Cutter & Buck parent New Wave Group to acquire Ahead apparel firm

By news services

Series: Industry News

Published: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 | 12:45 a.m.

New Wave Group AB, headquartered in Sweden but with significant interests in the United States, has entered into an agreement to acquire headwear and apparel company Ahead, company officials have announced. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2011.

New Wave Group is the parent company of Cutter & Buck, which also has a strong presence in the golf apparel industry, as well as such brands as Clique, Craft, Orrefors and Kosta Boda.

“Ahead’s strong market position and brand visibility in the headwear category worldwide will be an excellent complement to our business components,” said Torsten Jansson, managing director and CEO of New Wave Group.  “Ahead has been recognized for revolutionizing headwear in the golf community.”

Founded in 1995, Ahead is best known for its premier headwear collections that feature original approaches to logo embroidery options.  Based in New Bedford, Mass., the company operates four distinct business units: Men’s Apparel, Ahead Headgear, the “Heavy Metal” line of golf accessories and the “Kate Lord Collection” of women’s hats, apparel and accessories.

“We’re looking forward to being part of the New Wave family and having access to their extensive distribution network and exceptional product related resources worldwide,” said Ahead founder and CEO Ken Shwartz. “New Wave plans to utilize Ahead’s  New Bedford facility and our dedicated staff to continue the vision we have been working so hard to achieve, and in doing so expand our decorating capabilities to benefit other New Wave brands.”

New Wave Group AB is engaged in the design, acquisition and development of brands and products within the promotion, sports, gift and interior design sectors.  It operates through three business areas:

--The Corporate Promo business area is involved in the supply of promotional products in both Europe and the United States.
--The Sports and Leisure business area is engaged in the marketing of such sportswear brands, as Cutter & Buck, Craft, Seger and Speedo in both the Nordic countries and the United States.
--The Gifts & Home Furnishings business area markets such brands, as Orrefors, Kosta Boda and Sagaform, as well as other brands established in 17 countries. 

New Wave Group AB sales divisions are currently active in 20 countries throughout Europe, North America and Asia.