For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Davis President & COO
Jim’s Formal Wear Partners with Armory Capital,
Maintaining Family Ownership and Securing Bright Company Future
ST. LOUIS (January 7, 2013) — Jim’s Formal Wear, the world’s largest wholesale formal wear rental company, announced today a partnership with Armory Capital of Champaign, Ill. This partnership represents a merger of two strong family businesses and will provide Jim’s Formal Wear the capital for future growth opportunities.
“One of the most important times for a family business comes when it’s time for one generation to help the next move into owning and leading the business, and it is now time for my son, Steve Davis, to lead this company into the future,” said Gary Davis, Chief Executive Officer. “Frequently, a transition like this involves new financing arrangements, and we are fortunate to have Armory Capital partner with us because they share our values. With the merger of these two family-owned companies, it’s ‘business as usual’ for Jim’s Formal Wear.”
Jim’s Formal Wear is headquartered in Trenton, Ill., in a state-of-the-art, 102,000-square-foot facility. The company employs over 600 people. The company also has 9 other regional service centers located throughout the United States.
The company enjoys a history of growth by acquiring other companies or operations that are a good fit with Jim’s Formal Wear business. “This partnership with Armory Capital will ensure that the resources are available when those opportunities present themselves,” Gary said.
Armory Capital is the family office for the Meyer family in Champaign, Ill. A family office is a private company with family values and culture that manages investments for an individual family and helps them diversify by investing in and holding other companies. The Armory family office includes four people from Champaign, Ill.
Steve Davis, COO of Jim’s Formal Wear, said that the Davis family was very careful in interviewing and selecting Armory Capital as the new financial partner for Jim’s Formal Wear.
“One of the top priorities was to ensure that our new partner would maintain our culture and the high level of commitment to sharing the company’s success with our team members and providing quality merchandise and service to our customers.”
Steve said they also wanted a company that invests for the long term, and Armory Capital met all of these criteria.
“As a family investment company, Armory Capital wants their portfolio company to grow, but they aren’t looking for a quick turn. Their preference is to hold investments and most importantly, they count on the existing management team to run the business because that is a big part of the reason they select an investment such as Jim’s Formal Wear.”
The financial arrangement with Armory Capital enables the Davis family to continue to have a significant investment in Jim’s Formal Wear. Steve Davis will transition from the role of President and COO to CEO over the next 12 months. Gary Davis will work closely with Steve during the transition and then enter into a long-term consulting contract to help with the transition and provide continuity.
About Jim’s Formal Wear
Jim Davis built Jim’s Formal Wear from a men’s apparel shop established by his father in 1922. Today, Jim’s Formal Wear is the largest wholesale formalwear rental company in the world, with 10 strategically located service centers that total more than 300,000 square feet of office, production and warehouse space. The company employs over 600 people and is privileged to serve nearly 6,000 menswear stores, bridal shops and other formalwear-related retailers in the country. Jim’s Formal Wear’s mission is “Doing whatever it takes to create the ultimate formal wear experience.”
About Armory Capital
Armory Capital is the family office for the Meyer family in Campaign, Ill. It is a private equity group founded by Jacob Ambrose, Rusty Freeland and Greg Lykins, in association with the August C. Meyer, Jr. family. The firm’s members have years of experience understanding the challenges and opportunities facing business owners and management teams. They believe in long-term partnerships based on mutual trust and integrity. The family has a track record of investing in and holding other companies, with deep and long roots with all of these companies.