Last week, Tactical Holdings filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in Federal Court in Wilmington, DE. The brands under Tactical Holdings include well known FR clothing manufacturer Massif as well as footwear makers Wellco and Altama as well as other companies Tactical Intermediate Holdings Inc, Tactical Holdings Operations Inc, Ro-Search Inc, Mo-Ka Shoe Corp, and Massif Holdings LLC. As you may recall, Ro-Search developed the Panama sole used in the old jungle boot.
Fortunately, they were given permission to use up to $3.5 Million in loans from Wells Fargo to pay vendors in order to keep things going through the process.
At face value this looks pretty scary for these brands but Massif may well come out of this situation stronger than before. While all brands were given until the end of July to find buyers, Massif has already been courted by Sun Capital Partners, who owns Point Blank Solutions, Protective Products Enterprises, Paraclete, Kelty, Sierra Designs, Slumberjack, Ultimate Direction and Royal Robbins. These guys know how to do it. Dow Jones reports that Sun Capital Partners has a $13 Million offer for Massif. As I understand it, Massif will go to auction soon with Sun Capital Partners as keen bidders who wish to nurture the business alongside its other holdings.
In a telephone interview with Noelle Christensen of Massif, she related, “As you know, we’re part of a larger corporate group, including footwear brands Wellco and Altama. The corporation, along with all entities, filed Chapter 11 last week. This court process will divest Massif from Tactical Holdings and Massif will be proceeding with an auction soon, to determine if Sun, or another investor, will be taking ownership.
Massif is a strong company and we’ll remain strong after this process is complete. As mentioned in the court filings, Massif received approval to pay vendors deemed critical during this process, so we can continue to deliver high-performance protective clothing to the warfighter.”
Unfortunately, the outlook isn’t as good for the footwear brands. Declining contracts and an investigation last year into sourcing of footwear has led to layoffs at Wellco. If they can’t find a buyer, DoD contracts will be moved elsewhere.
I would say that assuredly, Tactical Holdings as we know it, will cease to be. Things look promising for Massif who may find a new home alongside other PPE manufacturers. However, considering the crowded tactical footwear market, we are unsure who might go after not one, but two boot makers.