Gridiron Capital-Backed GSM Outdoors Acquires Bill Lewis Outdoors
The partnership represents GSM Outdoors’ continued expansion into the fishing segment with the addition of a second iconic brand
NEW CANAAN, CT, May 5, 2022 – Gridiron Capital, LLC (“Gridiron Capital”), an investment firm focused on partnering with founders, entrepreneurs, and management teams, is pleased to announce that its portfolio company, Good Sportsman Marketing Outdoors (“GSM” or the “Company”), an outdoor enthusiast platform with industry leading hunting, fishing, sport shooting, and outdoor accessories, has acquired Bill Lewis Outdoors (“Bill Lewis”). The acquisition of Bill Lewis in the fishing sector is another example of GSM’s expansion into additional outdoor categories with powerful brands.
Bill Lewis is a family-owned leader in the hard bait fishing category. Founded in the early 1960s by Bill Lewis, the company is best known for its signature product, the “Rat-L-Trap,” a top lipless crankbait recognizable to almost any angler and sold in over 350 size and color combinations.
“GSM Outdoors has a rich history in the outdoor space,” said CEO of GSM, Eddie Castro. “We are honored to be expanding our presence in the fishing market with this renowned brand and look forward to providing our customers with superior quality products and product innovation, for many years to come.”
“The partnership with Bill Lewis expands our product suite in the attractive fishing sector with another heritage brand,” said Kevin Jackson, Managing Partner at Gridiron Capital. “GSM’s growing fishing offering now spans across both leading soft and hard baits to support anglers and their time on the water.”
“This is GSM’s seventh strategic partnership since Gridiron Capital partnered with GSM in November 2020, and our second acquisition in fishing, expanding our foothold in this strategically important end-market. We greatly admire the brand that the Lewis family has built, and the GSM team is eager to leverage its unique marketing and new product development expertise to be great stewards of the brand and accelerate its growth,” added John Warner, Managing Director at Gridiron Capital.
About Gridiron Capital, LLC
Gridiron Capital is an investment firm focused on partnering with founders, entrepreneurs, and management teams, and creating value by building middle-market companies into industry-leaders in branded consumer, B2B and B2C services, and niche industrial segments in the United States and Canada. We help transform growing companies by winning together through hard work, partnerships grounded in shared values and a unique culture that comes from hands-on experience building and running businesses. As a team led by former operators and entrepreneurs, we know what it takes to run successful businesses on a day-to-day basis. Additional information is available on the firm’s website: www.gridironcapital.com.
About GSM Outdoors
Founded in 1999, GSM Outdoors specializes in developing and marketing innovative accessories for hunting, fishing, sport shooting, and outdoor markets. GSM owns several industry-leading brands including Stealth Cam, Walker’s, Muddy, Hawk, Big Game, Birchwood Casey, Cold Steel, SOG, TruGlo, SME, TekMat, GPS Bags, CrossFire, HME, Skull Hooker, Viking Solutions, Hunters Specialties, Western Rivers, Cyclops, Boss Buck, American Hunter, and NAP. GSM’s strong focus on innovation, product development, rigorous quality control, and customer support has earned it a reputation for delivering top quality outdoor gear backed by industry leading customer service. Conservation of the environment is central to GSM’s mission to preserve and protect wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, please visit http://www.gsmoutdoors.com.
For Additional Information:
For Gridiron Capital, LLC:
Kevin Jackson, Managing Partner, Gridiron Capital, LLC
For GSM Outdoors
Eddie Castro, CEO, GSM Outdoors