Pohlad Family Invests in Polaroid alongside Gordon Brothers Group and Hilco Global
Minneapolis, MN—December 29, 2014—Gordon Brothers Group, Hilco Global and Pohlad Family Capital Fund (PFCF) announced today that PFCF and another family office investor have acquired interests in PLR IP Holdings, LLC, the owner of the Polaroid brand and related intellectual property, from Knightsbridge Capital Partners and the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee of PBE Corporation (the former Polaroid Corporation). The transaction marks the next phase of the company’s evolution after a successful five year effort to reestablish Polaroid as the preeminent brand for instant photography and related consumer electronics worldwide.
Polaroid is an iconic brand known the world over for pioneering and perfecting instant photography – both in the analog and digital eras. Today, the Polaroid brand is found on a broad range of consumer electronics products including instant and digital still cameras, lifestyle action sports cameras, tablets and flat screen TVs. Polaroid products are currently sold in over 100,000 retail stores in more than 100 countries throughout the world. Innovative products such as the Polaroid Cube and Socialmatic Instant Digital Camera continue to break through established barriers, bringing ease-of-use, sharing and fun to consumers everywhere.
Gordon Brothers Group and Hilco Global acquired the intellectual property and other assets of the Polaroid Corporation in 2009 following the company’s bankruptcy filing. The acquisition included a material investment by Knightsbridge Capital Partners and an equity stake for the bankruptcy estate of the then Polaroid Corporation (now PBE Corp.). Since that time, the joint venture has transformed the company into a global licensing platform under a new management team lead by Scott W. Hardy, President and CEO. Polaroid currently has over 50 best-in-class licensees across the globe, all of which have contributed to the company regaining its place as a leading international consumer electronics brand.
“We are very excited to partner with these new investors to take Polaroid to the next level,” stated Kenneth S. Frieze, CEO of Gordon Brothers Group. “We are proud of what we have accomplished and believe this new investment will position us to continue our work with Polaroid and contribute to other future collaborative brand projects in this space” he added.
“This transaction presents us with the opportunity to capitalize on what we see as a strong, strategic growth opportunity and to contribute to the compelling resurgence of Polaroid,” said Jann Ozzello Wilcox, Chief Investment Officer of Marquette Companies. “The management team of Polaroid is exceptional and we are pleased to partner with other investors – some new, and some existing – that bring additional expertise beyond our own.”
"The progress we've made in revitalizing the brand is impressive,” said Jeffrey B. Hecktman, Chairman and CEO of Hilco Global. “Over the years, Hilco Global has made successful strategic investments in iconic brand names and high-profile consumer companies like Polaroid and we are certain that with this new partnership and investment group, Polaroid is poised for further success."
“We are very excited about this deal and what it means for Polaroid in 2015 and beyond,” said Scott W. Hardy, President and CEO of Polaroid. “The addition of these new investors to the ownership group will bring stable family capital to the Polaroid brand over the long-term. The new investors, in partnership with Gordon Brothers Group and Hilco Global, are firmly committed to the viability and success of Polaroid, as well as the current business model and management team. This deal is a testament to the success we’ve achieved over the past five years and represents the next step in the ongoing resurgence of our iconic American brand."
Polaroid’s management team and headquarters will remain in Minnetonka, Minnesota. The company also maintains offices in New York City and Hong Kong, with plans for expansion into other international offices.
Polaroid is one of the most trusted, well-respected and recognizable brands with a rich 75 year history beginning with Polaroid instant film. The Polaroid range of products includes instant and digital still cameras, high-definition and mountable sports video cameras, tablets and flat-screen TVs that deliver the fun, instant gratification and value for which the brand has long stood. Today, the Polaroid Classic Border Logo rooted in the brand’s beginnings of instant photo sharing serves to designate genuine Polaroid branded products. For more information, visit www.Polaroid.com.
Polaroid, Polaroid & Pixel, Polaroid Color Spectrum and Polaroid Classic Border Logo are trademarks of PLR IP Holdings, LLC, used under license.
About Gordon Brothers Group
Founded in 1903, Gordon Brothers Group (www.gordonbrothers.com) is a global advisory, restructuring and investment firm specializing in the retail, consumer products, industrial and real estate sectors. Gordon Brothers Group maximizes value for both healthy and distressed companies by purchasing or selling all categories of assets, mitigating leases, appraising assets and operating businesses for extended periods. Gordon Brothers Group conducts over $50 billion worth of transactions and appraisals annually. As of November 2014, debt financing is provided by Gordon Brothers Finance Company. (www.gbfinco.com)
About Hilco Global
Hilco Global (www.hilcoglobal.com) is an independent and diversified financial services company and the world’s preeminent authority on maximizing the value of assets for both healthy and distressed companies. Hilco Global operates as the holding company comprised of twenty specialized business units that work to help companies understand the value of their assets and then monetize that value. Often, Hilco Global acts as an advisor to provide consultative services in all aspects of the asset management process. For over 28 years acting as a principal or agent, Hilco Global has a successful track record of delivering the best possible result by aligning interests with clients and providing them strategic insight, advice, and, in many instances, the capital required to complete the deal.
About Marquette Companies and Pohlad Family Capital Fund (PFCF)
Marquette Companies is part of the Pohlad Companies, a diverse group of more than 25 companies owned by the Pohlad family. Founded by Carl R. Pohlad in the 1950s, and now managed by his three sons Jim, Bob and Bill, the Pohlad Companies operate in financial services/banking; commercial real estate; automotive sales; sports and entertainment, including the Minnesota Twins, a Major League Baseball franchise; and investments in privately held companies through PFCF.
Media Contact for Polaroid:
Media Contact for Hilco Global:
Gary C. Epstein
Media Contact for Marquette Companies/PFCF:
Media Contact for Gordon Brothers Group: