Gordon Brothers Group Acquires Rugged Shark® Brand;

Press Release
Gordon Brothers Group, a global advisory, restructuring and investment firm specializing in retail and consumer products, today announced that it has acquired the brand and other assets of Rugged Shark ®, a line of high-end performance footwear for boating and other outdoor uses. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition consists of assets and intellectual property, which includes patents and trademarks on footwear and apparel in the United States and 45 other countries. The 12-year old brand built its name on bringing comfort to boating shoes. Rugged Shark was the first manufacturer to receive the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance.

“Rugged Shark is a leading, established brand in the marine and outdoor sectors,” said Lawrence Siff, Principal and Managing Director at Gordon Brothers Group. “We plan to build upon the heritage of the brand through strategic licensing agreements that we expect will ultimately expand beyond footwear into such categories as apparel, sunglasses, hats, accessories and others.” Siff has over 20 years of executive and leadership experience in marketing and sales with Procter & Gamble and as CEO of several companies including Ambassador Shoe Company, BWA International and B-W Footwear.

The first Rugged Shark licensing agreement is with Atsco Footwear Group, a leader in the footwear industry and the exclusive marketer for a number of other brands including Lelli Kelly, Khombu, Pacific Trail and Blend.

“Gordon Brothers Group brings to the table a unique set of skills and experience in brand awareness, marketing and knowledge of consumer goods,” says Alan Colman, CEO, Atsco Footwear Group, which is based in Avon, MA. “Combined with our expertise in footwear, we believe their skills will help us build upon Rugged Shark’s existing product offerings.” Atsco plans to promote the Rugged Shark brand with a number of marketing initiatives including sponsorships with legendary bass anglers Bill Dance and Kelly Salmans.

Gordon Brothers Group has strong expertise in buying and developing under-leveraged and non-core brands and enhancing their value. As the owner of such retailers as Things Remembered, Andrew Marc, Laura Secord, Spencer Gifts and Party America, the firm plans to leverage its more than 103 years of experience in owning and managing brands. Gordon Brothers Group said its initiatives will include sourcing new licensing agreements with quality wholesalers looking to expand their brand portfolio, as well as working with Atsco and other licensees to help position Rugged Shark with existing and new customers.

About Gordon Brothers Group, LLC
Founded in 1903, Gordon Brothers Group (www.gordonbrothers.com) is a global advisory, restructuring and investment firm specializing in the retail, consumer products, real estate and industrial sectors. During the past three years, Gordon Brothers Group has appraised over $100 billion of assets, managed more than 7,000 stores, sold more than $10 billion of inventory, and restructured or sold over 120 million square feet of retail space. In addition, Gordon Brothers Group currently owns over 1,600 stores through various portfolio companies.

About Atsco Footwear Group
Founded in 1911 as Aaron Taymor Shoe Company, Avon MA-based Atsco Footwear Group is a leading, international footwear wholesaler and marketer of a number of brands including Lelli Kelly, Khombu, Pacific Trail and Blend.