LongWater Opportunities Announces Acquisition of Standard Merchandising Co.

Camden, New Jersey, December 2015 – LongWater Opportunities, an operationally-focused private equity firm headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Standard Merchandising Co. (“SMC”) from Jeff and Lee Tarnoff, third-generation proprietors who have been leading the 93-year-old family business for the past 40 years. Jeff and Lee will remain as minority owners and continue to manage and grow Standard Merchandising Co. in partnership with LongWater.

Founded in 1922 in Philadelphia, PA, Standard Merchandising Co. designs, manufactures, and distributes several lines of branded and private label hosiery products, specializing in luxury women’s products and athletic and novelty socks. Along with its private label business, which serves several leading national retailers and catalog companies, SMC’s brand lineup includes b.ella, Red Lion, Nouvella, Qtfeet, E.G. Smith, and 2Brothers. The luxury lines feature the highest quality exotic yarns and animal hairs sourced from across the globe, including cashmere and cashmere blends, extra fine merino wool, mohair, and alpaca yarns, among others. The athletic and novelty lines are known for variety and creativity in designs, comfort, and durable construction that hold up on and off the field across a variety of sports and activities. To ensure the highest quality standards, SMC’s socks are proudly made in the USA.

Standard Merchandising Co. is the second investment in LongWater Opportunities’ second equity fund. Jordan Bastable, a Partner at LongWater, commented, “LongWater is eager to continue building its track record of success with our acquisition of Standard Merchandising Co. We look forward to partnering with the Tarnoff brothers to support the next phase of the Company’s development and believe the future prospects for the business are bright. We want to thank Jeff and Lee Tarnoff for their dedication and commitment to growing SMC over the past 40 years and we are excited that they will be staying with the Company to remain in their current roles.”

Jeff Tarnoff noted “We are very excited to partner with LongWater Opportunities in carrying forward the business of Standard Merchandising Company. The commitments they share with us to manufacturing in the U.S. and to producing a very high quality product made our decision to go with LongWater a very easy one to make. Moreover we think the new and youthful perspective they bring to the business bodes very well for continued growth.”

Lee Tarnoff also added “It has been an honor, a privilege, and a lot of fun to have succeeded my grandfather and father owning Standard Merchandising Co. I am excited to have our great family business acquired by LongWater Opportunities. They are a group of young, energetic, talented, and intelligent people that will ensure the longevity of our business for many years to come. I look forward to working with them as we continue to grow our business together.”


About LongWater Opportunities

LongWater Opportunities, headquartered in Dallas, Texas with an office in Fargo, North Dakota, is an operationally‐focused private equity firm that targets control buyout equity investments in lower middle market U.S. based manufacturing companies in partnership with family owner‐operators and entrepreneurs. LongWater was founded in 2009 with a vision to create a different kind of private equity firm – one that centers on mutually aligned interests and investing patient capital to build successful American manufacturing businesses. LongWater recognizes that long‐term value is created through taking a hands‐on approach with its portfolio companies to identify and execute strategic and operational initiatives that create sustainable competitive advantages.


For more information, please visit longwateropportunities.com.

Philip Lea