Baird acquires two play set makers

The firm will combine the two companies—Backyard Adventures and Leisure Time Products—into one: Backyard Leisure.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Baird Capital Partners has bought two suppliers of outdoor wood play sets: Texas-based Backyard Adventures and Kansas-based Leisure Time Products. Both companies supply their products to the US, Canada, the UK and Mexico markets. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Baird plans to combine the two companies into Backyard Leisure Holdings. Baird hopes the merger allow the two companies to capitalize on their respective strengths, the firm said in a statement.

“Our businesses are complementary,” said Ron Scripsick, the chief executive officer of Leisure time, in the statement. “While Leisure Time has a strong commitment to providing the most innovative and high quality products to the mass retail channel, Backyard’s focus is on providing novel and fresh ideas to the specialty dealer channel.”

Gordon Pan, Baird Capital Partners

Home ownership rates and population demographics were key factors in making the investment, according to Gordon Pan, a partner at Baird. “Our products address a very attractive demographic,” he said. “People are willing to spend money on their children. Parents are going to provide their children with a place to play and a place to exercise to ensure they are  learning, playing and exploring.”

Scripsick will become the chief executive officer of Backyard Leisure. Charlie Sammann, the chief executive officer of Backyard Adventures will be its executive vice president of marketing and product development.

Baird Capital Partners is the buyout fund of Baird Private Equity, the global private equity group of investment banking and wealth management firm Robert W. Baird & Co. It focuses on change of growth control and growth capital for middle-market companies in the business services and manufactured products sector.

Baird Capital partners Europe, the European private equity arm of Robert W. Baird, backed a €156 million management buyout of Zarges Tubesca group, a European maker of aluminum-based products, in January.