• Cinde Ingram

Retailer Offenbacher Aquatics acquired by Antson Capital Partners

Founders Karl and Alpana Offenbacher announce retirement

BALTIMORE – Offenbacher Aquatics Inc., was acquired by Baltimore-based Antson Capital Partners LLC for an undisclosed sum.

Offenbacher’s, a 41-year-old retailer, has seven retail stores in the Washington and Baltimore region, as well as outlet centers in Maryland and Virginia. The company sells outdoor patio furniture, grills, fireplaces and recreation equipment.

As part of the acquisition, Antson Capital co-founder Jason Pappas will serve as chairman of the Offenbacher’s board of directors.

“The acquisition of Offenbacher’s is an exceptional opportunity to purchase a company that not only has strong name recognition, but an array of high quality products in the expanding Washington/Baltimore market,” said Pappas, co-founder and managing partner of Antson Capital. “It is a very successful brand that presents significant growth opportunities in the region.”

Offenbacher’s, which has 50 employees, is based in Lanham, Md., where it also operates a 120,000-sq.-ft. warehouse and clearance center. Antson Capital has agreed to purchase the warehouse in a separate transaction. Offenbacher’s operates three stores in Maryland located in Columbia, Hunt Valley and Rockville, and four stores in Virginia located in Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Springfield and Sterling.

“After serving as president for over 40 years it is time to retire and let Anston Capital’s team build Offenbacher’s into a leader in the outdoor living and recreation market,” said Karl Offenbacher, who founded the company in 1973. “I am proud of the legacy my family leaves behind and I know my employees are in good hands.”

Offenbacher and his wife Alpana will serve as consultants through the first quarter of 2015. Offenbacher will also serve on the company’s board.

“Karl and I are retiring and giving them the reins to expand and grow the company,” Alpana said. “The brand name Offenbacher’s will stay the same as will all our very dedicated, hardworking and loyal staff members. Our hope and vision was to have very minimum disruption to business.”

General Manager and Senior Buyer Mark Ramos, who has worked with Offenbacher’s for 20 years, said the transition is bittersweet but also refreshing. “It’s going to be new beginnings for all of us and it’s really going to be something positive for the marketplace and this industry,” he said. “But all along, we’re fueled back on our side of things by the heritage and the legacy that Karl and Alpana have already set forth with this company. I’m committed to carry on the name in honor of them.”

Antson Capital also named Andrew Cohen, an investor in the deal, as chief executive officer of Offenbacher’s. Prior to joining Offenbacher’s, Cohen founded and operated three retail companies, including Water, Water Everywhere, a national specialty retailer that sold designer swimwear and swimwear accessories. He sold the company in 2007 to a private equity investment affiliate of Bear Stearns, the now defunct global New York-based investment bank.

“Offenbacher’s has strong name recognition and presents us with a substantial opportunity to increase market share in the region and expand our footprint,” Cohen said. “We will look to invigorate the company by upgrading stores, seeking new locations and developing an easy-to-use online storefront.”

Offenbacher’s was founded by Karl Offenbacher in 1973to sell affordable yet finely crafted outdoor furniture. Over the years, the company expanded its offerings selling accessories, such as cushions, umbrellas, hammocks, outdoor lamps, rugs, mirrors, and artwork as well as fireplaces, grills, billiards tables and spas.

Casual Living named Offenbacher’s the nation’s leading outdoor living retailer in 1995.

Antson Capital Partners, LLC is a Baltimore-based private equity buy-out firm focused on acquiring small market companies with revenue ranging from $5 million to $25 million and their associated real estate assets in the Mid-Atlantic region. Antson targets acquisitions in retail, real estate, contracting, logistics, service and light manufacturing.

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