based private investment firm focused on providing flexible, long-term solutions.  Coppermine partners with management teams across the following industries: healthcare services, business services, food and beverage, niche manufacturing and impact. For more information, visit www.copperminecapital.com.

About Brighton Partners, LLC
Founded in 2003, Brighton Partners is an Atlanta, Georgia-based private equity firm targeting small businesses with $10 to $50 million of revenue. Brighton is currently investing out of its second committed fund, making control equity investments in profitable companies with significant potential for long-term growth. For more information, visit www.bpequity.com.

Nothing contained herein constitutes an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any Mesirow investment vehicle(s). Mesirow Financial, Inc. is not affiliated with Ray Allen Manufacturing, LLC, Brighton Partners, LLC, or their affiliates. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Mesirow refers to Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc. and its divisions, subsidiaries and affiliates. The Mesirow name and logo are registered service marks of Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc. © 2024. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Mesirow Financial, Inc. member FINRA, SIPC.

2022 Crain’s Best Places to Work (Received August 2022 reflective of previous 12 months – Licensing fees paid post award for use of the ranking). Best Companies Group (BCG), an independent workplace excellence research firm, conducted a two-part survey. Part one, consisted of an employer questionnaire, used to collect information about benefits, policies, practices, and other general information. Part two was a confidential 77-question employee survey used to evaluate local employee’s workplace experience and culture. Rankings and/or recognition by unaffiliated rating services and/or publications are not indicative of a firm’s future performance nor do they evaluate the quality of services provided to clients or guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results if Mesirow is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services, nor should they be construed as a current or past endorsement of Mesirow by any of its clients.

2023 Barron’s Top RIAs (Received September 2023 for the year 2022 – Licensing fees paid post award for use of the ranking). In order to be considered for the Barron’s 2023 Top RIA Firms list, applicants were required to complete a 145-question survey, with the firm’s ADV informing the majority of responses. Firms were also required to meet a number of other specified requirements to be eligible for inclusion. Firms were ranked based on various qualitative and quantitative factors, including assets managed, the size and experience of teams, regulatory records of the advisors and firms, technology spending, staff diversity, organic and M&A growth, client segmentation as well as succession planning.

 

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