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Bob’s Stores and EMS in new holding company


Versa Capital Management has formed a new holding company, called Eastern Outfitters, which will continue the restructured operations of Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) and Bob’s Stores.

The news comes several months after Vestis Retail Group LLC, an entity of Versa that operated Bob’s, EMS and Sport Chalet, filed for Chapter 11. The company subsequently shut down Sport Chalet. EMS and Bob’s will now operate as business units of Eastern Outfitters, which will have over $400 million in annual revenue and be headquartered in Meriden, Connecticut. The company will be under the leadership of Mark Walsh, who served as CEO of Vestis and will now hold the same title at Eastern Outfitters.

“Today is a new day for our customers, employees and partners,” said Walsh. “We move forward with a focused strategy and strengthened capital structure that will enable EMS and Bob’s to prosper. We are excited to begin this new chapter and the growth trajectory we have outlined for our future.”

The two retailers will continue to focus on advancing their positions among their core demographic groups in the Eastern and Mid-Atlantic regions.

“We are pleased that this transaction provides EMS and Bob’s – two strong and growing retailers – the opportunity to continue providing exceptional service to their loyal customer bases,” said Gregory L. Segall, chairman and CEO of Versa. “We appreciate the significant support the companies received from their trade creditors. With an enhanced capital structure and healthy balance sheet, EMS and Bob’s now have the flexibility they need to prosper in the current retail environment that rewards brands that offer unique products with highly attentive customer service at attractive price points.”

Based in Philadelphia, Versa Capital Management is a private equity investment firm with more than $1.4 billion of assets. Other retailers in Versa's portfolio include Avenue Stores, The Wet Seal and western restaurant chain Black Angus Steakhouses.
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