Finding the right partner for rapid growth.

Lakeshirts has been acquired by Carlson Private Capital Partners

Founded in 1984 and based in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, Lakeshirts is a vertically integrated market leader in the multi-billion dollar North American resort apparel and accessories industry.

The Company sells its Lakeshirts apparel and accessories, and TGT Stickers brands to over 4,000 of the largest and most successful resort town retailers, bars and restaurants, and niche retailers. Through its Blue 84 brand, Lakeshirts is a major player in the college-licensed apparel and accessories market, selling to over 2,000 campus bookstores and college retailers across the United States with nearly 1,000 licenses.

Lakeshirts’ team of over 700 employees operates out of a 325,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility, one of the industry’s largest in North America. Lakeshirts is vertically integrated from material sourcing and garment design, to dying, decorating, custom labeling and merchandising. Lakeshirts is one of only 36 apparel companies to have its social compliance program accredited by the Fair Labor Association.

Situation Overview

Founders and Co-CEOs Mike Hutchinson and Mark Fritz were looking for a partner who would provide them with liquidity, enable them to reward loyal employees, and to help them fund and execute an aggressive growth through acquisition strategy.

I am so thankful Mike reached out to Vermillion. You worked harder for us than 10 of the big banks combined would have. – MARK FRITZ, CO-FOUNDER & CEO, Lakeshirts

M&A Transaction Process

Vermillion worked closely with Lakeshirts for over nine months to prepare the Company for sale before going to market. Vermillion advised Lakeshirts on several strategic initiatives and decisions, including:

  • Advised Lakeshirts on a highly accretive acquisition of TGT Stickers, increasing EBITDA by over 15 percent.
  • Advised Lakeshirts on securing a new vendor for a major sourcing program to improve garment quality and reduce cost, on renegotiating terms with a large vendor, and on restructuring an artist agreement, which in total increased EBITDA by over 8 percent.
  • Advised Lakeshirts on obtaining a sell-side Quality of Earnings Report, completing a Phase I Environmental Study, and completing an insurance and benefits audit.


Through a broad marketing process, Vermillion spoke with over 125 prospective buyers and secured 19 first round bids. Lakeshirts was sold to Carlson Private Capital Partners at a premium to the next highest bidder.

Carlson Private Capital is the ideal partner for us at the perfect time for our business. We have been fortunate to build an exceptional business in our hometown through commitment to our people and our community and wanted to find a partner who shared our values. Carlson Private Capital’s investment will help us accelerate our business’ growth and, more importantly, allow for growth in jobs and continued support of Detroit Lakes. – Mark Fritz, Co-founder & CEO, Lakeshirts

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